Jennifer Beals was born on December 19, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard (1980). After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature. She appeared in her first starring role in the movie Flashdance (1983) while still a freshman at Yale. While at Yale, she also starred in Franc Roddam's The Bride (1985). After graduation from Yale, Beals married independent filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell, and appeared in several of his films. Most notably, she starred in his In the Soup (1992), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival.
Beals has continued to find acting work with lead roles in obscure independent films and various made-for-television productions, as well as occasional supporting roles mainstream features such as Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Catch That Kid (2004), The Grudge 2 (2006), and The Book of Eli (2010). One of her most notable roles came in 2004 when she was cast on the Showtime cable TV series "The L Word" (2004), playing a lesbian art gallery manager named "Bette Porter" throughout its entire run until 2009. Her latest role is playing Police Superintendant Teresa Colvin on the Fox Network crime series "The Chicago Code" (2011).
In her personal life, Beals divorced Rockwell in 1996 and married Canadian entrepreneur Ken Dixon two years later. On October 18, 2005, she gave birth to a daughter.
|Ken Dixon||(14 June 1998 - present) 1 child|
|Alexandre Rockwell||(1986 - 1996) (divorced)|
Long Black Hair
Off-the-shoulder sweatshirt that she accidentally created in her movie Flashdance (1983).
In Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), she plays a woman passing for white who is actually the daughter of an interracial couple. In real life, this is Beals's racial background, too.
Turned down the opportunity to play herself in "It's Like, You Know..." (1999).
She put her career on hold to attend Yale.
In the film The Anniversary Party (2001), Beals plays a character who takes photographs of performers which she then gives away, usually to the subjects of the photos. Beals actually does this.
Has an African-American father and an Irish mother.
In Flashdance (1983), the birth date that she fills out on the application form is her actual birth date in real life.
While still a teenager, before she went into show business, she worked as a babysitter for one of her neighbors - Steve Edwards.
Good friends with Elizabeth Berkley. They each appeared in a Joe Eszterhas-written film (Berkley: Showgirls (1995); Beals: Flashdance (1983)), and they appeared together in Roger Dodger (2002). and the last season of "The L Word" (2004).
Has two stepchildren from her husband's previous marriage.
18 October 2005: Gave birth to her first child, a girl. Father is Beals' husband of seven years, Canadian entrepreneur Ken Dixon.
She and her character on "The L Word" (2004), "Bette Porter", are both Yale graduates with an African-American father and a Caucasian mother.
Was offered the part of "Apollonia" for Purple Rain (1984). She turned it down because she wanted to concentrate on college.
Worked at Baskin-Robbins as a teenager.
Daughter of Alfred Beals (an African-American grocery store owner) and Jeanne Cohen (an Irish elementary school teacher).
Thieves took nearly $1,000 from her hotel room while she was on location in Manila, Philippines, shooting the movie Tinikling ou 'La madonne et le dragon' (1990) (TV) (aka "Madonna and the Dragon"), in 1989.
Good friends with Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Very good friends with Steve Buscemi.
She is a triathlete.
It's been perfect. I can still ride a subway and work with great people. I can't imagine being Julia Roberts. I don't have the fortitude to withstand that kind of attention.
I'm always shocked that gay marriage is such a big deal. You have to realize how precious human life is, when there are tsunamis and mudslides, when there are armies and terrorists - at any moment, you could be gone, and potentially in the most brutal fashion. And then you have to realize that love is truly one of the most extraordinary things you can experience in your life. To begrudge someone else their love of another person because of gender seems to be absolutely absurd. It's based in fear, fear of the other, fear of what is not like you. But when you are able to see lives on a day-to-day basis, rather than reducing it to politics, then it humanizes a whole community of people that were otherwise invisible.
(January 2010) On February 1, in cooperation with Eastman Kodak and Color Centric, she will release her photographic journal. A book containing over 250 photographs. Additionally the book will also contain call sheets, production notes and intimate interviews with the cast. Jennifer wanted to share the behind the scenes photos she had taken over her six years on the show portraying the dynamic and alpha Bette Porter with both the cast and fans (that supported the show around the world). Jennifer just completed filming in Vancouver a new independent film, A Night for Dying Tigers.
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