Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981) is an American actress, model and businesswoman.
She has won various awards for her acting, including the Choice Actress Teen Choice Award and Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role in the television series Dark Angel.
Alba began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994). She rose to prominence as the lead actress in the James Cameron television series Dark Angel (2000–2002) when she was 19 years old. Alba later appeared in Honey (2003), Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Into the Blue (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Good Luck Chuck (2007).
In January 2012, Alba co-founded The Honest Company, a consumer goods company that sells non-toxic household products, and owns 15 to 20 percent of the company.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 Beginnings (1992–1999)
- 2.2 Breakout (2000–2008)
- 2.3 2010–present
- 3 Public image
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Charity and politics
- 6 Filmography
- 6.1 Film
- 6.2 Television
- 6.3 Video games
- 7 Awards
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Alba was born in Pomona, California, to Catherine Louisa (née Jensen) and Mark David Alba. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her paternal grandparents, who were born in California, were both the children of Mexican immigrants. She has a younger brother, Joshua. Her third cousin, once removed, is writer Gustavo Arellano. Her father’s Air Force career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Del Rio, Texas, before settling back in Claremont, California, when she was nine years old. Alba has described her family as being a “very conservative family – a traditional, Catholic, Latin American family” and herself as very liberal; she says she had identified herself as a “feminist” as early as age five.
Alba’s early life was marked by a multitude of physical maladies. During childhood, she suffered from partially collapsed lungs twice, had pneumonia four to five times a year, as well as a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. Alba became isolated from other children at school, because she was in the hospital so often due to her illnesses that no one knew her well enough to befriend her. Alba has also had asthma since she was a child. Alba has said that her family’s frequent moving also contributed to her isolation from her peers. She has acknowledged that she suffered from obsessive–compulsive disorder during her childhood. Alba graduated from Claremont High School at age 16, and she subsequently attended the Atlantic Theater Company.
Alba expressed interest in acting from the age of five. In 1992, the 11-year-old Alba persuaded her mother to take her to an acting competition in Beverly Hills, whose grand prize was free acting classes. Alba won the grand prize, and took her first acting lessons. An agent signed Alba nine months later. Her first appearance on film was a small role in the 1994 feature Camp Nowhere as Gail. She was originally hired for two weeks but her role turned into a two-month job when one of the prominent actresses dropped out.
Alba appeared in two national television commercials for Nintendo and J. C. Penney as a child. She was later featured in several independent films. She branched out into television in 1994 with a recurring role as the vain Jessica in three episodes of the Nickelodeon comedy series The Secret World of Alex Mack. She then performed the role of Maya in the first two seasons of the television series Flipper. Under the tutelage of her lifeguard mother, Alba learned to swim before she could walk, and she was a PADI-certified scuba diver, skills which were put to use on the show, which was filmed in Australia.
In 1998, she appeared as Melissa Hauer in a first-season episode of the Steven Bochco crime-drama Brooklyn South, as Leanne in two episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, and as Layla in an episode of The Love Boat: The Next Wave. In 1999, she appeared in the Randy Quaid comedy feature P.U.N.K.S.. After Alba graduated from high school, she studied acting with William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, at the Atlantic Theater Company, which was developed by Macy and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and film director, David Mamet. Alba rose to greater prominence in Hollywood in 1999 after appearing as a member of a snobby high school clique in the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, and as the female lead in the 1999 comedy-horror film Idle Hands, opposite Devon Sawa.