Jennifer Beals Wikipedia

Jennifer Beals
Jennifer Beals at GLAAD Awards cropped.jpg
Beals at the GLAAD Awards in 2009
Born(1963-12-19) December 19, 1963 (age 50)

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Model (former)
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Alexandre Rockwell

(m. 1986–1996; divorced)

Ken Dixon

(m. 1998–present; 1 daughter)
Jennifer Beals (born December 19, 1963) is an American actress and a former teen model. She played the role of Alexandra "Alex" Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, and appeared as Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series The L Word. She earned an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the former. She has appeared in more than 50 films.


      Early life

      Beals was born on the South Side of Chicago, the daughter of Jeanne (née Anderson), an elementary school teacher, and Alfred Beals, who owned grocery stores. She is multiracial; her father was African American, and her mother is Irish American. She has two brothers, Bobby and Gregory. Her father died when Beals was nine years old, and her mother married Edward Cohen in 1981. Beals has said her biracial heritage had some effect on her, as she "always lived sort of on the outside", with an idea "of being the other in society". She got her first job at age 13 at an ice cream store, using her height at the time (she is now nearly 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)), to convince her boss she was 16.

      Beals was inspired to become an actress by two events: doing a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof and seeing Balm in Gilead with Joan Allen while volunteer-ushering at the Steppenwolf Theatre.

      Beals graduated from the progressive Francis W. Parker School. She also was chosen to attend the elite Goodman Theatre Young People's Drama Workshop. Beals attended Yale University, receiving a B.A. in American literature in 1987; she deferred a term so she could film Flashdance. While at Yale, Beals was a resident of Morse College.



      Beals in Sweden, July 1983
      Beals had a minor role in the 1980 film My Bodyguard, then came to fame with her starring part in Flashdance. The third-highest grossing U.S. film of 1983, Flashdance is the story of 18-year-old Alex, a welder by day and exotic dancer by night, whose dream is to be accepted someday at an illustrious school of dance. Beals was cast for this key role while still a student at Yale. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and the film received an Academy Award for Best Song. Many of Beals' elaborate dance moves were actually performed by stunt double Marine Jahan.

      After she filmed Flashdance, Beals resumed her studies, making only one film during that time: playing the titular character The Bride with singer-actor Sting, a gothic horror film loosely based on the 1935 classic Bride of Frankenstein, shot during her summer break. She also appeared in the "Cinderella" episode of Faerie Tale Theatre. Beals was asked by Joel Schumacher to do St. Elmo's Fire but turned it down, preferring to stay at Yale.

      Starring opposite Nicolas Cage, the actress portrays a lusty and thirsty vampire in 1989's Vampire's Kiss.

      In 1995, Beals and Denzel Washington co-starred in Devil in a Blue Dress, a period film based on a Walter Mosley novel featuring L.A. private detective, Easy Rawlins. Beals plays a biracial woman passing for white. That same year she appeared with Tim Roth in two segments of the four-story anthology Four Rooms, one of which was directed by her then-husband, Alexandre Rockwell.

      Rockwell had previously directed her in the 1992 independent film In the Soup, which was a Grand Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, she played one of the sequestered jury members in the film adaptation of Runaway Jury.

      She had a leading role in 2006's The Grudge 2, sequel to the hit horror film of two years earlier. In 2010, Beals reunited with Denzel Washington in the post-Apocalyptic action drama, The Book of Eli, where she played a blind woman who is the mother of Mila Kunis' character and a servant of Gary Oldman's.


      In 1992, she appeared in 2000 Malibu Road as attorney Perry Quinn. It was her first ongoing television series; she said she had been leery as she previously had not "found a character I wanted to live with for several years".

      In 2004, Beals made a brief cameo in the final episode of Frasier. In 2007, she appeared in the small TV drama My Name Is Sarah, in which she plays Sarah Winston, a sober woman who joins Alcoholics Anonymous to conduct research for her book but finds herself falling in love with a recovering alcoholic and - as a result - having to deal with her original deception in joining the group.

      Beals starred in Showtime Network's The L Word, wherein she played Bette Porter, an Ivy League-educated lesbian. At Beals' request, Bette was made biracial, enabling Pam Grier's Kit Porter character to become Bette's half-sister. Beals' initial research for the part focused more on the woman's profession as an art museum director than on her life as a lesbian; "I was much more obsessed by the work that Bette did, because she was so obsessed by the work that she did." The series ran for six seasons and ended in March 2009.

      She also appears alongside Tim Roth in Lie to Me, as Cal Lightman's ex-wife, Zoe Landau.

      Beals is the female lead in Fox's TV drama The Chicago Code. Her character Teresa Colvin is Chicago's first female police superintendent. The series was canceled after its first season.

      Beals turned down an offer to appear on Dancing with the Stars, saying: "I am not a dancer. They asked me and I said 'no.' You could back up a truck to my door filled with cash and I wouldn't do it."

      In 2013, Beals signed on for the main role of the ABC drama pilot Westside produced by McG and developed by Ilene Chaiken.

      Web series

      Beals is also well known for her support of women's rights and for her strong feminist character. In August 2012, she appeared alongside Troian Bellisario in the web series Lauren on the YouTube channel, WIGS. Its first season is a three episode arc featuring the stories of women in the army being abused, predominantly by more powerful superior. The stories focused on the frequently reported cases on sexual abuse and how and why most of the cases went unreported or unsettled. Beals has also appeared in two interviews, discussing her views in relation to Lauren.

      In January 2013, Troian Bellisario confirmed on her twitter and instagram, that she and Beals were filming more Lauren web episodes. Lauren returned on May 3, 2013 and with a second season of 12 episodes.

      Personal life

      Beals was married to Alexandre Rockwell from 1986 to 1996. In 1998, she married Ken Dixon, a Canadian entrepreneur. On October 18, 2005, Beals gave birth to their daughter. Her husband also has two children from a previous marriage.

      Beals has described herself as a "spiritual person". She has expressed interest in the Holy Bible and Catholicism, and is a practicing Buddhist.

      She has been a vocal advocate for gay rights saying, "I think after playing Bette Porter on The L Word for six years I felt like an honorary member of the community." Beals was a Celebrity Grand Marshal at the 2006 San Francisco Pride Parade. In October 2012, she received the Human Rights Campaign's Ally For Equality Award, in recognition of her outstanding support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

      Beals is a photographer, who has had shows of her work under her married name, Dixon. She has a book about her time on The L Word featuring her own photographs. In 1989, she spent some time in Haiti photographing the elections.

      She is also a triathlete.

      In 2010, Beals served as the Grand Marshal of the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, during which she spoke of the two charities important to her, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Pablove Foundation.



      1980My BodyguardClifford's Friend
      1983FlashdanceAlex Owens
      1985The BrideEva
      1988The GambleLady Olivia Candioniaka La Partita
      1988Split DecisionsBarbara Uribe
      1989Vampire's KissRachel
      1990Dr. MSonja Vogler
      1991Blood and ConcreteMona
      1992In the SoupAngelica Pena
      1992Day of AtonementJoyce
      1992IndecencyEllie ShawTV film
      1992Terror Stalks the Class ReunionVirginiaTV film
      1993Caro diarioHerself
      1993The Princess and the CobblerPrincess YumYumvoice
      1993Night OwlJuliaTV film
      1994Dead on SightRebecca Darcy
      1994Mrs. Parker and the Vicious CircleGertrude Benchley
      1994The Search for One-eye JimmyEllen
      1995Four RoomsAngela
      1995Let It Be MeEmily Taylor
      1995Devil in a Blue DressDaphne Monet
      1995Arabian KnightPrincess YumYumvoice
      1997Wishful ThinkingElizabeth
      1997The Twilight of the GoldsSuzanne Stein
      1998Body and SoulGina
      1998The Prophecy IIValerie Rosales
      1998The Last Days of DiscoNina
      1998The SpreeXinia KellyTV film
      1999Something MoreLisa
      1999Turbulence 2: Fear of FlyingJessica
      2000MilitiaJulie Sanders
      2000Without MaliceSamantha WilkesTV film
      2000A House DividedAmanda DicksonTV film
      2001Out of LineParole Officer Jenny Capitanas
      2001The Anniversary PartyGina Taylor
      2001The Big HouseLorraine BrewsterTV film
      2001After the StormMrs. GavotteTV film
      2001The Feast of All SaintsDolly RoseTV film
      200213 MoonsSuzi
      2002Roger DodgerSophie
      2002They Shoot Divas, Don't They?Sloan McBrideTV film
      2003Runaway JuryVanessa Lembeck
      2004Catch That KidMolly
      2005Break a LegJuliet
      2005Desolation SoundElizabeth Storey
      2006The Grudge 2Trish
      2006Troubled WatersSpecial Agent Jennifer Beck
      2007My Name Is SarahSarah WinstonTV film
      2009Queen to PlayL'Américaine
      2010The Book of EliClaudia
      2010A Night for Dying TigersMelanie
      2010The Night Before the Night Before ChristmasAngela FoxTV film


      1985Faerie Tale TheatreCinderellaEpisode: "Cinderella"
      1990Tinikling ou 'La madonne et le dragonPatty Meredith
      19922000 Malibu RoadPerry Quinn6 episodes
      1997The Outer LimitsRobin DysartEpisode: "Bodies of Evidence"
      1997–1998Nothing SacredJustine Madsen Judd2 episodes
      1999The HungerJaneEpisode: "And She Laughed"
      2001The Feast of All SaintsDolly Rose
      2004–2009The L WordBette PorterMain role, 70 episodes
      2004FrasierDr. Anne Ranberg2 episodes
      2007Law & OrderSofia ArcherEpisode: "Charity Case"
      2009–2011Lie to MeZoe LandauRecurring role, 6 episodes
      2011The Chicago CodeTeresa ColvinMain role, 13 episodes
      2012CastleCIA Agent Sophia Turner2 episodes
      2012LaurenMajor Jo StoneWeb series
      2012The Mob DoctorCeleste LaPree4 episodes
      2013WestsideLisa CarverUnsold TV pilot
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