Also Credited As:Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Rebecca A Romijn, Rebecca Alie Romijn
|Rebecca Alie Romijn on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California, USA|
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A real California girl, Romijn was born on Nov. 6, 1972, and raised in Berkeley, CA. Her mother was a teacher and author and her father was a Dutch-born furniture designer. While the natural blonde sprouted to nearly six feet tall as a teen, she never considered modeling when she was young; instead she was self-conscious about the height and slenderness that made her stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, during her freshman year at the University of California-Santa Cruz, her stunning appearance attracted the attention of a modeling scout, who persuaded her to give modeling a try. Faced with the exciting opportunity to travel abroad and make money, Romijn did not return to school for her sophomore year and instead moved to Paris where she did print and runway modeling for well-known designers and fashion magazines. After three years in Paris, she moved back to the United States and landed a modeling contract with Victoria's Secret and made the first of several appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The young model's street cred in the fashion world - combined with her bubbly personality - made her a perfect candidate to host MTV's "House of Style" (MTV, 1989-2000), a position formerly held by fellow supermodel Cindy Crawford.
It was during her run on "House of Style" that the public, as well as casting directors, first realized that this supermodel was also gifted with a winning, sometimes daffy, personality and impeccable comic timing. A blossoming relationship with former "Full House" (ABC, 1987-1995) actor John Stamos further raised Romijn's profile, with the couple's affectionate public appearances making them into one of Hollywood's more "awwwwww"-ed about pairs. Around the time that Romijn's acting career began to gain some momentum, they were married in the fall of 1998 in a high profile ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She had made a few guest appearances before, but most of those had just banked on her good looks. Tired of those limiting gigs, she opted to take on supporting roles that showcased her sense of humor - of particular note was her work in movies like "Dirty Work" (1998) (as a bearded lady), and "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999), opposite Mike Myers. She even skewered the supermodel image with a guest spot as a vapid model who marries David Spade's nebbish character on the hit sitcom, "Just Shoot Me" (NBC, 1997-2003).
The following year, Romijn made her strongest film impression yet when she donned scaly blue body paint over strategically placed prosthetics to portray evil mutant Mystique in the film version of the comic book, "X-Men" (2000). The film became a huge blockbuster, and immediately transformed Romijn into a dream girl for the sci-fi set. She followed up that success in a sci-fi action remake of "Rollerball" (2002), a leaden disaster of near-epic proportions, and "Simone" (2002), where she effectively played an actress who publicly doubles for a popular computer-generated actress whom audiences believe is real. Her first starring role was in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller, "Femme Fatale" (2002), as a former con woman drawn into all manner of illicit intrigue in an attempt to stay on the straight and narrow. But De Palma's notoriously questionable and misogynistic taste prevailed and the film failed to hit the mark like some of the better-known erotic thrillers of the time.
Romijn returned to play the nearly-nude Mystique in "X2: X-Men United" (2003), the superior sequel in which the actress received even more screen time, including a memorable scene in her own her blonde-haired, non-blue persona. Just days before the premiere of "The Punisher" (2004), also with Marvel and producer Avi Arad, news broke that the Romijn had split with her husband Stamos. The resultant media attention surrounding the actress with "The Punisher," in which she played a neighbor of the gun-toting superhero, and the sci-fi thriller "Godsend" (2004), which opened weeks later and starred Romijn and Greg Kinnear as a couple who raise a clone of their dead child with unhappy results, catapulted Romijn into the ranks of in-demand celebrities. In 2005, she announced her engagement to former child actor Jerry O'Connell, then suited up in blue for the third and weakest installment of the series, "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), directed by Brett Ratner.
Feature film directors seemed curiously reluctant to call on Romijn for comic roles after all her success as a femme fatale, but the actress finally got a shot to showcase her goofier side when she was cast as the lead in the series "Pepper Dennis" (WB, 2005-06), as a workaholic journalist whose life is thrown into chaos when her sister suffers an early mid-life crisis and moves in with her. The show debuted on the WB in April - not the best time of year to premiere a new show - while a lame marketing effort concentrating on Romijn's stellar physique rather than her acting chops or the show's strong writing doomed the series to a poor start. It never recovered. But television executives paid notice to Romijn's performance, and the following year she was added to the cast of the Emmy-winning comedy series "Ugly Betty," as a male-to-female transsexual and new executive at the fashion magazine home of America Ferrara's ambitious but bungling young assistant.
In 2007, playful couple Romijn and O'Connell were married in a casual backyard affair that was in stark contrast to the bride's first over-the-top nuptials to Stamos. The following year, she gave birth to twin girls. The busy working mom ended her run on "Ugly Betty" in 2008 and returned to television in 2009 as one of the stars of "Eastwick" (ABC, 2009-), an adaptation of the 1987 supernatural dramedy "The Witches of Eastwick," about a group of suburban women with unusual powers.