Also Credited As:Kimberly Alexis Bledel
|Kimberly Alexis Bledel on September 16, 1981 in Houston, Texas, USA|
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Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born on Sept. 16, 1981 in Houston, TX. Family and friends called her by her first name Kimberly, including her Argentinean father Martin, Mexican-American mother Nanette, and younger brother Eric. Growing up, the raven-haired star spoke Spanish primarily and picked up English while attending St. Agnes Academy in Houston. To help her daughter overcome shyness, Nanette encouraged her to act in community theater, where she appeared in productions of "Our Town" and "The Wizard of Oz," as well as did a little fashion modeling, for which she traveled to Tokyo, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles. Bledel went on to Page Parkes Center for Modeling and Acting before enrolling in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a film major.
The up-and-coming actress had a blink-and-you'll-miss her cameo in the Wes Anderson film "Rushmore" (1998) as a student in a classroom. In 2000, after a year at NYU Film School, the Texas native was cast after her first ever audition as Rory Gilmore opposite Lauren Graham in the series, "Gilmore Girls." The lovely, shy, and Yale-educated character was very similar to the actress, who blossomed into a lady onscreen and inspired millions of adolescent fans to always stay true to themselves. The role also earned Bledel a Teen Choice Award nomination in 2004 for Choice TV Actress: Comedy, an award she won in 2005 and 2006. One of her co-stars - and Rory's love interest - on the show was actor Milo Ventimiglia, whom Bledel dated from 2002 to 2006, before the actor found fame as Peter Petrelli on "Heroes" (NBC, 2006- ).
Just two years after getting the lead role on the show, the actress was included on People magazine's list of "Hottest Stars Under 25." Her promising career took off even further with her first big screen role as Winifred "Winnie" Foster, a young woman who falls for an immortal in 2002's "Tuck Everlasting." Her fairy tale resume also included a role as Goldilocks in 2004's "DysEnchanted," a movie about seven storybook heroines who meet weekly in group therapy.
Bledel shed her good-girl image - at least onscreen - in "Sin City" (2005), where she brought to life one of Basin City's gun-wielding prostitutes in the highly stylized adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels. Bledel's other high profile project that year was "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a film based on Brashares' novels about four friends who share a magical pair of jeans. Bledel shared the leading role with other young Hollywood power players, including America Ferrara, Amber Tamblyn and Blake Lively - who went on to star in "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006- ), "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05) and "Gossip Girl" (CW, 2007- ), respectively. All four stars were nominated for Teen Choice Awards in 2005 for their performances, while the movie was nominated for Choice Drama.
Three years later, after rumors swirled that the cast were not interested in making another movie, the foursome reunited in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." "Part 1 wasn't necessarily big at the box office, but the DVD was huge," Bledel said. "In Part 2, we are all a little older, and we're off to college and new challenges." Having said goodbye to her star-making role of Rory Gilmore after the show's 2007 bow, Bledel filmed "The Good Guy" opposite "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 2006- ) actor Scott Porter, starring as his character's girlfriend in the 2009 film. She also starred as Ryden Malby in "Post Grad" (2009), a comedy about a recent college grad who moves back in with her eccentric family and figures out what to do next, in which she co-starred with comic legend Carol Burnett. She followed that with a high-profile role in Robert Redford's historical drama "The Conspirator" (2010), about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She next starred opposite Saoirse Ronan in the dark action comedy "Violet and Daisy" (2011) before returning to television with an arc on the acclaimed drama "Mad Men (AMC 2007-2015) in which she played a Connecticut housewife opposite Vincent Kartheiser's Pete Campbell. (Bledel and Kartheiser became a real-life couple, marrying in June 2014.) Bledel was announced as one of the co-stars, opposite Josh Ritter, in an American remake of the hit British romantic comedy "Gavin and Stacey" (BBC 2007-2010) entitled "Us and Them." Although several episodes of the Fox series were shot, it never made it to air.