|April 23, 1979|
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Born Jamie King in Omaha, NE, on April 23, 1979, King's road to the big screen began at the local modeling school at age 12. Two years later, at the school's final presentation, King was discovered by a New York modeling agent and was soon on the fast track to a career, appearing in major magazines including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Allure under the name James - a childhood nickname that set her apart from other Jamie's represented at her agency. Displaying a more playful personality and down-to-earth appeal than the average stone-faced supermodel, King had something special that elevated her status quickly, but along with her early success came big problems. Young and free with money to spend, the model was on the party circuit, and drug use soon became more of a lifestyle than a recreation. When the life of her up-and-coming photographer boyfriend was cut short due to drug-related problems, the model was determined to straighten up her own life and entered a rehab program. By 1998, she was back in business and banking on her personality instead of just her looks as co-host of MTV's "House of Style" alongside Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
In 1999, King began shooting her first feature, "Happy Campers" (2001), co-starring as a camp counselor in the teen comedy written and directed by Daniel Waters. While seen around Hollywood with beau Kid Rock, King appeared in a number of releases in 2001, including brief turns as the grown up daughter of Johnny Depp's enterprising drug dealer in Ted Demme's "Blow" (2001) and a bright and bubbly 17-year-old nurse who sneaks into the navy for adventure in Michael Bay's World War II romantic epic, "Pearl Harbor" (2001). In a pair of back-to back indie comedies, she paired with Joshua Jackson in "Lone Star State of Mind" (2002) as a girl looking to pursue dreams of fame and fortune far from her little Texas hometown, as well as co-starred with Jason Schwartzman as the object of his nerdy college affections in "Slackers" (2002). Back in the world of big budgets, King landed a leading role as a seductive Russian mob princess in the comic book adaptation "Bulletproof Monk" (2002) - a poorly reviewed actioner starring Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott.
Venturing into broad comedy, King had a turn in the Wayans brothers' popular but critically dismissed "White Chicks" (2004) as a bitchy archrival to the masquerading brothers. The beautiful actress was one of the few characters to appear in color in director Robert Rodriguez and artist Frank Miller's visually arresting (and otherwise black-and-white) adaptation of Miller's comic book series, "Sin City" (2005), playing the angelic murdered hooker as well as her vengeful twin opposite. King landed a regular role as a restaurant hostess on the sadly short-lived sitcom "Kitchen Confidential" (Fox, 2005-06), which sparked a romance with co-star Bradley Cooper. After a supporting role in the popular sequel "Cheaper By the Dozen 2" (2005), King's film output was limited to small roles in low-budget releases like "The Alibi" (2006) and the tongue-in-cheek slasher "Tripper" (2006) before she landed a recurring role as a bit of a dimwit on the Emmy-winning sitcom "The Class" (CBS, 2006-07). At the end of 2007, she wed film director Kyle Newman, director of the sci-fi nerd comedy "Fanboys" (2009) in which King had a small role.
King remained a steady presence in primetime with another recurring role as the post-divorce "rebound" girlfriend of "Gary Unmarried" (CBS, 2008- ). Her film career picked up when she was cast in a supporting role in Frank Miller's comic adaptation "The Spirit" (2008) and the gory remake of "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" (2009), which brought in substantial box office numbers. Making a dramatic about-face, King next took the lead in the indie drama "The Pardon" (2009) where she showcased more depth portraying real life character Toni Jo Henry, a survivor of childhood abuse whose brief shot at adult happiness ended in a botched crime and a death sentence. She was again cast as an outlaw in the considerably lighter indie dramedy "A Fork in the Road" (2009) before reprising her dual role in the sequel "Sin City 2" (2010).