Amanda Seyfried Images 2012 & Biography

With talent, looks and charm, actress Amanda Seyfried delivered several scene-stealing performances in hit teen comedies, edgy independents and compelling television series before landing her breakthrough role as the rebellious daughter of a polygamist family on "Big Love" (HBO, 2006- ). Seyfried first gained notice as a ditsy member of a group of high school "Mean Girls" (2004), which led into a more mature performance in the adult drama, "Nine Lives" (2005). While her career was on an upswing thanks to "Big Love," Seyfried became a bona fide star following a leading turn in the smash hit feature "Mamma Mia!" (2008), a musical adaptation of the Broadway musical inspired by pop group ABBA. From there, she carried the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' "Dear John" (2010) while taking risks with Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller "Cloe" (2010), both of which proved to be smart choices that kept audiences guessing what she would do next while foretelling more promising work to come.

Born on Dec. 3, 1985, Amanda Louise Seyfried grew up in Allentown, PA, and was raised by her father, Jack, a pharmacist, and her mother, Ann, an occupational therapist. When she was 11 years old, she began modeling and took singing lessons until she was 17, all of which helped prepare her for a career in the arts. While a teenage model, Seyfried appeared on the covers of three books by Francine Pascal - My Mother Was Never a Kid, Love & Betrayal & Hold the Mayo and My First Love and Other Disasters - author of the popular Sweet Valley High series. Seyfried started acting while attending William Allen High School, which led to her role in 2000 as Lucinda Marie on "As the World Turns" (CBS, 1956- ), followed by a recurring appearance from 2002-03 as Joni Stafford on "All My Children" (ABC, 1970- ).

Following high school graduation, Seyfried enrolled at Fordham University in New York, only to put her education on hold when she was cast as Karen Smith, the ditsy member of the Plastics, in the hit high school comedy "Mean Girls" (2004), which also starred Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. Seyfried initially tried out for the roles of naïve Cady (Lohan) and queen bee Regina (McAdams), but there was something about taking on the loveable airhead role that made Seyfried a major standout in the film. "Mean Girls" became such a hit that Seyfried could have gone after lighthearted roles that were similar to the dumb blonde routine she nailed in that film; instead, she went after intricate, character-driven projects, including a leading role in "Nine Lives" (2005), an interwoven story about nine women that also starred Robin Wright Penn and Academy-Award winner Holly Hunter.

After her appearances on the big screen, Seyfried returned to television, playing Lilly Kane - the title character's murdered best friend - on "Veronica Mars" (UPN/The CW, 2004-07). The actress' role involved flashbacks and visions, and was often compared to the tragic Laura Palmer character from "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91). Coincidentally, Seyfried also auditioned to play Veronica, a role that eventually went to Kristen Bell. Following guest appearances on "House" (FOX, 2004- ), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ), an increasingly busy Seyfried landed her first regular dramatic series role with "Big Love" (2006- ). On the hit HBO drama about a polygamist family led by a hardware chain store owner (Bill Paxton) trying to stay under the radar, Seyfried impressed critics and audiences with her emotionally-charged performance as the eldest daughter who constantly struggles and butts heads over the family's polygamist beliefs.

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