A veteran of over 50 productions for both television and film, Jennifer Beals struck pay dirt early with her performance as Alex Owens in “Flashdance” in 1983. Not yet 20-years-old at the time of the film’s release, Jennifer’s abilities caught the eye of Prince, who sought her for the role of Apollonia for his film debut “Purple Rain.” Jennifer, however, wanted to get through school first. She graduated Yale with an American Literature degree in 1986.
Born in Chicago to an African-American father and an Irish-American mother, Jennifer’s father died when she was 10. Working as both a teen model and at Baskin-Robbins, “Flashdance” opened the door to the entertainment world for Jennifer, providing a steady career of both offbeat and mainstream projects, including “The Last Days of Disco,” “Rodger Dodger,” as well as “Runaway Jury” and “The Grudge 2.”
Jennifer found a cult following when she took on the roll of Bette Porter in the Showtime series “The L Word” in 2004. To both critics and audiences alike, Jennifer has thrived as the Ivy League-educated lesbian, and as an actress Jennifer has shown range – yet another example of a middle-aged actress reaching her peak while in her 40s. Throughout her three-plus decades in show business, Jennifer has shown both durability and a curiosity for trying new things that have only proven to benefit her as well as the fans who follow every new turn.
Jennifer Beals in "The L Word"
Jennifer on the Web
Jennifer’s Internet Movie Database page.
TV Guide: Jennifer Beals
Detailed bio, photos, video clips and news of Jennifer.
Brief bio of Jennifer’s life and times.
“The Daily Show” Interview
Jennifer chats with Jon Stewart in 2000.
Stumped Magazine Interview
Lengthy interview with Jennifer covering a wide variety of topics.
About.com “The Grudge 2” Video Interview
Jennifer on the red carpet talks about “The Grudge 2.”
Jennifer on the Screen
Jennifer’s breakout, 1983’s “Flashdance,” also earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 1984. Since then it’s been an interesting career, with a supporting role in the Gene Hackman boxing picture “Split Decisions” in 1988, the comedy “In the Soup” (directed by then-husband Alexandre Rockwell), the Denzel Washington mystery-thriller “Devil in a Blue Dress” in 1995, the Civil War TV event “A House Divided” in 2000, and as Bette Porter on “The L Word.”
Jennifer, who married second husband Ken Dixon in 1998, had a daughter in 2005. She was Celebrity Grand Marshal in the 2006 San Francisco Pride Parade, and is back at work on the fifth season of “The L Word.”
“I can't imagine being Julia Roberts. I don't have the fortitude to withstand that kind of attention.”
On Eddie Vedder:
“A couple of years ago I had a big crush on Eddie Vedder. I told my husband, ‘Do not let me be in the same room with Eddie Vedder.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry. I won’t.”