Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rachael Leigh Cook

Rachael Leigh Cook (born October 4, 1979) is an American actress, known for her role in the romantic comedy She's All That and her This is Your Brain on Drugs public service announcement.Cook was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of JoAnn, a cooking instructor and weaver, and Thomas H. Cook, a social worker and former stand-up comic. Cook attended school at Clara Barton Open, Laurel Springs School and Minneapolis South High School. She began working as a print model at the age of 10, most notably in nationwide advertisements for Target and appearing on the boxes of Milk-Bone dog biscuits! At the age of 14, Cook began auditioning for acting work. Her modeling agency sent her to read for a short film, 26 Summer Street (1996). She first gained national attention in 1998, when she was featured in a This Is Your Brain on Drugs public-service television advertisement, in which she proceeds to destroy a kitchen with a frying pan as she lists the things that heroin harms. Cook made her debut as an actress in the 1995 film The Baby-Sitters Club, which was based on Ann M. Martin's book series of the same name. Her second movie role was in Tom and Huck, where she portrayed Rebecca "Becky" Thatcher.

In 1997, Cook appeared in a leading role in the film Country Justice as a 15-year-old rape victim who is impregnated by her rapist. Cook's two highest-profile lead roles to date have been in the films She's All That (1999) and Josie and the Pussycats (2001). Cook has also appeared in a number of independent films and in the 2005 television miniseries Into the West. In 2000, she was the cover girl for the premier issue of FHM US (March/April issue). Cook also provided the voice for Chelsea Cunningham on the Kids' WB animated series Batman Beyond in the episode "Last Resort" and in the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. In 2002, she was ranked #26 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". Cook has provided the voice of Tifa Lockhart in the video games Kingdom Hearts II, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, as well as the CG movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. She also starred in the video for New Found Glory's 2000 single "Dressed to Kill". Cook's latest voice-over role is for the video game Yakuza where she voices the role of Reina, a beautiful barkeep. She has also appeared in Daniel Powter's "Love You Lately". Cook owns her own production company, Ben's Sister Productions (in reference to her younger brother, an aspiring filmmaker). Cook eventually stepped away from the spotlight to focus on spending time with friends and family.

She later returned to mainstream films when she signed on to a new casting agency. Cook was later cast in a role in the big screen adaptation of Nancy Drew, the female lead in the independent sports drama The Final Season, and playing a small supporting lead in Blonde Ambition. Cook has appeared in numerous episodes of the Seth Green-created comedies, Titan Maximum and Robot Chicken. Although Robot Chicken featured an episode that parodied Final Fantasy VII which involved Tifa Lockhart (a character Cook voiced in Advent Children), in this parody there were no voices, but simply text like in the original game. She has, however, parodied the "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" role she made famous, by destroying her kitchen with her frying pan. In 2008, she guest-starred in an episode of the USA Network series Psych as Abigail Lytar, an old flame of Shawn Spencer. She returned in the season finale where Abigail and Shawn start dating and has since appeared in many more episodes in the following season. In February 2010, Rachael Leigh Cook signed on as the female lead in Fox TV's comedy pilot Nirvana. She will star in the Western horror film Vampire, which is the English-language feature debut of Japanese director Iwai Shunji. In 2011, she was selected by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change for Arts Education. In 2004 Cook married actor Daniel Gillies. Cook, a vegetarian, lives mostly in Los Angeles with her three dogs, but frequently goes back to visit her family in Minnesota. Cook stated she is strongly considering adopting a child from a third world country.

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