Rachael Leigh Cook

Rachael Leigh Cook Headshot

Actress • Model

Birth Date: October 4, 1979

Age: 44 years old

Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Spouses: Daniel Gillies

Practically born in front of the camera, actress Rachael Leigh Cook began her career in the public eye when she decided to become a model while in the second grade. Before she tried her hand at acting, Cook appeared extensively in print campaigns and was featured in a public service announcement encouraging people to be foster parents.

The Minnesota native began acting at age 15 - a career choice that would have her working steadily through her teen years, appearing as co-star, and later, the lead of numerous features and television programs, including her most famous offering, "She's All That" (1999) - the film that made her a star. Petite, with expressive pixyish features and hair that was at different times, sandy blonde, chestnut brown and everything in between, the versatile actress was drafted to play younger versions of performers as varying as Holly Hunter, Angelina Jolie and Parker Posey.

Born on Oct. 4, 1979 in Minneapolis, MN into a solid middle class family, Cook began modeling at age 10 for Target and Milk-Bone dog biscuits campaigns. While attending Minneapolis South High School, the ambitious teen began auditioning for acting roles, making her film debut in the short, "26 Summer Street" (1994) and gaining national notoriety for a memorable public service announcement for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which produced the famous This Is Your Brain on Drugs ads. In her PSA, Cook demonstrated the debilitating effects of heroin on mind, body and family by smashing an egg in a frying pan before destroying the entire kitchen, ending the ad with the famed tagline, "Any questions?"

Cook made the jump to features, playing Mary Anne in the film "The Baby-Sitter's Club" (1995), based on the popular children's book series. That same year, she co-starred as Becky Thatcher in "Tom and Huck," an adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro. An auspicious beginning with impressive performances unfortunately led next to a role in the forgettable "Carpool" (1996).

Continuing to amass credits, she delivered a small turn in the twisted indie comedy, "The House of Yes" (1997), playing the ubiquitous Parker Posey's obsessed Jackie-O as a child. In 1998, the young actress costarred in "Strike!/The Hairy Bird," a teen comedy set in the 1960s about a girls' boarding school fighting the admittance of boys and featuring such up-and-comers as Kirsten Dunst, Gaby Hoffmann and Monica Keena. As the mischievous and mean-spirited Abby Sawyer, Cook played a part quite unlike her previous good girl roles. Later that year, the busy actress appeared in "Living Out Loud" as the teenaged Judith, as portrayed by an adult Holly Hunter. She starred as a rape victim fighting for custody of her son in the CBS drama, "Country Justice" (1997) and essayed the younger version of Angelina Jolie's character in the miniseries "True Women" (CBS, 1997) - a period piece about the women who helped settle Texas. Cook earned favorable notices as a traumatized assault victim in Showtime's "The Defenders: Payback" (1997), and while the role of the quiet and withdrawn girl called for little dialogue, she capably conveyed the character's emotional fragility.

Cook continued to rack up more film credits, this time in lead roles. As the title character in the teen comedy "She's All That" (1999), featuring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Anna Paquin, she starred as a bespectacled high school nobody who a popular boy bets he can turn into a prom queen. The film was a runaway hit and advanced Cook and Prinze, Jr. to A-list status. Cook was next featured in "The Bumblebee Flies Anyway" (1999) with Elijah Wood, and starred in "The Hi-Line" (1999), a drama about an adopted girl searching for the truth about her origins. While she was wasted as a computer programmer in the pallid thriller "Anti-Trust" (2001), the actress led the pack as an aspiring rock singer and de facto leader of a girl group in "Josie and the Pussycats" (2001). Having formed her own production company, Ben's Sister Productions, Cook added a co-executive producer to her resume with the unreleased indie thriller, "Invisible Girl" (2001).

Cook's talent was wasted in "Blow Dry" (2001), an overblown romantic comedy set in the world of the National Hairdressing Championships where the more outlandish and hair-sprayed styles win the day. In "Texas Rangers" (2001), an earnest but ultimately failed western about the forming of the famed group of lawman, Cook starred as the daughter of an aging sheriff who falls in love with one of the Rangers (James Van Der Beek). After a role in the bank heist comedy "Scorched" (2002), she appeared in "Tangled" (2003), a revenge thriller about a young man (Shawn Hatosy) who pieces together for police the savage beating that landed him in the hospital, including his involvement with his now-missing girlfriend (Cook) and obsessive roommate (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). She then starred in the coming-of-age drama "Stateside" (2003), playing a schizophrenic singer in love with a rich but lonely teenager (Jonathan Tucker) whose mutual love endures despite his forced entry into the Marines and her admittance to a mental institution.

Cook continued appearing in low-budget features, though given the quality of the finished product, an astute observer would have questioned why. In "Bookies" (2003), she played a college student wooed by a small-time bookie (Nick Stahl) who uses his newfound wealth to impress her. Then after a supporting role in the sci-fi noir "The Big Empty" (2003), Cook appeared as a waitress in the indie thriller, "29 Palms" (2003), about a drifter (Jeremy Davies) who steals a bag of money and is hunted down by a hit man (Chris O'Donnell) hired by the owners of a Native American casino. Cook next appeared in the French-made "Tempo" (2004), a run-of-the-mill heist picture in which she played a jewelry store clerk with access to the safe who is approached by an antique smuggler (Hugh Dancy) to rob the store. She followed up that film by playing an inexperienced reporter who discovers she is the target of a serial killer in the straight-to-video release, "American Crime" (2005).

While her onscreen roles seemed to lack the promise after "She's All That," Cook went back to a suddenly more respectable small screen, starting with the epic miniseries, "Into the West" (TNT, 2005), playing a young woman who forges her own way in an unforgiving land. After an appearance on the sketch variety show "Weekends at the D.L." (Comedy Central, 2005) and an episode of the animated satire "Robot Chicken" (Cartoon Network, 2004- ), she landed a recurring role on the hit primetime drama, "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08) playing a real estate agent who falls into a steamy affair with Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel), understudy to the head of security (James Caan) for the fictional Montecito casino. Returning to features, Cook co-starred in "Nancy Drew" (2007), the long-awaited adaptation of the famed teen mystery novels, playing the rightful heir of a murdered film star (Laura Elena Harring) killed decades before, whose death is solved by a quirky tweener detective (Emma Roberts) newly relocated to Hollywood High.

Credits

A Tourist's Guide to LoveStream

Actor
Amanda Riley
Movie
2023
68%

A Tourist's Guide to LoveStream

Producer
Movie
2023
68%

Rescuing ChristmasStream

Actor
Erin Smithson
Movie
2023

Rescuing ChristmasStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2023

Spirit Halloween: The Movie

Actor
Sue
Movie
2022

Celebrity Wheel of FortuneStream

Guest
Game Show
2021

Celebrity Name That TuneStream

Guest
Series
2021

Film Fest

Actor
Movie
2021

He's All ThatStream

Actor
Anna Sawyer
Movie
2021
29%

'Tis the Season to Be MerryStream

Actor
Merry Griffin
Movie
2021

Love, GuaranteedStream

Actor
Susan Whitaker
Movie
2020
58%

Love, GuaranteedStream

Producer
Movie
2020
58%

Cross Country Christmas

Actor
Lina
Movie
2020

Cross Country Christmas

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

Valentine in the VineyardStream

Actor
Frankie Baldwin
Movie
2019

Valentine in the VineyardStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2019

A Blue Ridge Mountain ChristmasStream

Actor
Willow Petersen
Movie
2019

A Blue Ridge Mountain ChristmasStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2019

Frozen in LoveStream

Actor
Mary Campbell
Movie
2018

Frozen in LoveStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2018

Frozen in LoveStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2018

Access Live

Guest
Show
2017

Celebrity Animal Encounters

Self
Show
2017

Daily Pop

Host
News
2017

Summer in the Vineyard

Actor
Frankie Baldwin
Movie
2017

Summer in the Vineyard

Executive Producer
Movie
2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Actor
Hermia
Movie
2017

Today's Take

Guest
Show
2016

Summer Love

Actor
Maya Sulliway
Movie
2016

Autumn in the VineyardStream

Actor
Frankie Baldwin
Movie
2016

Autumn in the VineyardStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2016

Hollywood Today Live

Guest
Show
2014

Red SkyStream

Actor
Karen Brooks
Movie
2014

Home & Family

Guest
Talk
2012

PerceptionStream

Actor
Kate Moretti
Series
2012

Left to Die

Actor
Tammi Chase
Movie
2012

Broken Kingdom

Actor
Marilyn
Movie
2012

Broken Kingdom

Executive Producer
Movie
2012

Kingdom Come

Producer
Movie
2012

Vampire

Actor
Laura King
Movie
2011

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III

Voice
Beru Lars / Gary's Wife
Show
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III

Actor
Beru Lars
Movie
2010

The Family Tree

Actor
Rachel
Movie
2010

Escale en enfer

Actor
Amanda Collier
Movie
2010

Bob Funk

Actor
Ms. Thorne
Movie
2009

The Lodger

Actor
Amanda
Movie
2009

Poliwood

Actor
Movie
2009

Falling Up

Actor
Caitlin O' Shea
Movie
2009

The Golden Door

Actor
Caitlin O' Shea
Movie
2008

Nancy Drew

Actor
Jane Brighton
Movie
2007

The Final Season

Actor
Polly Hudson
Movie
2007

Blonde Ambition

Actor
Haley
Movie
2007

All Hat

Actor
Movie
2007

PsychStream

Guest Star
Series
2006
89%

My First Wedding

Actor
Vanessa
Movie
2006

Ghost WhispererStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Criminal MindsStream

Guest Star
Maxine
Series
2005

Into the West

Actor
Clara Wheeler
Miniseries
2005

Fearless

Actor
Gaia Moore
Show
2005

Robot ChickenStream

Guest Voice
Series
2005

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Voice
Tifa Lockhart
Movie
2004

Stateside

Actor
Dori Lawrence
Movie
2004

American Crime

Actor
Jesse St. Claire
Movie
2004

Las VegasStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

Tempo

Actor
Jenny Travile
Movie
2003

The Big Empty

Actor
Ruthie
Movie
2003

Bookies

Actor
Hunter
Movie
2003

Sally

Actor
Beth
Movie
2002

29 Palms

Actor
The Waitress
Movie
2002

Scorched

Actor
Shmally
Movie
2002

Texas RangersStream

Actor
Caroline Dukes
Movie
2001
2%

Blow Dry

Actor
Christina Robertson
Movie
2001

AntitrustStream

Actor
Lisa Calighan
Movie
2001
24%

Josie and the PussycatsStream

Actor
Josie
Movie
2001
53%

Tangled

Actor
Jenny Kelley
Movie
2001

Tangled

Producer
Movie
2001

Get Carter

Actor
Doreen
Movie
2000

Batman Beyond: Return of the JokerStream

Voice
Chelsea Cunninham
Movie
2000
100%

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

She's All ThatStream

Actor
Laney Boggs
Movie
1999
41%

The Hi-Line

Actor
Vera Johnson
Movie
1999

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

Actor
Movie
1999

Dawson's CreekStream

Guest Star
Series
1998

All I Wanna Do

Actor
Abigail "Abby" Sawyer
Movie
1998

The Naked Man

Actor
Dolores
Movie
1998

True Women

Actor
Show
1997

Le dix-huitième ange

Actor
Movie
1997

Country Justice

Actor
Emma Baker
Movie
1997

The House of YesStream

Actor
Young Jackie-O
Movie
1997
62%

The Eighteenth Angel

Actor
Lucy Stanton
Movie
1997

Carpool

Actor
Kayla
Movie
1996

The Outer LimitsStream

Actor
Cassie Boussard
Series
1995

The Baby-Sitters ClubStream

Actor
Mary Anne Spier
Movie
1995
67%

Tom and Huck

Actor
Becky Thatcher
Movie
1995

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

News aboutRachael Leigh Cook