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Ali Larter - Biography & Career

Alison Gertrude Larter was born February 28, 1976, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She and her sister Kristen both enjoyed a stable upbringing, and there was little to distinguish the young Ali from other children her age, beyond her remarkable beauty.

By age 13, Ali embarked on what would evolve into a fairly successful modeling career under the tutelage of the world-renowned Ford Modeling Agency. It was thus that a portion of Ali's teenage years came to be spent in various locales, being whisked from one photo shoot to another. At 17, Ali's profession brought her to Japan, where she settled temporarily.

Ali's homecoming to New Jersey proved a transient one, and at 19 she was on the road again, accompanying a boyfriend in his move to Los Angeles. While the boyfriend wouldn't last long, Ali's new home would, and, after taking a brief sojourn in Australia (to put some time and space between her and her ex), she set up camp on the West Coast. On the advice of a friend, Ali began taking acting classes, and was soon appearing in stage productions of Fine Line and Key Exchange.

While building a background in stage work certainly may have helped Ali toward breaking into film, luck had a hand in launching her into the entertainment spotlight in a rather unlikely fashion. In November of 1996, Esquire magazine published a satirical stab at the Hollywood publicity machine in the form of a hoax profile of an "Allegra Coleman," touted in the feature as "Hollywood's Next Dream Girl." Ali was chosen as the model to portray this fictional persona and immediately following the magazine's release, Esquire's offices were flooded with calls from agencies seeking to represent the purported hot "new star."

Even after the hoax had been revealed, its effects seemed to linger, and in a final ironic twist, Ali found that she was still the object of agencies' wooing. With her career having been accelerated through widespread exposure, Ali left the stage behind her, and began auditioning for film and television.

Ali's first professional role was in a 1997 guest spot on the television series, Chicago Sons, which was followed by a number of other brief appearances on Dawson's Creek, Chicago Hope and Just Shoot Me. Her first feature film role came in the 1999 independent comedy Casanova Falling, a movie which, although critically well-received and the recipient of that year's Palm Springs Film Festival Award for Best Romantic Comedy, failed to capture a wide audience.

Ali's next project alongside James Van Der Beek (whom she had worked with on the set of Dawson's Creek) in Varsity Blues proved much more fruitful. In addition to the film's success at the box office, Ali's appearance in it, at one point wearing nothing more than a few mounds of whipped cream, earned her an instant fan base. Her "Allegra Coleman" alias had provided Ali with passage into the entertainment industry, but it was her role in Varsity Blues that secured her a place in it.

Ali's next two roles, as a co-star to Melissa Joan Hart in Drive Me Crazy and in the horror remake House on Haunted Hill, solidified her standing as one of Hollywood's hot young faces. Her following part, in the teenie thriller Final Destination, established her as one of the more talented among them. The movie turned out to be the sleeper hit of 2000, and Ali's performance in it as the pensive loner Clear Rivers was the object of much critical acclaim, in addition to winning her a Young Hollywood Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by a Female.

She went on to make three more films in 2001, as Jesse James' wife in the ill-fated American Outlaws, a fitness guru on trial for murder in Legally Blonde, and a lesbian jewel thief in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Ali has made it clear in interviews that she has no interest in returning to television work and, given the progression of her career thus far, it seems that she will have no need to. Her next feature appearance will be in Final Destination 2, slated for release in the spring of 2003.