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Jennifer Love Hewitt - Biography & Career

Jennifer Love Hewitt -- "Love" to family and friends -- was born in Waco, Texas, on February 21, 1979, and raised by her mother (her parents got divorced when Hewitt was a mere 6 months old).

Since childhood, Hewitt had a passion for singing and by the time she was 10, she was able to add dancing to her talents. Although the young Hewitt had already performed at shows and toured with the Texas Show Team, she had bigger aspirations: she wanted to take on Hollywood.

It didn't take long for Hewitt to receive her first acting gig after moving with her mother to California. She became a regular on Kids Incorporated, a series on the Disney Channel that also featured the Black Eyes Peas' female vocalist, Fergie.

While working on the show from 1989 to 1991, Hewitt also appeared in commercials for products such as Mattel and L.A. Gear. She put her dancing talents to use as an L.A. Gear dancer, and strutted her stuff at trade shows in Japan and Paris.

In 1991 she flexed in a Barbie dance workout video, and exercised her voice by singing the songs included on the video. One year later, Love Songs, Hewitt's first album, was released in Japan (not in the U.S.).

Next came film roles. In 1992, Hewitt got a part in the children's movie Munchie, which only made it to video shelves. In 1993, she landed a role in TV's Shaky Ground. That same year, Hewitt joined Lauryn Hill and Whoopi Goldberg in the sequel to the comedy Sister Act, entitled Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, her film debut. This was a year of firsts, as Hewitt landed her first starring role in Little Miss Millions, a USA network movie. After working on two short-lived network shows, McKenna and The Byrds of Paradise, Hewitt released her second album, Let's Go Bang, in 1995.

1995 was Hewitt's breakthrough year, as she landed the part of Sarah Reeves on the FOX drama, Part of Five. Hewitt's role was originally not supposed to be more than a minor role, but she eventually became a regular on the hit show that spawned the careers of other talented beauties like Neve Campbell and Lacey Chabert.

While working on Party of Five, Hewitt's third musical effort was released in 1996, the same year she appeared in her second feature film, House Arrest. A string of movie roles followed: she starred in the teen thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer with Sarah Michelle Gellar in 1997, as well as Trojan War that same year.

While working on the set of Party of Five and various films, and recording albums, Hewitt still made time for her education by doing correspondence courses, and eventually graduated from Laurel Springs High.

After Jennifer (and her cleavage) starred in 1998's Can't Hardly Wait, she reprised her role as Julie James for the sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and appeared in 1999's The Suburbans.

Hewitt left Party of Five before the last season of the series to produce and star in its spin-off, Time of Your Life, which found Sarah relocating to New York to seek her real father. Unfortunately, Time of Your Life, which debuted in 1999, did not have a party with the ratings, and was canceled after one season.

After starring as her idol Audrey Hepburn in the made-for-TV movie, The Audrey Hepburn Story, Hewitt co-starred with Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman in the 2001 con-artist comedy, Heartbreakers. The movie received mixed reviews, despite the emphasis on Jennifer's tight skirts and pushup bras.

That year, she was rumored to be romantically linked to singer Enrique Iglesias, and turned up to play his romantic interest in his video for "Hero." Despite the chemistry the two displayed onscreen, it seems they are just friends.

In August 2002, Jennifer made her American public singing debut at the Teen Choice Awards. She released her fourth album, Barenaked, in October 2002. Meredith Brooks (of "Bitch" fame) helped out in the production and songwriting departments.

Hewitt next appeared onscreen as a sexy secret agent in the action flick, The Tuxedo (2002), co-starring Jackie Chan.

Although Hewitt was out of the spotlight for a while, she was apparently busy filming movies: in 2004, she adds If Only, Garfield: The Movie (based on the popular cartoon and comic strip), Delgo (she lends her voice to the animated film), Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn, and TV's The Magic 7 to her resume.

Jennifer's also set to star in an ABC comedy show, in which she'll play a sports producer and single mom who becomes a reporter, and will also star alongside Kelsey Grammer in the NBC musical A Christmas Carol.