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The Career of Actress Jessica Alba

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Starting off as a child actor, she quickly landed the highly sought after lead in James Cameron's popular 1999 series "Dark Angel." However, it was 2004’s “Sin City”, in which she played a rope-twirling stripper, that brought her to the media spotlight. Not only transforming her into a sex icon, this exposure ironically helped her become the invisible woman Sue Storm in the highly anticipated comic-book adaptation “Fantastic Four.” Since then, she has appeared in such films as “Good Luck Chuck”, “The Eye”, “The Love Guru” and "Valentine's Day." Later, she revived her action persona from years earlier by appearing in “Machete”, and venturing into lighter comedic fare in “Little Fockers.” Join as we take a look at the career of actress Jessica Alba.

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The Career of Actress Jessica Alba

She has gone from television actress to major film star and sex symbol. Welcome to and today we’ll be taking a look at the career of Jessica Alba.

Born on April 28th 1981 in Pomona, California, she had a tough start in life due to her father’s military career constantly causing her family to move around, and her own fragile health. These maladies included collapsed lungs, several bouts with pneumonia, a ruptured appendix, a tonsil cyst and asthma.

Despite this, at only twelve years old she entered an acting competition and won free acting classes, which she used to sign an agent several months later.

Almost immediately, Alba landed a part in the feature film comedy “Camp Nowhere”. This was due to being brought on to replace another actress with the same colored hair.

After this, the aspiring young actress began making commercials, before garnering a recurring role as a snob on the popular Nickelodeon comedy series “The Secret World of Alex Mack.”

In 1995, she was given a role in the Oscar-winning drama “Leaving Las Vegas”. Disappointingly, her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. Then, she temporarily moved to Australia to shoot the short-lived television series remake of “Flipper”.

Upon her return she unexpectedly found that she had become bitter toward religion. This was due in large part to her church friends teasing her over playing a girl with throat gonorrhea in an episode of “Chicago Hope."

Taking on several other television projects, and roles in the films “Never Been Kissed” and “Idle Hands”, she decided to compete for the lead in James Cameron’s 1999 Television Sci-fi series “Dark Angel.” To prepare for the part, she adopted an intense training regiment, taking the number one spot on Maxim’s Hot 100 list while showing her sexy side as a hip-hop choreographer in the film “Honey.”

But it was 2004’s “Sin City”, in which she played a rope-twirling stripper that brought her to the media spotlight. Incredibly, this happened despite refusing to appear nude, and going so far as to institute a strict no-nudity clause in all of her future film contracts. Regardless, this persona transformed her into a sex icon and incidentally gave her the role of Sue Storm, the invisible woman, in the highly anticipated comic-book adaptation “Fantastic Four.”

Despite the buzz, the film disappointed critics and fans alike, and she similarly let down moviegoers looking for more than bikini shots in 2005’s “Into The Blue.”

At the same time, the invisible woman drew unwanted attention to herself when she attended the 2005 MTV movie awards in a dress that became transparent when hit with camera flashes. As if that didn’t horrify her enough, a promotional shot from “Into the Blue” made the cover of Playboy Magazine without her knowledge.

After reprising her role in the equally panned Fantastic Four sequel “Rise of the Silver Surfer”, she took on the projects “Good Luck Chuck”, “The Eye” and “The Love Guru”, before she finally reached the top of the box office by starring opposite Ashton Kutcher in the star-studded romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.”

Reviving her action persona from years earlier, she became a special agent in “Machete”, and ventured into lighter comedic fare with “Little Fockers” and 2011’s “Spy Kids 4.”

Fearing becoming typecast as nothing more than a sex kitten, Jessica Alba continues to strive to be taken seriously as a legitimate Hollywood actress, and has decided to become much more selective when taking on future projects.

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