American actress, model, and singer Jessica Claire Biel was born in Ely, Minnesota. Her mother, Kimberly is a homemaker and spiritual healer. Her father, Jonathan Biel, worked for GE and was also an entrepreneur and business consultant.Biel's family moved frequently during her childhood, living in Texas, Connecticut, and Woodstock, Illinois, before finally settling in Boulder, Colorado. While growing up, Biel played soccer and also trained as a gymnast.She is also an avid snowboarder.From 2000 to 2002, she attended Tufts University.
Jessica Claire Biel initially trained to be a vocalist from age nine appeared in several musical productions in her hometown. playing lead roles in productions such as The Sound of Music, and Beauty and the Beast.At twelve, Biel attended The International Modeling and Talent Association conference in Los Angeles where she was discovered and signed by a talent agency. She began modeling for print advertisements, and appeared in commercials for products.Biel also played the character Regrettal, a lead role in a low-budget musical short titled It's a Digital World, but the film was never released.
In 1997 Jessica Claire Biel landed her first feature film role as Peter Fonda's granddaughter in the critically acclaimed drama Ulee's Gold. Her performance earned her a Young Artist Award. In spring 1998, during a break from filming 7th Heaven, Biel starred in I'll Be Home for Christmas, playing the love interest of Jonathan Taylor Thomas.In 2000, during the fourth season of 7th Heaven, Biel commented that she had grown tired of playing the wholesome preacher's kid, and blamed the show for giving her a squeaky-clean image, causing her to lose out on a role in American Beauty.In a last-ditch attempt to be released from her contract, she posed semi-nude for the cover of Gear magazine. The shoot sparked considerable controversy as Biel was still under eighteen at the time. Fans and producers of 7th Heaven were outraged, and the latter brought legal action against Gear magazine. She has stated that she regrets the Gear shoot but considers it a learning experience.In 2001, Biel played the love interest of Freddie Prinze, Jr. in the baseball themed movie Summer Catch. The next year she starred as promiscuous college student Lara in the ensemble movie The Rules of Attraction, an adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel.
At the start of 2008, Biel shot Easy Virtue, an adaptation of the play by Noel Coward. Like the play, the movie is set in the 1920s and Biel plays young widow Larita, who impulsively marries John Whittaker in France and must face her disapproving in-laws on returning to England. The film premiered in September 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Critics praised Biel for her performance, with Todd McCarthy of Variety saying Biel "more than kept up" with veterans Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth and praising her "sparkling" performance.The Hollywood Reporter described her performance as "an irresistible force of nature a kind, witty, supremely intelligent and beautiful woman who is capable of rejoinders that thoroughly undercut her opponent's withering criticism.In 2009, Biel lent her voice to the animated science fiction film Planet 51.
Jessica Claire Biel auditioned for the a cappella choir the Tufts Amalgamates while studying at University but was not accepted.She performed two songs on the Easy Virtue soundtrack, "Mad About the Boy" and "When the Going Gets Tough".Biel performed the role of "Sarah Brown" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a fully staged concert production of Guys and Dolls during the 2009 season at the Hollywood Bowl.On the last night, she received a rousing standing ovation from 17,000 people.Biel also landed a part in Lincoln Center Theater's two weeks long workshop of the musical version of the Pedro Almodóvar classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, along with Salma Hayek.