Born: March 23, 1976
Date of Birth: March 23, 1976
A valley girl by birth, Keri Russell came into the world in Fountain Valley, CA, the second of her parents' three children. Relocating to Mesa, Arizona, it was during her years there that Russell took an interest in performing; in particular, a passion for dance. She toured the country as a member of the Mesa Stars Dance and Drill team, and eventually won a number of prestigious dance scholarships. At 15, she caught the eye of a fashion photographer who convinced her to embark on an extremely short-lived modeling career.
Shortly before she was due to begin high school, Russell's family moved yet again, this time to Denver, Colorado. Keeping her nose to the career grindstone, Russell wound up on Star Search, which brought her to the attention of Disney. Beginning in 1991, she put in three years as a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel's All New Mickey Mouse Club, and made her feature-film debut as a babysitter in 1992's Honey I Blew Up the Kid. When her Mickey Mouse gig was up, Russell, 17, took that time-honored step of relocating to Southern California in search of a wider range of acting opportunities. Almost immediately her determination was rewarded with a regular role in the 1994 CBS sitcom Daddy's Girls, but the show didn't last out the season.
In 1996, she landed the title role in the NBC movie The Babysitter's Seduction and got her first series television lead, heading up the cast of uber producer Aaron Spelling's primetime sudser Malibu Shores which suffered the same fate as her previous series.
Russell devoted 1997 to a starring role in her second feature film, Eight Days a Week, and to another lead role in a TV movie, When Innocence Is Lost. Perhaps given her past experience with series television, Russell walked away from her initial audition for Felicity certain that she had blown her chances. However, the series creators later said they were convinced they'd found their star from the moment she arrived on the set. Set at a fictional university in New York City, the series debuted to strong ratings and even landed Russell a Golden Globe. While critics and viewers alike spent the summer of 1998 slavering in anticipation of Felicity, Russell's third feature film, the festival circuit hit The Curve, was awarded a brief theatrical run.
When Felicity was cancelled after four seasons, Russell had the opportunity to concentrate on feature film work. Having played her first lead feature role as an Irish dancer who wins the heart of a soccer player in the romantic comedy Mad About Mambo (2000), Russell moved on to roles in the big-budget films such as We Were Soldiers (2002) with Mel Gibson and The Upside of Anger (2005) with Kevin Costner. She most recently starred in comedy flick Austenland(2013), the action sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and the civil war drama Free State of Jones (2016).
Russell began dating her The Americans co-star Matthew Rhys in 2013, and the couple welcomed their first son in May 2016.
Filmography:Free State of Jones (2016)