Born: February 28, 1985
Date of Birth: February 28, 1985
Born in Detroit, Michigan, from an early age Lena Cardwell dreamed of being a performer. Her mother paid for dancing and gymnastics lessons, but to earn extra money for acting and music lessons, at nine years of age the little girl began singing for money in Detroit's Eastern Market. She then auditioned for and landed a commercial to be shot in New York, and she and her mother packed everything and moved to the Big Apple, thinking that this would be their big break. Unfortunately, when they arrived they found that the commercial had been cancelled. With no money and nowhere to stay, they lived on the streets, in bus terminals and train stations. Meanwhile, Cardwell sang in subway stations and on street corners to make money, and she earned enough not only for food, but to pay for dance lessons.
She enrolled at Manhattan's Professional Performing Arts School and landed an agent, but it was two years before they had saved up enough money to share an apartment with a roommate. At the age of 12, Cardwell landed a small role in the feature film The Object of My Affection (1998) starring Jennifer Aniston. Shortly after, she played a guest role on the Fox TV series New York Undercover, and by the time she was 14, Cardwell won the regular role of Simone Russell on the brand new NBC daytime soap Passions, to be taped in California. They made the move to the West Coast, and she stayed with the show for two years before leaving to embark on a second career as a recording artist. Her first album, Black Barbee, was released in October 2001, and her second album, Country Angel, was released in September 2002.
Other TV guest appearances include The Steve Harvey Show, The Nightmare Room, Power Rangers Wild Force and My Wife and Kids. Her first major role in a feature was in the thriller Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003), playing the role of Chelsea Farmer. Cardwell lives in Los Angeles with her mother and in her spare time, enjoys martial arts, horseback riding, ballet, jazz, hip hop and gymnastics.