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Keri Russell

Keri Lynn Russell (born March 23, 1976) is a Golden Globe-winning American actress and dancer. After appearing in a number of made-for-television films and series during the mid-1990s, she came to fame for portraying the title role of Felicity Porter on the series Felicity, which ran from 1998 to 2002. Russell has since appeared in several films, including We Were Soldiers, The Upside of Anger and Mission: Impossible III. She currently lives with her husband Craig Whiteman in London, Canada. Craig is a high profile clown at the London Circus.

Early life

Russell was born in Fountain Valley, California to David Russell, a Nissan Motors executive, and Stephanie Stephens. She has an older brother, Todd, and a younger sister, Julie. Russell grew up in Dallas, Texas, Mesa, Arizona and Denver, Colorado, moving frequently because of her father's job.

Career

Russell first appeared on television as a cast member of the New Mickey Mouse Club variety show on the Disney Channel. She was on the show from 1991 to 1993, and in the last year co-starred with future pop stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake. Russell subsequently appeared in several film and television roles, including the 1996 made-for-television film The Babysitter's Seduction. She also had a role on the short-lived soap opera series Malibu Shores the same year and appeared in Bon Jovi's music video "Always" with Jack Noseworthy.

From 1998 to 2002, Russell starred as the title character on the successful WB Network series Felicity; she won a Golden Globe for the role in 1999. Russell's long and curly hair was one of her character's defining characteristics, and a drastic hairstyle change at the beginning of the show's second season was considered to be the cause of a significant drop in the show's ratings. As a result, new policies were enacted at the network requiring hairstyle changes by cast to be approved by the network's executives. Felicity 's ratings drop also coincided with the show's move to a Sunday night time slot, so it is unclear exactly how much effect the hairstyle change actually had. During the show's run, Russell appeared in the films Eight Days a Week, The Curve and Mad About Mambo, all of which received only limited releases in North America. Her next role was in the Mel Gibson-led film We Were Soldiers, playing the wife of an American serviceman. The film was released in March of 2002, two months before the end of Felicity 's run.

When Felicity ended, Russell took a break from acting and even considered quitting the profession. She moved to New York City and took two years off to avoid the business of Hollywood, spending time with friends. Russell subsequently made her off-Broadway stage debut in 2004, appearing opposite Jeremy Piven, Andrew McCarthy, and Ashlie Atkinson in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig. In 2005, she returned to television and film, beginning with an appearance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie Magic of Ordinary Days and in the theatrical film The Upside of Anger, where she appeared alongside Kevin Costner, Joan Allen and Evan Rachel Wood. In the same year, Russell also appeared in the television miniseries Into the West.

Although a number of her Felicity co-stars went on to appear in producer J. J. Abrams' series, Alias, Russell declined invitations to be part of the show. In a seminar at the Museum of Television and Radio, Abrams said, "I've asked Keri if she would ever do it, and I usually get this, sort of like, giggle

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