Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981 in Pomona, California, USA) is an American actress. She is known for her roles in movies such as Idle Hands, and her starring role in the TV series Dark Angel. She got her first starring movie role in Honey, and went on to appear in prominent roles in Sin City and Fantastic Four.
Alba was born to a Mexican mestizo father of Spanish and Native Mexican descent; her maternal grandfather was Danish, and her maternal grandmother was of French, Italian and English descent. Alba was raised in a military family, living with her parents, her brother Joshua, and her grandparents until she was sixteen. She grew up a sports fanatic and terrorized teachers and grandparents alike with her rebellious behavior. Her father's navy career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Del Rio, Texas, before they settled back in California when she was nine. Alba's early life was marked by a multitude of physical maladies, as she suffered collapsed lungs twice, had pneumonia 4-5 times a year, and suffered a burst appendix, a cyst on her tonsils, asthma, anorexia, and a kidney infection. This served to isolate her from other children at school because, as she claims, she was in the hospital so often that no one knew her well enough to befriend her. She also revealed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that she suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a child. Her health improved, however, when her family moved to California.
Alba had expressed interest in becoming an actress since the age of five, took her first acting class at age twelve, and was signed by an agent nine months later.
Alba's first appearance in film was a small role in the 1994 feature Camp Nowhere, as Gail. She was originally hired for two weeks but her role soon turned into a two month job when the actress in one of the more prominent roles in the film dropped out, and Alba was picked to replace her because her hair matched that of the original actress.
Alba appeared in two national TV commercials for Nintendo and J.C. Penney, and later was featured in several independent films. She branched out into TV in 1994 with a recurring role as insufferable young snob Jessica in three episodes of the popular Nickelodeon comedy series The Secret World of Alex Mack. She then won the role of Maya in the first two seasons of the TV series Flipper. Under the tutelage of her lifeguard mother, Alba had learned to swim before she could walk, and was a PADI-certified scuba diver, skills which were put to good use on the show, which was filmed in Australia. In 1995 she appeared in the film Venus Rising as Young Eve.
After graduating from high school at age sixteen, Alba studied acting with William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, at the Atlantic Theater Company, which was developed by Macy and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and film director David Mamet.
In 1998 she appeared as Melissa Hauer in a first-season episode of the Steven Bochco crime-drama Brooklyn South, as Leanne in two episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, and as Layla in an episode of The Love Boat: The Next Wave. In 1999 she appeared in the Randy Quaid comedy feature P.U.N.K.S..
Alba rose to greater prominence in Hollywood in 1999 after appearing as a member of a snobby high school clique in the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, and as the female lead in the 1999 comedy-horror film Idle Hands, opposite Devon Sawa. Her big break may have been as the star of the popular Fox sci-fi TV series Dark Angel, which was co-created by writer/director James Cameron, who picked Alba from a pool of 1,200 candidates for the role of genetically-engineered super soldier Max Guevera. The show ran for two seasons before being cancelled in 2002. Since then her most notable roles have been as an aspiring dancer/choreographer in Honey, the stripper Nancy Callahan in Sin City, and as the classic Marvel Comics character Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four.
Alba's most serious award nomination to date is that of a Golden Globe for "Lead Actress in a Drama Series" during the first season of Dark Angel. She did not win.
She has stated that despite being an extremely ambitious actress who desires the level of fame enjoyed by stars like Tom Cruise, she once told James Cameron during filming on Dark Angel that she did not want to direct because it appeared to be too difficult an undertaking, but that he responded with the prediction that she would end up directing sooner than she expected.
Alba was engaged to her Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly for a year. In January 2005 she began dating Cash Warren, a director's assistant on Fantastic Four, whom she met when filming that movie.
Regarding children, Jessica has stated:
I'm really girly when it comes to kids. I've been surrounded by kids my whole life because I'm the oldest of 15 cousins - I've been changing diapers since I was six. I want to have a couple, for sure.
She announced on the UK teen site "Teen Today" in 2005, prior to the birth of her brother's child, that she was beginning a children's clothing line:
"About four of my girlfriends have babies so they have no time for me. I figure if I can do baby clothes maybe they'll have more time to hang out!" 
One of the reasons why I chose not to be (a devout Christian) is because a lot of people gave me a lot of grief for just being a woman and made me feel ashamed for having a body because it tempted men. I didn't understand what that meant because I was like, 'God created this...' That was a hard time in my life. 
As the daughter of conservative parents, Alba, whose grandparents did not even allow her to wear a bathing suit around the house, maintains a no-nudity clause in her contract, though she has claimed she had been willing to be nude in Sin City. She remarked of a GQ shoot in which she was scantily-clad:
"They didn't want me to wear the granny panties but I said, 'If I'm gonna be topless I need to wear granny panties."
- Her brother Joshua appeared with her in "And Jesus Brought a Casserole," the first season finale of Dark Angel, in which he played Krit, one of her X-5 brothers who wanted to help destroy Manticore.
- She has a tattoo of a daisy with a ladybug on it on the back of her neck, and one of a butterfly just above her anal cleft. 
- According to an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, her measurements are 34-24-34. 
- Jessica Alba revealed that she envisions a much older man as her ideal partner, having stated, "Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Michael Caine I have this thing for older men. They've been around and know so much." 
- Jessica is presently Tiger Beer's new face in commercials.
- Interview in Hollywood Life magazine; September/October 2005 Pages 44-49; 106.
- Interview on Access Hollywood September 21, 2005
- OK! magazine; October 3, 2005; Pages 34-39
- Interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; September 26, 2005
- Camp Nowhere (1994)
- Venus Rising (1995)
- Flipper (cast member from 1995-1996) (TV series)
- Too Soon for Jeff (1996) (TV series)
- P.U.N.K.S. (1999)
- Never Been Kissed (1999)
- Idle Hands (1999)
- Paranoid (2000)
- Dark Angel (2000-2002) (TV series)
- The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)
- Honey (2003)
- Sin City (2005)
- Fantastic Four (2005)
- Into the Blue (2005)
- A Dream of Color in Black and White (2005) (currently in post-production)
- Sonic (2006) (currently announced start of production) (also executive producer)
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