Biel, born March 3, 1982, had a principal, yet obscure role
in the teen family drama 7th Heavenon the WB network in the
late 1990s. Then Jessica moved instantly moved herself
to the spotlight with a controversial layout in Gear magazine
inMarch 2000 in which even her own television dad on 7th Heaven,
Stephen Collins, has called 'child pornography'. Jessica's
18th birthday was about 3 months after her photo shoot with
the Bob Guccione Jr. backed magazine. By Jessica's own admission,
the cheesy topless layout was done to provoke Aaron Spelling
into releasing her from her contract. She has said that Spelling
angrily told Biel "I
though Spelling denies the charges.
read TV Guide saw this tension coming as in a March '99 interview
with them she caught the ire of 7th Heaven producers by saying
she'd like to see her character "have sex with one of
the bishops or something."
upset the crew on 7th Heaven by cutting her own hair before
the start of the '99 season, where she exclaimed "The
producers were pissed. I told them, 'Hey, it grows back.' But
they didn't see it that way."
attitude at that time lead many to compare her to Shannen
Doherty, the controversial former 90210 actress who also heated
up the Spelling set with hissy fits and controversy. Insiders
at 7th Heaven have labeled Biel a 'bitch' right from the start
as an inside source tells E! Online "She's always
been unhappy with her storylines".
In the Gear
interview, Biel showrd her tremendous immaturity by saying
of her television sister, Beverly Mitchell, "I'll grab
her by the tits and be like, 'Look at the size of these things,'
It really pissed her off."
Most of Jessica's
concern early in her career was her inability to land the sex
oriented roles that many of her teen oriented peers had , though
she had just won the female lead role opposite Freddie Prinze
Jr. in Summer Catch.
oriented role as Mary Camden on 7th Heaven had, she
said, caused movie producers to shy away from her and she was
worried about getting typecast. She says of her character on
the show "I'd
kick her fucking ass. I'd kick the shit out of her and then
she'd apologize for hurting my fists."
has did nothing to change Spellings feelings about her staying
on the show, as a spokesperson stated she was under
contract for the next two seasons and they are looking
forward to working with her until that ends. Later,
Jessica said she regretted the entire Gear magazine stunt and
counts the entire ordeal as a learning experience.
Jessica's younger days were tamer, where she was born in
Ely, Minnesota and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Jessica started
doing plays at the age of nine with roles in The Sound of
Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and Anything Goes.
while attending Diane Hardin's Young Actor's Space in Los
Angeles, Jessica was discovered by her current manager (and
incidentally, he and Jessica's father were at the Gear
photo shoot when the pictures were taken) Jeff Morrone
at Innovative Artists.
were several modeling covers including Sassy Magazine in '96,
Teen and Moxie Girl in 1998, and the huge honor from People
Magazine in '99 when they named her one of the worlds 50 most
career began in 1996 where she played Mary Camden, the oldest
daughter of a minister couple in the aforementioned 7th Heaven.
She also branched out to the big screen with parts in Ulee's
Gold in '97 and I'll Be Home For Christmas in 1998, where
she played opposite Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor
latest role in the blockbuster series Blade, Jessica should now have
the door open to many other leads in major motion pictures
in the years to come.