Amanda Peet

Born Nov. 11, 1972, in New York, Amanda Peet attended Columbia University and received a B.A. in history, but it was her drama professor's urging her to audition for acting teacher Uta Hagen that fixed the direction of Peet's career. Studying with Hagen for four years, Peet made her professional debut in an off-Broadway revival of "Awake and Sing."

Peet soon made her entry into feature films (Animal Room, 1995) and TV (an episode of "Law & Order"), and her acting career was off and running. A role in the romantic comedy One Fine Day followed, and Peet has since been featured in increasingly prominent roles, finally achieving leading-lady status with 2000's The Whole Nine Yards.

More recently, Peet has achieved notice playing Jeff Goldblum's heroin-addicted mistress in Igby Goes Down, Jack Nicholson's much younger lover in Something's Gotta Give and the wife of an oil analyst in Syriana.