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Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Philanthropic film star and wife to Justin Timberlake – but what’s behind the rise to fame for the star of the arresting Netflix series The Sinner?

Born in the innocuous town of Ely, Minnesota, with a panoply of Hungarian Jewish, German, French, Irish and English ancestry in her blood, Biel’s young life was extremely peripatetic as her family moved frequently around the US before settling in Boulder, California. Having acquired a modelling agent when she was 11, she followed the same path as many Hollywood A-listers and musical stars who owe their success to presenting the Mickey Mouse Club or long-running stints on the American network shows. So when she was 14 in 1996, Jessica began a decade-long stint playing Mary Camden on the US network show, 7th Heaven.

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel’s breakthrough

Having played “the girl” in 2002’s forgettable teen rom-com Summer Catch, it was her appearance in Bret Easton Ellis’ Rules of Attraction which gave her some serious credibility, and led to her playing lead roles in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003) and future vamp flick Blade Trinity (2004), taking top billing with Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds. Thus followed a litany of Hollywood offers, which saw her appear in Next, Home of the Brave, The Illusionist and the remakes of The A-Team and Total Recall.

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Her other talents and ventures

Still, acting isn’t the only one of Jessica’s talents – this young lady can certainly sing. She not only appears in 2008’s film adaptation of Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue, but she provides two songs to the soundtrack as well: Mad About The Boy and When The Going Gets Tough.

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Other ventures also include raising $30,000 by engaging in a charity auction for a teenager injured a car accident. Furthermore, to raise awareness for of the global water crisis she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010, earning herself a nomination for the Do Something award.

Justin Timberlake & family

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Like many film stars, Biel clearly isn’t content with your average joe, which may explain her on/off relationship with Captain America star Chris Evans from 2001-2006. Following their split, she then hooked up with singer, actor and multi-millionaire, Justin Timberlake, marrying him in Italy in 2012. It’s through Timberlake that the couple now have a two-year-old son, Silas.

The Sinner

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

But let’s face it, more recently, we’ve been most transfixed by her turn in the Netflix series, The Sinner, where Jessica plays Cora, a young mother who violently commits a random act of murder, whilst at the beach with her family one afternoon. Facing a life term for her actions, it falls to gentle detective Harry Ambrose, played effortlessly by Bill Putnam, to unearth what motivated her actions.

Thus follows a truly mind-boggling sequence of episodes, attempting to unwind Cora’s history and mysteries (she was missing? for two whole months? did nobody notice?). It’s suitably gripping stuff, that shows Jessica at her most visceral best, not only in an acting sense but also for the fact she holds an executive producer title on the show.

Woman of the week: Jessica Biel

Women at the top? Something to be celebrated indeed, which, along with her piercing green eyes, sultry looks and athletic physique, makes Jessica a prime candidate for our woman of the week.

Further Reading