Jessica Alba, born April 28, 1981, is an American actress of Mexican/Danish/French Canadian descent. She was born in Pomona, California, not far from Hollywood, where she would achieve success. It would be a bit of an understatement to say that she's more famous for her appearance than for her acting ability. Though some people insist that most of her performances are wooden and uninspired, I think she's at least competent when judging the roles she's played, none of which have been particularly complex.
As a child in an Air Force family, Jessica and her parents moved around frequently, having lived in Biloxi, Mississippi and Del Rio, Texas for a while before settling in the Los Angeles area of California when she was nine years old. A sickly child, Jessica has endured two collapsed lungs, a dozen bouts with pneumonia, a ruptured appendix, a cyst in her throat and juvenile obsessive-compulsive disorder. In her teens, she battled anorexia, eventually overcoming it, to the benefit of her chosen profession. She was home from school with these ailments so frequently that she didn't have much of a chance to make any friends. The move to California helped ease her illnesses so much that she sped through high school, graduating at age sixteen. After that she jumped right into theater and jumpstarted her career as an actress, which at that point had consisted of a few guest spots on Nickelodeon's sitcom for kids, The Secret World of Alex Mack.
In 1998, after a few more guest spots on TV, she appeared in her first feature film, a forgettable superhero story called P.U.N.K.S., which co-starred Randy Quaid. After that, she appeared in the iconic teen films Never Been Kissed and Idle Hands, and she hasn't looked back since. She landed the role of Max Guevara on the two-season run of Fox's Dark Angel TV series, in which she played a martial arts action hero for the show's entire run until its end in 2002. She followed it up with the movie Honey in 2003, which was little more than a vehicle for her rising star power. Following that was her breakthrough performance as Nancy Callahan in the 2005 film adaptation of Frank Miller's Sin City, in which she played a stripper; this is somewhat ironic because she refuses to do nude scenes, requiring body doubles to be used.
Her star now fully in place, she took on the role of Sue Storm, aka The Invisible Woman, in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four in 2005 (as well as its sequel, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007), and started a string of "love interest"-type roles in romantic comedies, including Liz in The Ten (2007), Cam in Good Luck Chuck (2007), Lucy in Bill (2007), Jane in the unfortunate Mike Myers vehicle The Love Guru (2008) and Andi in Little Fockers (2010). Additionally, she's been appearing in various horror movies and thrillers such as Awake (2007), The Eye (2008) and The Killer Inside Me (2010), a disturbing film about an amoral, sadistic police officer (played by Casey Affleck) in 1950s Texas—this was, also, not a great film due largely to the lengthy and graphic scene in which Affleck's character beats Alba's character almost to death and then does the same to a character played by Kate Hudson—I thought those scenes to be in poor taste because they were so realistic. It was disgusting. Moving on, she reappeared as Nancy Callahan in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014). She also appeared as Sartana in both Machete (2010) and Machete Kills (2013). Confirming what I mentioned about her acting, she has been nominated for a Razzie Award for her performances in Awake, Good Luck Chuck and 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, though she didn't "win" for any of them.
As I alluded to before, Jessica is known more for her attractiveness rather than for her craft. She has routinely been included on various "Sexiest Woman"/"Most Desirable Female" lists since she came to prominence while appearing on Dark Angel. AskMen.com, Maxim, GQ, InStyle, both the UK and USA editions of FHM and Playboy are among the publications that have named her as "hottest" or "most desirable" at some point. Even lingerie peddler Victoria's Secret named her "Sexiest Woman Celebrity." I can't say I disagree, as I find her particularly beautiful myself. She has an athletic figure, long straight hair, bee-stung lips and a happy-looking, kindly face that probably not too many people who are attracted to women would object to waking up to. Her bountiful charms have, however, caused problems for her at times: in her youth, she was a born-again Christian, but eventually left the faith altogether after many of the men at her church continually ogled her. When she complained about this to the priest, he told her it was because she dressed provocatively. She denies it. Anyway, this gave her a self-image problem, and as such she can be overly careful about looking or acting sexy, although since she became the darling of lad-mag photographers, she's loosened up a bit. Still, she won't appear nude in movies or photo shoots, which is OK by me. Mystique, she haz it.
Jessica married Cash Warren (whom I can't seem to find any info about) on May 19, 2008. On June 7, the couple's first child, daughter Honor Marie, was born in Los Angeles. A second (and final, according to interviews) daughter, Haven Garner, was born August 13, 2011. Actor Joshua Alba is her brother, and her second cousin, Steve "Salba" Alba, is a pro skateboarder. She's an avid golfer and a certified SCUBA diver. Despite her part-Mexican parentage, she grew up not knowing how to speak Spanish. Recently, she has attempted to remedy this, diving headfirst into lessons, with the intention of raising a bilingual child. She is, however, adamant about not wanting to be considered Latina, which is appropriate considering that she's only one-third Mexican. Also, unlike most celebrities, she seems to be net-savvy, as evidenced by this post to YouTube, in which she engages in a staring contest. Fun!
And if that isn't enough, Jessica co-founded Honest Co., which, at the time of writing, is about to go public with their IPO. Pre-IPO estimates value the company, which makes eco-friendly baby products, at about $1 billion (USD).