- 10:25 AM, Feb 25
An actress who is capable to take wide range of film characters without losing the acuity in her enactment, Mena Adrienne Suvari undoubtedly has risen to be one of the most promising young stars of her generation. Named after a hotel located at the base of the pyramids in Egypt, she was born on February 13, 1979 in Newport, Rhode Island as the only daughter of Ando and Candice Suvari. Spending her early childhood in an old stone mansion together with her three older brothers, she later left her hometown at the age of nine to follow her parents moving to the U.S. Virgin Island before finally settled in Charleston, South Carolina where she attended the all-girls school of Ashley Hall. It was during this time that she was introduced to modeling which subsequently brought her to be signed by New York-based Wilhelmina agency, making this lovely girl of Estonian and Greek descent had to split her time between the two cities for five years.
As her attention shifted to acting, Mena immediately landed a guest appearance in ABC's comedy series, "Boy Meets World" (1993-2000) in 1995, then followed by two more others in "High Incident" (1996-1997) and "ER" (1994) a year later. Already relocated to Los Angeles with her supportive family, she thus decided to take full concentration on pursuing an acting career after her graduation from Burbank's Providence High School by 1997. Still in the same year, this mesmerizing teen was quickly involved in several big screen productions, such as "Nowhere", "Snide and Prejudice", and "Kiss the Girls" while also joined the CBS' medical drama, "Chicago Hope" (1994-2000). Portraying a girl infected with HIV named Ivy Moore in this popular show, she satisfyingly impressed critics which prompted the audience to direct their attention on her.
Mena's star began to shine brightly in 1999 as her next project, a teenage comedy flick entitled "American Pie", surprisingly scored more than 235 million U.S. dollar all over the world, automatically catapulted her, along with the other cast, to glow under the spotlight. Switching to drama genre, she afterwards was seen alongside Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Chris Cooper, plus Thora Birch in Sam Mendes' gritty feature of "American Beauty" (1999) which turned out to be a commercial and critical success during its run in the theaters. Garnered over $130 million in the domestic market only, the film brought her to widespread recognition