Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981) is an American actress, model and businesswoman. She has won various awards for her acting, including the Choice Actress Teen Choice Award and Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role in the television series Dark Angel.
Alba began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994). She rose to prominence as the lead actress in the James Cameron television series Dark Angel (2000–2002) when she was 19 years old. Alba later appeared in Honey (2003), Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Into the Blue (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Good Luck Chuck (2007).Alba was born in Pomona, California, to Catherine Louisa (née Jensen) and Mark David Alba. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her paternal grandparents, who were born in California, were both the children of Mexican immigrants.She has a younger brother, Joshua. Her third cousin, once removed, is writer Gustavo Arellano. Her father’s Air Force career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Del Rio, Texas, before settling back in Claremont, California, when she was nine years old. Alba has described her family as being a “very conservative family – a traditional, Catholic, Latin American family” and herself as very liberal; she says she had identified herself as a “feminist” as early as age five.
Alba expressed interest in acting from the age of five. In 1992, the 11-year-old Alba persuaded her mother to take her to an acting competition in Beverly Hills, whose grand prize was free acting classes. Alba won the grand prize, and took her first acting lessons. An agent signed Alba nine months later. Her first appearance on film was a small role in the 1994 feature Camp Nowhere as Gail. She was originally hired for two weeks but her role turned into a two-month job when one of the prominent actresses dropped out.
lba was raised as a Catholic throughout her teenage years, but left the church after four years because she felt she was being judged for her appearance, explaining:
“Older men would hit on me, and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn’t. It just made me feel like if I was in any way desirable to the opposite sex that it was my fault, and it made me ashamed of my body and being a woman”.