|Birth name : Alison Elizabeth Larter
|Date of birth : 28 February 1976
|Place of birth: Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA
|Nickname: Allegra Coleman
|Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
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Alison Elizabeth "Ali" Larter (born February 28, 1976) is a Saturn Awards-nominated American actress and former fashion model best known for her screen roles aimed at teenage audiences. Larter is currently starring on the hit television series Heroes. She has also had roles in successful Hollywood films including, Varsity Blues (1999), House on Haunted Hill (1999), Final Destination (2000), Legally Blonde (2001), and most recently Resident Evil: Extinction (2007).
Before the public knew her name was Ali Larter, it was familiar with the face of Allegra Coleman. As the fictitious Hollywood bombshell, Larter became an “It Girl” sensation to smitten admirers everywhere long before she would become a hero to primetime NBC viewers on “Heroes” (2006- ). Her engaging appearances in projects often dovetailed with their moment of cultural impact, in a career that would come to reflect a remarkable “right time, right place” showcase for her abilities.
Born on Feb. 28, 1976 and raised in the suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, Larter was the daughter of a homemaker mother and an executive father who worked for a trucking company. The baby of the family, she traded in her childhood penchant for sports and tomboyish pursuits at the onset of her teens, in favor of commercial acting and modeling across the river. An association with New York’s famed Ford Modeling Agency at age 14 allowed the young Larter a chance to appear in publications like Seventeen and to do extensive traveling to places such as Australia and Japan – the latter of which served as the location of her first overseas shoot at the age of 17. With enough success in the industry, Larter eventually made a decision to eschew her senior year of high school in favor of a burgeoning career as a model.
In November 1996, Larter portrayed the hoax model Allegra Coleman in Esquire magazine. The article published in the magazine told of the fictional model's relationship with David Schwimmer, how Quentin Tarantino broke up with Mira Sorvino to date her, and Woody Allen's overhaul of a film to have her star. Even after the hoax had been revealed, its effects lingered, and various talent agencies sought to represent the non-existent Coleman.
Larter landed her first professional roles in 1997, in which she appeared for one episode in the Brooke Shields' television series, Suddenly Susan, and the short lived television series Chicago Sons. The roles were followed by a number of other appearances on Dawson's Creek with James Van Der Beek, Chicago Hope and Just Shoot Me!
By 1996, following a stint modeling in Miami, FL, Larter had decided to make the leap to Hollywood in an attempt at an acting career. She was encouraged in this new pursuit by a friend and fellow model-turned-actress, Amy Smart, whom she had met while on a modeling job in Milan. She enrolled in an acting class and fell in love with it. That year, she was also offered a unique modeling job for Esquire magazine, one which even came with its own backstory. Appearing on the November cover as the fabricated rising “star” Allegra Coleman of its lead article, “Hollywood's Next Dream Girl: The Allegra Coleman Nobody Knows,” the blond beauty’s serious Hollywood profile caused quite a stir, prompting appearances on several national morning talk shows including ABC’s “Good Morning America” (1975- ).
In 1999, Larter began her film career with an appearance in Varsity Blues which re-united her with Dawson's Creek star Van Der Beek, and close friend Amy Smart. Varsity Blues drew a domestic box office gross of $53 million, making Larter's first film a commercial success. Afterwards, Larter appeared in teen comedies, Giving It Up and Drive Me Crazy. That year as well, Larter starred in the horror remake House on Haunted Hill. Made for around $20 million, the movie was panned by the critics but grossed $15 million on its opening weekend and went on to earn over $40 million.
With some early heat on her almost fictional entry into Hollywood, Larter landed an agent and found work quickly, putting in legitimate guest appearances during the first half of 1997 on the NBC sitcoms “Suddenly Susan” (1996-2000) and “Chicago Sons” (1997). In what seemed like perfect casting, she was attached to a previously-written movie script called “The It Girl,” about a fictional magazine model personality similar to the one she portrayed in Esquire. That project stalled, but, not content to merely serve as a pretty face, Larter opted to mix things up and the following year by adding some drama to her resume. First, she appeared on the CBS medical series, “Chicago Hope” (1994-2000), before wrapping up 1998 with a pair of episodes of The WB’s teen drama, “Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003).
In 1998, Larter and Smart auditioned for the same role in the MTV Films teen sports drama, “Varsity Blues” (1999). Larter nabbed the role, but Smart was cast shortly thereafter as well, portraying James Van Der Beek’s girlfriend. It was Larter’s first film role, but in a genre populated by attractive twenty-somethings, she established herself as anything but an arbitrary presence. An instant, sexy impression was forged with viewers when her character, Darcy Sears, seduced Van Der Beek’s with a makeshift bikini shaped entirely from whipped cream.
The now very memorable Larter was starting to land more speaking parts with some regularity, culminating with a lead role in the remake of “House on Haunted Hill” (1999). She was then cast as a lead in the cast of “Final Destination” (2000) – a moody thriller about a group of plane crash survivors stalked by Death itself – a film franchise that became a modest success. Larter then returned to comedy, playing a legal client in the Reese Witherspoon vehicle, “Legally Blonde” (2001), just as the film rocketed its star into leading lady status. That year, she went east and stepped onto the stage to appear in an off-Broadway production of “The Vagina Monologues.” Retaining her East Coast state of mind, she was also tapped by director and fellow Jerseyite Kevin Smith to be part of a sexy trio of thieves in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001).
In 2000, Larter starred in the teenage audience aimed horror film Final Destination as the "final girl" Clear Rivers. The following year in 2001, she appeared in the comedy Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon, western American Outlaws with Colin Farrell and the Kevin Smith film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. That year as well, Larter performed in the stage play The Vagina Monologues in New York City. The next year in 2002, Larter was ranked #40 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". In 2003, Larter reprised her role as Clear Rivers in the sequel to Final Destination, Final Destination 2. In 2005, Larter appeared in the independent film Confess and the romantic comedy A Lot Like Love alongside Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher.
Although Later was enjoying her work, she was becoming less of a fan of Los Angeles and the hard knocks it took to make it in the business. After taking some time off midway into 2002, she decided to exit Hollywood and reassess her career goals, planting roots in Manhattan. Still, it seemed Tinseltown was willing to follow her lead. She was working less fervently and choosing projects more sporadically, but the studios remained fans. She was offered top billing to reprise her role as Clear Rivers in “Final Destination 2” (2003) before landing a supporting role in the big screen romantic comedy, “A Lot like Love” (2005), starring Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher.
2006 saw Larter in the biographical film Crazy based on guitarist Hank Garland. As of September 2006, Larter has been portraying Niki Sanders on the NBC Emmy Award-nominated science fiction drama television series Heroes, created by Tim Kring. The show includes an ensemble cast including Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Leonard Roberts, Masi Oka and Greg Grunberg. Larter's character Niki Sanders, who is a wife and mother, is a former internet stripper from Las Vegas who exhibits superhuman strength and an alternate personality who goes by the name of Jessica. After completing half its first season, Heroes had already collected an assortment of honors and accolades, and Larter had been nominated for "Best Supporting Actress" for the 33rd Saturn Awards.
2005 brought a rejuvenated Larter back to Los Angeles. The first audition she gave, for a primetime television pilot, was a hit with producers. The show, fortuitously, was NBC’s “Heroes” (2006- ), which began airing in the fall of 2006. Larter, who could walk on either the troubled or the sweet and sexy side onscreen, returned to television to play both and became a household name when the show – about ordinary people discovering their own super gifts – took flight as a surprising phenomenon. As Niki, a loving, single mother whose personality is shared with one of violent Hulk-like brutality named Jessica, Larter found an opportunity to sink into one of the hit series’ most complex roles. A long way from Allegra Coleman, Larter found time during her “Heroes” commitments to delve into further heroics on film, battling evil in the ravaged world of “Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007).
In 2007, Larter starred in the Bollywood Marigold as the title character along side Salman Khan, which was released in August. She also joined the cast of the popular film franchise Resident Evil: Extinction portraying the character Claire Redfield in the horror film with Milla Jovovich. Her role sent her to Mexicali, Mexico for filming from May to late July in which she also dyed her hair a light red for the film. Larter explains on her character Claire, "She became the leader of this convoy. She's incredibly strong, patient. I think she serves a role for everyone within this convoy, let it be a mother to someone, a buddy, a best friend." Larter also attended the 2007 Comic Con International, her second appearance at the event, to promote the film, which was released in theaters on September 21, 2007. This year as well, she will appear in the comedy Homo Erectus. Larter was also featured as #6 in Maxim's Hot 100 for 2007.
In an interview for Resident Evil: Extinction, Larter had expressed interest in producing films in the future, saying, "I definitely have many ideas and different avenues that I want to take as my career goes on." Larter has been revealed to be part of the cast of When Angels Fall, a film where 7 demons, each representing one of the deadly sins, are unleashed upon the world and enact their biblical vengeance for being banished to a prison-like dimension, it has been revealed that she will play Lustacia, the queen of lust and seduction.
In March 2008, it was announced that Larter would star opposite Beyonce Knowles and Idris Elba in the Screen Gems-produced film Obsessed, about an office worker (Elba) whose marriage to Knowles' character is threatened by the aggressive interests of a co-worker, to be portrayed by Larter. Shooting is expected to begin Summer 2008.
Ali Larter was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the daughter of Margaret, a homemaker, and Danforth Larter, a trucking executive. She attended Carusi Middle School and Cherry Hill High School West. She began modeling with Ford Models at the age of fourteen and traveled the world. At seventeen, Larter settled temporarily in Japan. A year later, in 1995, she accompanied her boyfriend in his move to Los Angeles, California. Soon after, she began taking acting classes, at a friend's suggestion.
Larter is best friends with actress Amy Smart with whom she co-starred in Varsity Bluesand Erick Alegria a Former Sam's Kid. The two had previously been roommates before pursuing acting careers. Larter has also lived in Miami and then New York City after the spring of 2002. In January 2007, she moved to Los Angeles to take on the commitment of working on Heroes. Larter is currently engaged to her longtime boyfriend, actor Hayes MacArthur.
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