Elisha Ann Cuthbert was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on November 30, 1982. Along with her two younger siblings, Jonathan and Lee-Ann, she relocated to Vancouver with her parents, Kevin and Patricia.
Eventually, the Cuthbert family moved to the East Coast and settled in the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park, in the province (state) of Quebec. Elisha was quite mischievous as a little girl, even making her mother believe that she was lactose intolerant because she didn't like the taste of milk. She was such a good actress that this ploy worked for years.
Elisha Cuthbert child model
Cuthbert's career in the entertainment industry began in 1990, when she was 7 years old. That year, she started modeling children's clothing in a variety of catalogs and magazines, and was even a foot model. It wasn't the most glamorous job but it gave her access to free cookies, as she recalls.
But 1997 was the decisive year of her young career. After an appearance in the family film Dancing on the Moon, Cuthbert was chosen to become a global correspondent for the award-winning show, Popular Mechanics for Kids.
Elisha hosts popular mechanics for kids
For three years, she traveled the world for the series and did things other kids only dream about, such as eating seal meat in the North Pole, snorkeling with sharks, and steering an aircraft carrier. One day, First Lady Hillary Clinton noticed the young TV star and invited her to the White House.
Still, even though she was busy with Popular Mechanics for Kids, Elisha took on other projects. She had a starring role alongside Joe Mantegna in the air disaster adventure Airspeed (1998) and followed it up with the family fantasy, Nico the Unicorn (1998).
She continued her family film streak in 1999 with Who Gets the House? and Time at the Top. That same year, she was cast in Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? and kept it up for one year.
After sharing the screen with Randy Quaid in the made-for-TV movie Mail to the Chief and appearing in the ghost story Believe, both in 2000, Elisha Cuthbert graduated from high school. With all the success she had known, she was ready for an international career.
Elisha Cuthbert is one lucky girl
Nevertheless, Elisha shot one last Canadian film, a TV movie called Lucky Girl (2001). Her portrayal of Katlin Palmerston, a teenager who happens to be a compulsive gambler, was so riveting that it garnered her a Gemini Award (Canada's version of the Emmy) for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries.
Armed with this award and an impressive resume, Elisha left Montreal for Los Angeles, where she gave herself six months to make it. On her second day, she found herself auditioning for the lead female part in Spider-Man (2002), a role that ultimately went to Kirsten Dunst.
24 hours of Elisha Cuthbert
But things were hard for Cuthbert and she wasn't landing any roles. As she was getting ready to return home, she was offered a part in fellow Canuck Kiefer Sutherland's new television series, 24. With all 24 episodes taking place in one day, this high-intensity drama was groundbreaking and became a huge hit.
Exposure on the FOX series garnered Cuthbert legions of fans. Like many Hollywood stars, she found herself dating celebrities. After spending more than a year with actor Andrew Keegan (former fiancé of country singer LeAnn Rimes), she moved on to Justin Timberlake's best friend and personal assistant, Trace Ayala. They've been together since May 2003.
Elisha is the girl next door
While 24 has become a commercial and critical hit (it won the Best Television Series -- Drama -- Golden Globe in 2004), Elisha also made time to appear as a mysterious one-night stand in Old School (2003) and as an American sex kitten in Love Actually (2003). Her next project, The Girl Next Door (2004), in which she plays a former porn star, is her first American leading role. In 2004, she also adds House of Wax to her resume.