Jennifer Beals was born in December 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard in 1980. After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature. She appeared in her first starring role in the movie Flashdance
while still a freshman at Yale. While at Yale, she also starred in Franc Roddam's The Bride
. After graduation from Yale, Beals married independent filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell in the mid-80s, and has appeared in several of his films. Most notably, she starred in his In the Soup
, which won the 1992 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival.
Beals continued to find acting work in various movies and TV productions through the 1990s, in lead and supporting roles. Her most recent and notable role came in early 2004 with her appearing as a regular on the Showtime TV-cable series The L Word playing a lesbian art gallery manager named Bette Porter.
After Bette and Jodi's relationship heats up, they have to face a dramatic and potentially life-changing obstacle in their relationship.