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Rachel Sarah Bilson (born August 25, 1981) is an
American actress. After growing up in a California show business family, she
made her screen debut in several 2003 television programs and subsequently
became well-known for playing Summer Roberts on the prime time dramedy series,
The O.C. Bilson also appeared in the 2006 film The Last Kiss, her first feature
film role and will star as Millie in Doug Liman's 2008 thriller Jumper.
Date of birth: August 25, 1981
Birth location: Los Angeles, California
Notable role(s): The O.C.
Bilson was born in Los Angeles, California to a
Jewish American father (writer/director/producer Danny Bilson) and a
Philadelphia-born Italian American mother, Janice Stango. Her father comes
from a showbusiness family, as her great-grandfather, George Bilson, was the
head of the trailer department at RKO Pictures, while her great-grandmother,
Hattie, was a screenwriter and her grandfather, Bruce Bilson, is a film
director. Bilson's parents divorced during her childhood, and in 1997, her
father remarried Heather Medway, an actress and the mother of Bilson's half
sister Hattie (born December 19, 2001).
Bilson has been noted as having a
"self-destructive, rebellious period" during her teen years. When she was
sixteen, she and a group of her brother's friends were involved in a car
accident, a head-on collision with another car. As a result, Bilson was
unconscious for a few days, had a scar above her right eye, and sometimes
suffers from migraines and memory loss; she has stated that the experience
"changed" her, encouraging her to "stop... getting into trouble" and
stopping her from "going down that road". Bilson graduated from Walter Reed
Middle School in 1996 and from Notre Dame High School in 1999. During her time
at Notre Dame, she appeared in productions of Bye Bye Birdie, Once Upon a
Mattress and The Crucible, and appeared on stage together with Katharine McPhee,
who attended the same school. (McPhee would later be a future finalist on
At the age of seventeen, Bilson took her father's
advice to pursue a professional acting career, and made several appearances
in commercials, including advertisements for Raisin Bran and Pepto-Bismol.
She made her screen acting debut in early 2003, appearing in episodes of Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and in the
short film, Unbroken. Bilson was subsequently cast in The O.C., which debuted in
August of 2003. Her character, Summer Roberts, was initially intended to appear
in only a few episodes, but became a series regular after a successful run, as
Bilson's on-screen romance with Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) became a noted aspect of
As a result of the success of The O.C., Bilson has
become well-known among teenage audiences. At the 2005 Teen Choice Awards,
Bilson collected three awards - "Choice Hottie Female", "Choice TV Actress
(Drama)" and "Best Onscreen TV Chemistry" (jointly won with Adam Brody). In
2005, Maxim magazine named her sixth in their annual "Hot 100 List"; in
2006, the publication awarded her #14. The UK edition of FHM Magazine named
her 28th in the 2006 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, while the US
Edition Ranked her 77th in 2005. Bilson was also named one of the "50 Most
Beautiful People" in 2006 People magazine.
Bilson's first film role is in the The Last Kiss, a
romantic comedy/drama also starring Zach Braff and Jacinda Barrett. In the film,
which opened on September 15, 2006, Bilson plays a college student who seduces
Braff's character. Bilson had long wanted to work with Braff, having admired the
film Garden State, which he directed and starred in. A body double was used
for the film's sexual scene between Bilson and Braff's characters, as Bilson
specified that she "feel[s] really strong[ly]" about not appearing in a nude
scene. One review of the film noted that Bilson played the role with
"surprising depth", although another critic described her role as "Glenn
Close in Fatal Attraction as an airhead valley girl with a hot bod".
Bilson has stated that she prefers acting in
feature films to appearing on television, and that though she is "grateful" for
the success of The O.C., she feels that the show "is over" and that she is
"ready to move on" to film roles. In September of 2006, unconfirmed reports
surfaced that Bilson was linked to star in a film version of the comic book
character Wonder Woman; Bilson has stated that these reports were
On October 16 2006, news emerged that Bilson has
signed on for the role of Millie in Doug Liman's upcoming thriller Jumper, as
the replacement for Teresa Palmer. 
Bilson has been dating her The O.C. co-star, Adam
Brody, for several years. In 2005, Brody gave Bilson a pit bull dog, Penny Lane,
as a birthday gift, and the couple later adopted another dog, named Thurmen
Murmen. In 2004, several sources reported that Brody and Bilson were
engaged, although Bilson's publicist denied the report. In September of
2006, several media sources made unconfirmed claims that Bilson and Brody's
relationship may soon end, citing Bilson's friendship with her Last Kiss
co-star, Zach Braff, as the reason for the relationship's end. In an
interview the same month, Bilson replied that she is "not commenting" to a
question regarding her personal life.
Bilson has volunteered with the Young storytellers
program. She has been recognized by several media sources as being a "fashion
junkie" and a "style icon". She has described herself as having
a "vintage" sense of style, and noted Kate Moss and Diane Keaton as
inspirations. Bilson enjoys watching television game shows, especially
Jeopardy!, and has stated that if she were not acting, she would be a
Bilson has turned down requests to appear semi-nude
in magazines, specifying that she feels that her body "is sacred" and "not there
for the whole world to see".
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Jumper Millie filming
2006 The Last Kiss Kim
2003 Unbroken Rachel short film
^ RachelBilson.com and Bilson's
State of California birth certificate confirm her full name as "Rachel Sarah
Bilson" and her birth date as August 25th
^ Jewish News Weekly. Celebrity
Jews. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.
^ Philadelphia Daily News. Howard
Gensler. Retrieved on September 11, 2006.
^ a b c d e Bried, Erin (May,
2006). "Just beachy". Self (magazine): 36-38.
^ MonstersandCritics.com. Rachel
Bilson's car crash wake up. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ a b c TeenHollywood. Bilson
Relives Car Crash Terror. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ Entertainment Wise. The OC's
Rachel Bilson Reveals Her Near Death Experience. Retrieved on May 10, 2006.
^ ContactMusic. BILSON BACKED
SCHOOLMATE MCPHEE DURING AMERICAN IDOL. Retrieved on September 7, 2006.
^ The Age.com. Teen Choice
awards. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ Business Wire. MAXIM MAGAZINE
Unveils Their ``Hot 100 for 2005; Eva Longoria Crowned #1 This Year.
Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ PR Newswire. MAXIM Magazine
Unveils Their 'Hot 100' for 2006. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ MyKensington.co.uk. FHM 100
Sexiest Women in the World 2006. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ FreeJose.com. FHM Magazine 100
Sexiest Women 2005. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ People Magazine. World's Most
Beautiful People 2006. Retrieved on October 11, 2006.
^ DailyIndia. Last Kiss is 1st
film for OC star. Retrieved on September 10, 2006.
^ Teen Hollywood. O.C. Star
Bilson's Horror At Nude Scenes. Retrieved on September 8, 2006.
^ PennLive. Goofy Braff gets
serious for mature take on modern relationships. Retrieved on September 15,
^ The Boston Herald. The Boston
Herald. Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
^ AZ Central. Q&A: Rachel Bilson.
Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
^ Digital Spy. Rachel Bilson to
quit 'The O.C.'?. Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
^ Comic Book Movie. Report:
Rachel Bilson Cast as Wonder Woman. Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
^ Bilson mentioned that she has
not been cast in the role on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 9/15/06
^ Rachel Bilson Is A Jumper
CinemaBlend October 16, 2006.
^ Moono.com. Rachel Bilson, Adam
Brody engaged!. Retrieved on May 17, 2006.
^ TMZ.com. TMZ Digs Up the
Answers to Your Burning Questions -- Kristin, Rachel and Adam, and Jessica
and Nick. Retrieved on June 22, 2006.
^ Life Style Extra. Rachel Bilson
soon single?. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.
^ EntertainmentWise. Are Rachel
Bilson And Adam Brody On The Rocks?. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.
^ a b c d FutureMovies. Rachel
Bilson The Last Kiss Q&A. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.
^ The Press Enterprise. Rachel
Bilson, fashion junkie. Retrieved on October 1, 2006.
^ About.com. How To Steal the
Celeb Style of The O.C.'s Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts). Retrieved on
October 10, 2006.
^ Dark Horizons. Interview:
Rachel Bilson "The Last Kiss". Retrieved on October 10, 2006.
^ Starpulse News Blog. Rachel
Bilson Believes Her Body Is Sacred & Only for Boyfriend To See. Retrieved on
October 11, 2006.
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