Shannon Elizabeth’s biographyShannon Elizabeth is an actress most commonly known for her role of a gorgeous sexy exchange student from former Czechoslovakia in a teen comedy American Pie. Although it was modeling that jumpstarted her career, she focused on acting and later became a professional poker player. She also does a lot of charity work, prioritizing animal rights.
ChildhoodShannon Elizabeth Fadal was born on September 7, 1973, in Houston, Texas. Her father comes from a family of immigrants from the Middle East and her mother is of European ancestry with a little bit of Cherokee blood mixed in.
The beginning of careerShannon Elizabeth moved to New York in 1990. There was no shortage of modeling gigs for this striking beauty and she was soon signed to Ford & Elite models agency. She even made her debut television appearance on a sketch comedy television series MADtv in 1995.
Best worksIn its very first month of screening, the Weitz brothers debut comedy earned cult status. The hilarious 1999 box-office hit, revolving around five high school best friends, revealed Shannon’s exceptional acting talent and perfect comedic timing.
Shannon starred alongside Jason Biggs as they shared one of the most memorable and funniest scenes of the movie.
After the success of American Pie, Shannon was invited to play Buffy in a parody slasher film Scary Movie, where she worked with Anna Faris.I am honored to be given a sex symbol status, but there's a part of my being that doesn't believe it. You know, like, ‘No, that's not me.’ I almost don't associate with it because I don't know, it's just surreal to me. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. That film launched my whole acting career. I'm so grateful for it.
Next, Shannon was cast in a leading role in a 2005 television romantic comedy Confessions of an American Bride, where she starred opposite Eddie McClintock. However, this a bit naïve, yet touching film was not very well received by the critics and viewers alike, although the majority attributed this to the writers’ incompetence and inability to work out a decent storyline.
At the end of that same year, Shannon got a leading role in a comedy-drama Swing Away where she portrayed a suspended professional golf player who finds love in a picturesque Greek village. Elizabeth got a chance to work with Karl Theobald and Gino Cafarelli, who is most commonly known for his roles in Carlito’s Way and A Bronx Tale.
Poker careerShannon’s passion for poker gradually turned from a hobby into a full-blown career, which explains her lengthy absence from the film scene. She won 12 poker tournaments from 2006 till 2010 and became one of the leading poker players among the celebrities.
Shannon’s personal lifeUnlike the characters Shannon portrays in films, the actress is rather reserved and low-profile in her real life. In 1995 she began dating an actor and director Joseph D. Reitman, and the couple married in 2002.
Shannon Elizabeth spends a lot of her free time doing charity work: her main focus is animal rescue and animal cruelty prevention. At the beginning of the 2000s, together with her then-husband she founded a non-profit animal rescue organization, which is dedicated to rescuing abandoned pets, their medical treatment and rehabilitation, and finding them a new home. Elizabeth is still very friendly with Joseph D. Reitman.