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Jennifer Morrison - Biography

The American actress best known for her roles in House and Once Upon a Time was born in 1979

Jennifer Morrison smiling at a red carpet event
Hannah Watkin
Hannah WatkinContent Writer
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Born on August 19, 1979, Jennifer Marie Morrison studied at Chicago's Prospect High School, where her father David gave music lessons. With her sunny, cheerleader's personality and warm, hazel eyes she got used to the camera from an early age, modelling throughout her childhood for newspaper ads. Aged 11 she even appeared on a kids' version of celebrated US magazine Sports Illustrated with basketball superstar Michael Jordan. 

Early acting career

At 15 the precocious youngster made her Hollywood debut, impressing in Intersection as a fragile teen caught up in her parents' harrowing separation opposite Richard Gere and Sharon Stone. Jennifer then passed through the then almost right of passage of young Tinseltown talent that was Dawson's Creek, learning the ropes for two episodes alongside Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams. 

Jennifer studied drama at Illinois' Loyola University before spending a summer with the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Then she got her onscreen career firmly back on track in 2004 when she signed up for roles in the romantic comedies Surviving Christmas, and the year after, Mr and Mrs Smith, alongside Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman.

Breakout talent

It was on TV in 2004 however that Jennifer landed her most iconic role of her career so far, when she was cast as Dr Allison Cameron in the Hugh Laurie fronted House. Remaining in the role until 2009, she later returned in 2010 and for the finale in 2012. In 2011, Jennifer scored her next popular long-running part as Emma Swan in ABC's Once Upon A Time. She stayed in this show until its conclusion in 2018.

MORE: Where is the cast of Once Upon a Time now?

A successful acting career secured, Jennifer has also entered film production, after setting up her own company called Apartment 3C Productions in 2016. She directed her first film, Sun Dogs in the same year, and Netflix bought its rights a year later.

Personal life

Jennifer got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, House costar Jesse Spencer in 2006. However, the pair called off their relationship prior to marrying in 2007. She was later in a relationship with actor Amaury Nolasco, and then she dated Sebastian Stan from 2012 to 2013. Jennifer began a relationship with Gerardo Celasco in 2019.

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