Jennifer Love Hewitt (born February 21, 1979) is an American actress, voice actress, singer-songwriter, and film and television producer. Hewitt began her acting career as a child by appearing in television commercials and the Disney Channel series Kids Incorporated. She rose to fame in teenage popular culture via her roles in the Fox series Party of Five, as Sarah Reeves, and the films I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel, as Julie James.
As a singer, Hewitt has been signed by Atlantic Records and Jive Records. She is primarily known for her recordings in the pop genre and
has a contralto vocal range. To date, her most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 is the 1999 release "How Do I Deal", which peaked at #59. In addition, she has contributed music to the promotion or soundtracks of acting projects.
Hewitt's physical appearance has been the subject of much media attention throughout her career, having been lauded as one of the most attractive women in the entertainment industry by publications such as Maxim, in which she was named the sexiest woman in the world in 1999, and TV Guide, which named her the sexiest woman on television in 2008. In 2007, paparazzi photos of Hewitt on a beach led to a much-
publicized matter in which she defended her weight, and was supported by other celebrities. These incidents received coverage from People magazine.
In addition to acting, Hewitt has also served as a producer on some of her film and television projects. She can be seen on the CBS television program Ghost Whisperer as Melinda Gordon, a young woman who can communicate with ghosts. She won a Saturn Award in 2007 and 2008 for Best Actress on Television.Hewitt was born in Waco, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Mae (née Shipp), a speech-language pathologist, and Herbert Daniel Hewitt, a medical technician.
Hewitt grew up in Nolanville, Texas; after the divorce of her parents, Hewitt and her older brother, Todd Hewitt, were brought up by her mother.
As a young girl, Hewitt was attracted to music, which led to her first encounters with the entertainment industry. At the age of three, she sang "The Greatest Love of All" at a livestock show. Just a year after that, at a restaurant-dance hall, she entertained an audience with her version of "Help Me Make It Through the Night." By the time she was five, Hewitt already had tap dancing and ballet in her portfolio. At nine, she became a member of the Texas Show Team
(which also toured in the Soviet Union). At the age of ten, at the suggestion of talent scouts and winning the title of Texas Our Little Miss Talent Winner, she moved to Los Angeles, California, with her mother to pursue a career in both acting and singing. In Los Angeles, Hewitt attended Lincoln High School where her classmates included Jonathan Neville, who later became a talent scout and recommended Hewitt for her role in Party of Five.
After moving to Los Angeles, Hewitt appeared in more than twenty television commercials. Her first break came as a child actor on the Disney Channel variety show Kids Incorporated (1989–
1991), where she was credited as just Love Hewitt. During this time she danced in and sang all the songs for a live action video called Dance! Workout With Barbie released by Buena Vista.
In 1993, she played Pierce Brosnan's daughter in a pilot for NBC called Running Wilde, which featured Brosnan as a reporter for Auto World magazine whose stories cover his own wild auto adventures. However, the series wasn't picked up and the pilot never aired. Hewitt later had roles in several short-lived television series, such as Fox's Shaky Ground (1992–1993), ABC's The Byrds of Paradise (1994), and McKenna (1994–1995), and finally became a young star after
landing the role of Sarah Reeves on the popular Fox Television show Party of Five (1995–1999). She assumed the role of Sarah after joining that show during its second season and continued it on the short-lived Party of Five spin-off, Time of Your Life (1999), which she also co-produced. The show was cancelled after only half a season.
Hewitt made her film debut in the independent film Munchie (1992). She became a film star after a lead role in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), which enjoyed great box-office success (125,000,000 U.S. dollars worldwide). The film made Hewitt and her co-stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, and
Sarah Michelle Gellar some of the most popular young stars in the USA. She also appeared in the sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), which, though ultimately not as successful as the first film, took in more money on its opening weekend. Other notable film roles have included the high-school comedy Can't Hardly Wait (1998) and a starring role with Sigourney Weaver in the romantic comedy Heartbreakers (2001).
In 2000, Hewitt appeared in The Audrey Hepburn Story. That same year, she was the "most popular actress on television" due to her Q-rating (a measurement of a
celebrity's popularity) of 37. For that reason, Nokia chose her to become its spokesperson, because of her "fresh image," and her being "a symbol of youthfulness and wholesomeness."In 2001, she appeared in the music video for the Enrique Iglesias song, "Hero," as the singer's love interest.
Hewitt wrote "I'm Gonna Love You" for the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame II because, although she was a well-known singer at the time, her character Madellaine was the only character who didn't sing in the movie. The song won Best Song at the DVD Awards.Since September 2005, Hewitt has starred in the
television series Ghost Whisperer. In Australia, Ghost Whisperer has been popular since its introduction; in the United States, the show averages 9–11 million viewers for each new episode. Hewitt has also auditioned for many roles. She was asked to play Juliet in Romeo + Juliet, but the director felt she wasn't modern looking. The role went to Claire Danes. She also had to give up the role of Darlene in Brokedown Palace because of scheduling conflicts; that role went to Kate Beckinsale.
Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy are starring in "Cafe", an indie drama from writer-director Marc Erlbaum. Alexa Vega, Madeline Carroll, Daniel
Eric Gold and Hubble Palmer also appear as part of an ensemble of Philadelphia residents who frequent the local West Philly Grounds coffee shop where Hewitt's character Claire works. The film began shooting on May 11, 2009.