Biography

With her blue eyes, pillow lips and sex-kitten-on-helium voice, Joey Lauren Adams looks and sounds like Melanie Griffith's long-lost little sister. Adams, however, is an actress in her own right, having done solid work in a number of films, including Dazed and Confused and Chasing Amy. Hailing from North Little Rock, Arkansas, where she was born January 6, 1971, Adams began acting early in her life, performing at local church productions. She left home for Los Angeles while still a teenager, and got her first break with roles on various television shows. She won a limited amount of fame--or notoriety, depending on one's point of view--for her work on Married with Children, on which she played the woman who relieved Bud Bundy of his virginity. Work on the short-lived series Vinnie & Bobby and Top of the Heap followed before Adams broke into film in 1993. That year, she had supporting roles in The Program, Coneheads and Dazed and Confused, the last of which featured her as one of Parker Posey's high school cronies. The next year, she appeared in the independent films S.F.W. and Sleep with Me, and then had a secondary role in Mallrats (1995), her first collaboration with then-boyfriend Kevin Smith. It was Smith who gave Adams her true film breakthrough when he cast her as the female lead in Chasing Amy. The 1997 film--a look at the relationship between a comic book artist (Ben Affleck) and his "ideal" woman (Adams), who happens to be a lesbian--won favorable reviews and effectively put Adams on the Hollywood map. In 1999 she had a lead role in another independent film, the drama A Cool Dry Place with Vince Vaughn, and also starred in her first big-budget Hollywood feature, the hit Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy. The actress entered the new millennium without slowing down, appearing in a wide variety of low-profile films and independent features such as Anne Heche's 2001 project Reaching Normal and the 2002 crime thriller Beeper with Harvey Keitel. In 2004's The Big Empty, she starred alongside Jon Favreau, who she would rejoin for 2006's (un)romantic comedy The Break-Up. Supporting mainstream stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn bolstered the actresses profile, while her performance as Aniston's best friend and ally in her hilariously messy break-up won audiences over. The actress co-starred with Nathan Fillion and Benjamin Bratt in the 2009 slice-of-life drama Trucker, and worked in the second season of The United States of Tara the following year. Adams took on a supporting role as psychiatrist Dr. Jane Sheppard in the 2011 psychological thriller Apart, and continues to be active in film and television. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi