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Rex Linn

Joelle Carter Biography


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Birth Name: Joelle Carter
Born: 10/10/1972
Birth Place: Georgia, USA


Born Joelle Marie Carter on Oct. 10, 1972, she traveled extensively throughout her childhood due to her father being in the U.S. Army. Carter settled in Georgia for her high school years, where she excelled at sports, eventually earning a full scholarship for swimming and cross-country to Augusta State University. After studying theater and photography, Carter became involved in modeling, which brought her to New York City to work for Elite and Wilhemina Models. However, the city's theater scene had a greater hold on her attention, and she began her acting career with a bit part in Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer" (1998). Independent features like the short "Just One Time" (1998) and "Swimming" (2000) showed her range of talent and willingness to dive into character roles; in the former, she played a bride-to-be who explored the possibility of a ménage-a-trois with her fiancé, while in the latter, she was an alluring newcomer to a small beach town who struck up an unlikely sexual relationship with a young tomboy (Lauren Ambrose). That same year, she gave a brief but touching turn as Penny Hardwick, a past girlfriend of record storeowner and world-class relationship-phobe John Cusack in "High Fidelity" (2000). After being spurned for refusing his teenaged advances, Penny took up with the very next boy she met, which earned her a place on his list of most memorable breakups.

That same year, Carter made her debut as a series regular on "Wonderland," Peter Berg's controversial drama about life in a mental hospital. Carter was an ambitious resident MD who butted heads with Billy Burke's amorous doctor. The show was yanked after two episodes, sending Carter into rotation as a guest star and supporting player in features and on television. She was American president Harry Hamlin's daughter in the doomsday thriller "Quarantine" (ABC, 2000), and appeared in the underwhelming "American Pie 2" (2002) before returning to series work on "Inconceivable," as a scheming nurse at a fertility clinic. It also failed to find an audience, and was canceled after two episodes.

While balancing a busy schedule of independent films like "Cold Storage" (2009), a horror film starring her future "Justified" cast mate Nick Searcy, and television shows like "Monk" (USA, 2002-09), Carter made her debut as a producer with the thriller short "A Girl and a Gun" (2008). In 2010, she joined the cast of "Justified," a crime drama based on the work of legendary author Elmore Leonard. Carter played Ava Crowder, a childhood crush of the show's hero, taciturn U.S Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant). Time appeared to little dampen Ava's ardor for Givens, and their encounters during the first season were charged with sexual tension. The fact that Givens' chief foe, white supremacist and terrorist Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), was Ava's ex-husband, added some suspense to their encounters, most notably in the pilot, where she attempted to settle her beef with her former spouse by shooting him.