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Krysten Ritter Biography

Home > Actresses > R > Ritter, Krysten > Biography

Birth Name: Krysten Ritter
Born: 12/16/1981
Birth Place: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Born Dec. 16, 1981 in Bloomsburg, PA, Krysten Alyce Ritter grew up on a farm before she was discovered at the age of 15 at a local shopping mall. While still a high school student, she began modeling, signing with Elite Model Management and then Wilhelmina Models. At age 18, she moved to New York City to pursue modeling full time, branching out into print ads and commercials, starting with a Dr. Pepper clip. Her sharp sense of humor and effervescence helped her stand out amidst the other models, which proved a perfect transition into acting, making her first screen appearance with an uncredited bit as a model in the Ashley Judd/Hugh Jackman romantic comedy "Someone Like You " (2001). After a few additional small roles, she ascended to a new professional level by playing an art history student just outside the main circle of students (Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ginnifer Goodwin) under the tutelage of Julia Roberts in "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003). She went on to book guest spots on "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), "Tanner on Tanner" (Sundance Channel, 2004) and "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968-2012) before recurring on "Veronica Mars" (UPN, 2004-06; The CW, 2006-07) as Gia Goodman, the spiky, troubled daughter of "Mayor of Neptune" Woody Goodman (Steve Guttenberg).

Ritter continued to land even higher profile recurring roles, including Rory's weirdly winsome friend Lucy on "Gilmore Girls" (The WB, 2000-06; The CW, 2006-07) and a brief turn as eldest daughter Allison on "'Til Death" (Fox, 2006-2010). She left the latter series to film a trio of colorfully quirky supporting roles - as a Goth bride in "27 Dresses" (2008), Cameron Diaz's pal in "What Happens in Vegas" (2008) and Isla Fisher's bestie in "Confessions of a Shopaholic" (2009). She was cast in the proposed 1980s-set "Valley Girls" spin-off of "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007- ), but the project never came together and instead served as an episode of the series.

After appearing in the Jon Heder web series "Woke Up Dead," she again did big-screen BFF duty as Alice Eve's friend in the low-key charmer "She's Out of My League" (2010), but earned her best reviews up until that time for a recurring role on the critically acclaimed series "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008- ) as Jane Margolis, a recovering addict who falls in love with Jesse (Aaron Paul), the ne'er-do-well protégé and pseudo-son of Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Ritter's harrowing portrayal of a manipulative yet vulnerable woman who relapses into drug addiction, bringing her boyfriend with her, revealed the actress' enormous range. The character's shocking death - while Cranston's White watches without helping - became one of the show's most powerful and memorable sequences.

She was a series regular on the suicide-survivors dramedy "Gravity" (Starz, 2010) and played a saleswoman in the long-delayed Kenneth Lonergan flick "Margaret" (2011). Proving yet again she was more than a pretty face, she co-wrote and starred in "L!fe Happens" (2011) and was handpicked by Amy Heckerling to star opposite Alicia Silverstone in "Vamps" (2012), a vampire comedy with a twist. Her mainstream breakthrough, however, came as the star of the highly anticipated sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (ABC, 2012- ). Playing Chloe, the ultimate big city con artist, Ritter struck comedic sparks with her small-town roommate June (Dreama Walker) and her equally off-kilter best friend, James Van Der Beek, who played himself. Delivering a hilarious, magnetic performance, Ritter masterfully stole the show and saw her profile receive yet another major boost.

By Jonathan Riggs