A. J. Cook
|A. J. Cook|
Cook at the National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C on May 30, 2010
|Born||Andrea Joy Cook
July 22, 1978
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
(m. 2001–present; 1 child)
Andrea Joy "A.J." Cook (born July 22, 1978) is a Canadian actress best known for her role as Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films including The Virgin Suicides, Out Cold, and Final Destination 2.
Early life 
Cook was born in Oshawa, Ontario and spent most of her life growing up in Whitby where she attended Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute. Her father, Mike, is a teacher, and her mother, Sandra, works as a psychiatrist. She has three siblings, Nathan, Paul, and Angela. Cook is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A dancer from age four, Cook began taking jazz, tap and ballet lessons. She danced competitively for many years, before deciding at the age of 16 that she wanted to try acting.
Cook's first job was in a McDonald's commercial in 1997. She graduated to series work with a guest role on the television series Goosebumps, and parts in two television movies, In His Father's Shoes and Elvis Meets Nixon. Cook launched her feature film career as one of five captivating suicidal sisters in 1999's The Virgin Suicides. Also that year, she took a starring role in the TV series Higher Ground, in which Cook played Shelby Merrick, a rough-around-the-edges teenage girl dealing with abuse and heartache at a wilderness school for struggling kids. Higher Ground lasted one season, ending with a romance between Shelby and Hayden Christensen's character, Scott.
After Higher Ground, Cook appeared in the 2000 TV movie The Spiral Staircase (alongside Higher Ground alum Kandyse McClure), and then captured leading roles in several films, including Out Cold (as Jason London's love interest), Ripper, I'm Reed Fish, and Final Destination 2. During the production of Final Destination 2, Cook choose to dye her hair to separate herself from co-stars Ali Larter, and Sarah Carter.
In 2003, A.J. guest starred in a pivotal role on the critically acclaimed series Dead Like Me. (Interestingly, the episode preceding her appearance in Sunday Mornings was entitled A Cook, although there was no connection between the guest characters in either episode.)
She currently stars as Jennifer "J.J." Jareau in the CBS drama Criminal Minds. On June 14, 2010 it was announced that her contract option would not be picked up for the show's sixth season as a series regular, but she did return for two episodes to wrap up her character's storyline due to thousands of letters and petitions written to the show's producers. She also returned for one episode for the departure of Paget Brewster from the series. On April 16, 2011 it was reported that she had signed to reappear for two more seasons of the show.
Cook was also in Season 1 of Tru Calling as Lindsay Walker.
Personal life 
In August 2001, Cook married her long-time boyfriend Nathan Andersen, whom she met in a film class at Utah Valley University. She later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to be with him and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
In March 2008, it was reported that Cook and Andersen would be expecting their first child in October. Their son, Mekhai Allan Andersen, was born on Saturday, September 13, 2008. Weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long, Mekhai was born at 8:50 p.m. A.J. said "He's such a good baby. I feel so lucky that he's mine. My husband and I feel very blessed!" Mekhai made a brief appearance as Henry LaMontagne in Criminal Minds in Season 5 when Cook's character Jennifer Jareau was in a pharmacy buying children's medicine which leads to a breakthrough in the case the BAU was currently trying to solve. He reprised the role of Henry in the Criminal Minds two hour season 7 finale in 2012. Cook and Andersen are also the owners of a Yorkshire Terrier named Zara.
Cook was considered legally blind at an early age because of a severe astigmatism, but wore contacts to correct her vision. She eventually underwent surgery where a lens implant was used to correct the impairment.
|1997||In His Father's Shoes||Lisa|
|1997||Elvis Meets Nixon||Hippie Chick|
|1999||The Virgin Suicides||Mary Lisbon|
|1999||Teen Sorcery||Dawn||Main Role|
|2000||The Spiral Staircase||Local Girl|
|2001||Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell||Diana Collins|
|2001||Ripper||Molly Keller||Main Role|
|2002||The House Next Door||Lori Peterson|
|2003||Final Destination 2||Kimberly Corman|
|2006||I'm Reed Fish||Theresa|
|2007||Night Skies||Lilly||Main Role|
|2010||Mother's Day||Vicky Rice|
|2011||Bringing Ashley Home||Libba||Main Role|
|2012||Least Among Saints||Cheryl|
|2013||Wer||Kate Moore||Main Role|
|1997||Goosebumps||Kim Carter||Season 2 Episode 21|
|1997||Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal||Jill Starling||Season 1 Episode 19|
|1998||Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal||Lee Mason||Season 2 Episode 11|
|2000||Higher Ground||Shelby Merrick||Main role (22 episodes)|
|2000||First Wave||Lindsay Tilden||Season 3 Episode 5|
|2003||Dead Like Me||Charlotte||Season 1 Episode 9|
|2003–2004||Tru Calling||Lindsay Walker||Main role Season 1|
|2005–present||Criminal Minds||Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau||Main role (165 episodes)|
|2011||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Debbie Shields||Season 12 Episode 13|
- Sean Daly (2003-02-01). "Whitby star reaches her Destination ; Career, love life on roll Teen flick pure fun". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "A. J. Cook Biography (1978–)". Filmreference.com.
- Dargis, Manohla. "A.J. Cook". Movie2.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Liz Braun (2003-01-31). "A.J. Cook's career starting to sizzle". jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
- Ausiello, Michael (2010-06-14). "'Criminal Minds' drops A.J. Cook". Entertainment Weekly.
- 'Criminal Minds' update: Cook and Brewster returning — but for how long?
- A.J. Cook Returns to ‘Criminal Minds’ for Paget Brewster’s Final Episode
- Ng, Philiana (2011-04-16). "A.J. Cook Returning to CBS' 'Criminal Minds'". hollywoodreporter.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- The Arrow (2002-04-21). "INT: A.J. Cook". Joblo presents Arrow in the Head. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
- Alynda Wheat. "Spring TV preview: Criminal Minds". Entertainment Weekly.
- Jay A. Fernandez (2008-04-29). "A Junior for Criminal Minds' J.J.". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "A. J. Cook Welcomes Son Mekhai Allan". Celebrity Baby Blog.
- Steve Marsi (September 19, 2011). "Exclusive: A.J. Cook Previews Criminal MInds "Season For the Fans"". TVFanatic.com. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- Wendy Diamond. "AJ Cook", Animal Fair
- Cartel, Mari (2011-10-5). "A.J. Cook Seeing ‘Criminal Minds’ Clearer Thanks to a Medical Procedure". healthbistro.lifescript.com. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: A. J. Cook|
- A. J. Cook at the Internet Movie Database
- A. J. Cook at TVGuide.com
- A. J. Cook Bio at CBS — Criminal Minds