Erika Christensen

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Erika Christensen
Erika Christensen Paleyfest 2013.jpg
Christensen at the 2013 PaleyFest in Los Angeles
Born Erika Jane Christensen
(1982-08-19) August 19, 1982 (age 32)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1997–present
Religion Scientology

Erika Jane Christensen (born August 19, 1982) is an American actress whose film appearances include Traffic (2000), Swimfan (2002), The Banger Sisters (2002), The Perfect Score (2004), Flightplan (2005), How to Rob a Bank (2007), and The Tortured (2010). For her role in Traffic, she won the MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture along with her co-stars. In 2006, she starred in the short-lived drama series Six Degrees on ABC.

From 2010 until its ending in 2015, Christensen starred as Julia Braverman-Graham on the NBC family drama series Parenthood. In 2014, she won a Gracie Award for her performance in the role. She will portray Betty Smith in the first season of ABC's upcoming crime drama anthology series Wicked City.

Personal life[edit]

Christensen was born in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Kathy, a construction manager, and Steven, an insurance worker/human-resources executive.[1] She has an older half-brother, Nick, and two younger twin brothers, Dane (who appeared in the 2005 film The Upside of Anger) and Brando. She has Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Welsh, and Irish ancestry.[2] Christensen was raised in Los Angeles, California and started out on television in commercials for McDonald's.[3] Christensen is a member of the Church of Scientology.[4] Her parents became Scientologists in their 20s and raised her to be a Scientologist. Her parents also decided to homeschool her.[2]

On November 17, 2014, People confirmed that she is engaged to cyclist Cole Maness.[5]


Christensen had several small roles in various television programs before starting her movie career in 1997. These include The Geena Davis Show, Frasier, The Practice, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Touched by an Angel.[3][6] She was named one of People magazine's "Breakthrough Stars of 2001". For her performance as cocaine addict Caroline Wakefield in Steven Soderbergh's drama film Traffic (2000), she received the awards for Breakthrough Female Performance at the MTV Movie Awards,[3] Standout Performance – Female at the Young Hollywood Awards, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.[3] In 2005, she expanded into the music industry by recording a version of "Let's Fall in Love" with John Stevens for his debut album Red.[7][8]

Christensen at TIFF 2007

Also in 2005, Christensen co-starred in the films The Upside of Anger as Andy Wolfmeyer, The Sisters as Irene Prior, and Flightplan as Fiona. The following year, she starred in the series Six Degrees, which debuted on the ABC fall schedule in September 2006. Low ratings caused its cancellation after one season, leaving 5 episodes unaired.[9] She then guest-starred in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Lie to Me and Mercy. Christensen made a cameo in the Joaquin Phoenix-directed music video "Tired of Being Sorry" for Balthazar Getty's band Ringside.[10] In 2009, she was part of the cast of the film adaptation of Veronika Decides to Die.[11]

Christensen was a regular cast member on the NBC television series Parenthood, which debuted on March 2, 2010 and concluded on January 29, 2015.[6] She portrayed the role of Julia Braverman-Graham, the youngest daughter of the Braverman family.[12] In 2015, she was cast in the first season of the ABC crime drama anthology series Wicked City as Betty Smith, a mother of two who becomes romantically involved with a serial killer (Ed Westwick).[13] In June 2015, Christensen joined the all-star cast of the HBO film Confirmation, directed by Rick Famuyiwa. She will star alongside Kerry Washington, Greg Kinnear and Cobie Smulders.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Leave It to Beaver Karen
2000 Traffic Caroline Wakefield
2002 Home Room Deanna Cartwright
2002 Swimfan Madison Bell
2002 The Banger Sisters Hannah Kingsley
2004 The Perfect Score Anna Ross
2004 Riding the Bullet Jessica Hadley
2005 The Upside of Anger Andrea "Andy" Wolfmeyer
2005 The Sisters Irene Prior
2005 Flightplan Fiona
2007 Gardener of Eden Mona Huxley
2007 How to Rob a Bank Jessica
2008 Struck Bus Stop Girl Short film
2009 Mercy Robin
2009 Veronika Decides to Die Claire
2010 Melon Catherine Video short
2010 The Tortured Elise Landry
2013 How Sweet It Is Sarah Cosmo


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Nothing Sacred Romy Carrol Episode: "House of Rage"
1998 The Practice Melissa Episode: "The Pursuit of Dignity"
1998 Frasier Teenager Episode: "Frasier's Curse"
1998 3rd Rock from the Sun Brianna Episode: "Collect Call for Dick"
1999 Can of Worms Katelyn Sands Disney Channel Original Movie
1999 Thanks Abigail Winthrop Recurring role; 6 episodes
1999 Touched by an Angel Ivy Episode: "Voice of an Angel"
2000 Time of Your Life Flynn Halloway Episode: "The Time She Turned 21"
2000 Movie Stars Tawny Episode: "La Vida Loca"
2000 The Pretender Leigh Wright Episode: "Corn Man"
2000 FreakyLinks Cassie Episode: "Subject: Coelacanth This!"
2001 The Geena Davis Show Isabel Recurring role; 3 episodes
2001 That '70s Show Stacey Episode: "Red and Stacey"
2003 Wuthering Heights Cate Television film
2005–09 Robot Chicken Various characters Recurring role; 3 episodes
2006–07 Six Degrees Mary Alice "Mae" Edwards Main role; 13 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Special Agent Lauren Cooper Episode: "Signature"
2009 Lie to Me Various characters Episode: "The Core of It"
2009 Mercy Dana Harper McPhearson Episode: "Destiny, Meet My Daughter, Veronica"
2010–15 Parenthood Julia Braverman-Graham Main role; 101 episodes
2014 My Boyfriends' Dogs Bailey Television film
2015 Impress Me Jessica Episode: "Nemesis"
2015 Confirmation Shirley Weigand Television film
2015 Wicked City Betty Smith Main role; upcoming series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1998 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Series Nothing Sacred Nominated
2001 Young Hollywood Awards Standout Performance – Female Traffic Won
Teen Choice Awards Film – Choice Breakout Performance Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Youth Performance Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Female Performance Won
2014 Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series Parenthood Won


  1. ^ Palmer, Alan (September 20, 2002). "Profile: Erika's fatal at traction; SWIMFAN HAS TAKEN ERIKA CHRISTENSEN INTO THE MAJOR LEAGUE". The Mirror. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Erika Christensen interview – Public Servant Lifestyle
  3. ^ a b c d "Christensen rises up from McDonald's ad". Michigan Daily. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ Erika Christensen Praises Scientology
  5. ^ Leon, Anya. "Erika Christensen Is Engaged to Cole Maness". People. People Magazine. 
  6. ^ a b Erika Christensen at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ "Music Review: John Stevens, "Red"". The Trades. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Former idol croons on 'Red'". Deaily Evergreen. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (September 21, 2006). "Serendipitous Connections in the City of Separate Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix Lifts Ringside Clip From Pretender To Contender". MTV News. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ Fleming, Michael (May 16, 2008). "Das Films teams for adaptation". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2008. 
  12. ^ "'Parenthood' premiere leaves room for growth". Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2015). "Erika Christensen Joins ABC's 'L.A. Crime'". Deadline. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 5, 2015). "Erika Christensen, Cobie Smulders, Dylan Baker & Grace Gummer Join HBO Movie 'Confirmation'". Deadline. 

External links[edit]