Rachael Leigh Cook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rachael Leigh Cook
Rachael Leigh Cook Photo Op GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019 (cropped).jpg
Cook in 2019
Born (1979-10-04) October 4, 1979 (age 43)[1]
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1995–present
(m. 2004; div. 2021)

Rachael Leigh Cook (born October 4, 1979[1]) is an American actress and model. She has starred in the films The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), She's All That (1999), and Josie and the Pussycats (2001), and in the television series Into the West and Perception. She is also the voice behind various characters in Robot Chicken and Tifa Lockhart in the Final Fantasy series, starting with the English version of the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

Early life[edit]

Rachael Leigh Cook was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Thomas Howard Cook, a social worker and former stand-up comedian, and JoAnn, a cooking instructor and weaver.[2] She is of part-Italian descent. Cook first appeared in a public service announcement for foster care at seven years of age, and began working as a child print model at the age of 10, including nationwide advertisements for Target and appearing on the boxes of Milk-Bone dog biscuits. She attended Clara Barton Open School, Laurel Springs School, and Minneapolis South High School.[citation needed]


Cook in 2018

Cook began auditioning for acting work at the age of 14.[2] She made her screen debut as an actress in the 1995 film The Baby-Sitters Club. She also played a role in the adventure film Tom and Huck, released in December 1995. In 1996, her modeling agency sent her to star in a short film, 26 Summer Street. In 1997, Cook appeared in a leading role in the film Country Justice as a 15-year-old rape victim who is impregnated by her rapist.

In 1999, Cook starred in her breakout role in the sleeper hit film She's All That,[3] a romantic comedy that so far is the most financially successful film of her career. In 2000, she starred opposite Elijah Wood in the well-received The Bumblebee Flies Anyway. She took the lead role in 2001's Josie and the Pussycats, which turned out to be a box office failure, although it has since become a cult classic.

In 2000, she was the cover girl for the U.S. March/April issue of FHM. She also starred in the music video for New Found Glory's 2000 single "Dressed to Kill". In 2002, she was ranked No. 26 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". In 2003, she starred in the film 11:14 as Cheri. She also appeared as a main cast member in the 2005 television miniseries Into the West produced by Steven Spielberg. In 2006, she appeared in the music video for Daniel Powter's "Love You Lately".

In 2007, Cook was seen in the big screen adaptation of Nancy Drew. She played the female lead in the independent sports drama The Final Season. She has appeared in numerous episodes of the Seth Green comedies Titan Maximum and Robot Chicken. In 2008, she guest-starred as Abigail Lytar in two third-season episodes of the USA Network series Psych. She reprised the role in the following season.

In February 2010, Cook signed on to play the female lead role in Fox TV's comedy pilot Nirvana.[4] She had a role in the Western horror film Vampire, the English-language feature debut of Japanese director Iwai Shunji.[5] In 2012, Cook signed on to play the female lead role in the TNT crime drama series Perception opposite Eric McCormack. She starred in the independent film Broken Kingdom, which was directed by her husband Daniel Gillies. She also appeared in a Funny or Die sketch with Chad Michael Murray.[6][7]

Cook starred in the Hallmark Channel original film Summer Love in 2016.[8] In the same year, she starred in another Hallmark film, Autumn In the Vineyard, followed by its sequel Summer in the Vineyard in 2017.[9] 2017 also saw Cook develop, star and executive produce the Hallmark Channel film Frozen in Love, which was broadcast in January 2018 as part of the channel's 'Winterfest' season of programming.[10][11]

Cook provided the voice for Chelsea Cunningham on the Kids' WB animated series Batman Beyond and in the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Cook voiced Tifa Lockhart in the video games Kingdom Hearts II, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, as well as the CG movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. In 2011, she voiced the character of Jaesa Willsaam in the MMO game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Cook's latest voice-over role is for the video game Yakuza in which she voices the role of Reina. In 2020 Cook appeared in the fifteenth season of Criminal Minds playing the role of Max in the final episodes of the series.[12]

Cook owns her own production company, Ben's Sister Productions (in reference to her younger brother Ben Cook). She produced and starred in the film Love, Guaranteed which debuted on Netflix on September 3, 2020.[13]

Public service[edit]

Cook first gained national attention in 1997, when she was featured in the famous This Is Your Brain on Drugs PSA television advertisement, in which she proceeds to destroy a kitchen with a frying pan.

In 2011, she was selected by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change for Arts Education.[14]

In June 2012, she began to award a small scholarship to students between ages 14 and 19. The scholarship helps pay for career classes, mentoring programs, and other school fees.[2]

In 2017, Rachael Leigh Cook reprised her "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" role twenty years later for a PSA by the Drug Policy Alliance critiquing the War on Drugs and its contribution to mass incarceration, structural racism and poverty. The ad was posted to YouTube on April 20, 2017, in recognition of 4/20.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Cook married actor Daniel Gillies on August 8, 2004,[16] whom she had dated since 2001.[17] They have two children: a daughter born September 2013[18] and a son born April 2015.[19] The couple separated in June 2019 and divorced in 2021.[20][21][22]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Baby-Sitters Club Mary Anne Spier
1995 Tom and Huck Becky Thatcher
1996 Carpool Kayla
1997 The House of Yes Young 'Jackie-O'
1997 The Eighteenth Angel Lucy Stanton
1998 All I Wanna Do Abigail 'Abby' Sawyer
1998 The Naked Man Dolores
1998 Living Out Loud Teenage Judith Moore
1999 The Hi-Line Vera Johnson
1999 She's All That Laney Boggs
1999 The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Cassie
2000 Sally Beth
2000 Get Carter Doreen Carter
2000 Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Chelsea Cunningham Voice role; direct-to-video film
2001 Antitrust Lisa Calighan
2001 Blow Dry Christina Robertson
2001 Texas Rangers Caroline Dukes
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Josie McCoy
2001 Tangled Jenny Kelley
2002 29 Palms The Waitress
2003 Bookies Hunter
2003 Scorched Shmally
2003 The Big Empty Ruthie
2003 11:14 Cheri
2003 Tempo Jenny Travile
2004 Stateside Dori Lawrence
2004 American Crime Jesse St. Claire Direct-to-video film
2005 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Tifa Lockhart Voice role
2006 My First Wedding Vanessa Direct-to-video film
2007 Descent Allison Direct-to-video film
2007 All Hat Chrissie Nugent Direct-to-video film
2007 Nancy Drew Jane Brighton
2007 The Final Season Polly Hudson
2007 Blonde Ambition Haley
2009 The Lodger Amanda Manning Direct-to-video film
2009 Bob Funk Ms. Thorne Direct-to-video film
2009 Falling Up Caitlin O'Shea Direct-to-video film
2011 Vampire Laura King Direct-to-video film
2011 The Family Tree Rachel Levy Direct-to-video film
2012 Broken Kingdom Marilyn Direct-to-video film
2014 Red Sky Karen Brooks Direct-to-video film
2017 A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia [23][24]
2020 Love, Guaranteed Susan Also producer[13]
2021 He's All That Anna Sawyer
2022 Spirit Halloween: The Movie Sue [25][26]
2023 A Tourist’s Guide to Love Amanda Riley Post-production[27]


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Country Justice Emma Baker Television film
1997 True Women Young Georgia Lawshe Television miniseries
1997 The Defenders: Payback Tracey Lane Television film
1998 The Outer Limits Cassie Boussard Episode: "Glyphic"
1999 Dawson's Creek Devon 3 episodes
2000 Batman Beyond Chelsea Cunningham Voice role; 2 episodes
2004 Fearless Gaia Moore Unsold television pilot
2005 Into the West Clara Wheeler Television miniseries
2005 Las Vegas Penny Posin Recurring role
2006–2019 Robot Chicken various Recurring voice role
2008 Ghost Whisperer Grace Adams Episode: "Big Chills"
2008–2010 Psych Abigail Lytar Recurring role
2009 Titan Maximum Lt. Jodi Yanarella Main voice role
2010 Nevermind Nirvana Elizabeth Television film
2011 Stealing Paradise Amanda Collier Television film
2012 Left to Die Tammi Chase Television film
2012–2015 Perception Kate Moretti Main role
2013 Team Unicorn Rachael Leigh Cook Episode: "The UniCorps Wants You!"
2014 A Christmas Tail N/A Television film
2016 Summer Love Maya Sulliway Television film (Hallmark)
2016 Autumn in the Vineyard Frankie Baldwin Television film (Hallmark)
2017 Summer in the Vineyard Frankie Baldwin Television film (Hallmark)
2018 Frozen in Love Mary Campbell Television film (Hallmark)
2019 Valentine in the Vineyard Frankie Baldwin Television film (Hallmark)
2019 A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas Willow Petersen Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
2019 Liza on Demand Rachael Leigh Cook Episodes: "New Year's Eve: Parts 1 & 2"
2020 Criminal Minds Max Episodes: "Saturday", "Date Night"
2020 Cross Country Christmas Lina Television film (Hallmark)
2021 Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Herself 1 episode
2021 Tis the Season to Be Merry Merry Rozelle Television film (Hallmark)

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2001 "Dressed to Kill" New Found Glory
2006 "Love You Lately" Daniel Powter
2017 "Young Dumb & Broke" Khalid

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Yakuza Reina
2005 Kingdom Hearts II Tifa Lockhart
2006 Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Tifa Lockhart
2007 Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ Tifa Lockhart
2011 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Tifa Lockhart
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic Jaesa Willsaam
2013 Star Wars: The Old Republic - Rise of the Hutt Cartel Jaesa Willsaam
2014 Star Wars: The Old Republic - Shadow of Revan Jaesa Willsaam
2016 Final Fantasy Explorers Tifa Lockhart Archive audio[citation needed]
2016 World of Final Fantasy Tifa Lockhart
2018 Mobius Final Fantasy Tifa Lockhart Archive audio[citation needed]
2019 Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Tifa Lockhart

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result
1997 Tom and Huck YoungStar Award Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film Nominated
1999 She's All That YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Female Performance Nominated
Best On-Screen Duo (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.) Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Film – Sexiest Love Scene (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.) Won
Dawson's Creek Teen Choice Awards TV – Breakout Performance Nominated
2000 The Hi-Line Santa Monica Film Festival Best Actress Won
She's All That Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Couple (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.) Won
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Newcomer (Internet Only) Won
Sally New York International Independent Film & Video Festival Best Actress Won
2001 Herself Young Hollywood Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Won
Josie and the Pussycats Teen Choice Awards Film – Choice Actress Nominated
2006 Into the West Western Heritage Awards Television Feature Film (Shared with cast) Won


  1. ^ a b Gustafson, Paul (January 1, 1981). "Change of heart gives teacher a new lease on life". The Minneapolis Star. p. 59. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Stanton, Barry W. (March 2, 2016). "What Happened To Rachael Leigh Cook". The Gazette Review. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Stern, Marlow (January 29, 2014). "'She's All That' 15th Anniversary: Cast and Crew Reminisce About the Making of the '90s Classic". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  4. ^ DiNunno, Gina (February 22, 2010). "Rachael Leigh Cook Lands Lead in Fox's Nirvana". TV Guide. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  5. ^ "Western Actors to Meet Eastern Filmmaking Sensibilities in Vampire". Dread Central. September 17, 2012.
  6. ^ "First Kiss with Rachael Leigh Cook & Chad Michael Murray". Funnyordie.com. September 10, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  7. ^ Funny Or Die (September 26, 2012). First Kiss with Rachael Leigh Cook & Chad Michael Murray. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved August 13, 2017 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Maloni, Joshua (August 11, 2016). "'She's (still) All That': Rachael Leigh Cook stars in new Hallmark Channel movie, 'Summer Love'". Niagara Frontier Publications. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  9. ^ NBC New York (August 10, 2017). "Rachael Leigh Cook on "Summer in the Vineyard"". NBC. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "Heart of the Mountain & Frozen in Love from Hallamrk's Winterfest start filming". What's Filming?. November 21, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Hill, Ruth (November 6, 2017). "Interview with Rick Garman". My Devotional Thoughts. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Hurley, Laura (February 20, 2019). "Criminal Minds Just Cast Reid's New Love Interest, But What About JJ?". CinemaBlend. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Yap, Audrey Cleo (September 1, 2020). "Rachael Leigh Cook on Producing Her Own Netflix Rom-Com, 21 Years After 'She's All That'". Variety. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  14. ^ "Champions of Change: Arts Education". whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2017 – via National Archives.
  15. ^ "Watch Rachael Leigh Cook Remake 'Brain on Drugs' Ad for 4/20". Rolling Stone. April 20, 2017.
  16. ^ "Baby on the Way for Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies". People. May 8, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  17. ^ "Rachael Leigh Cook: I'm Happy We Waited to Have a Baby". People. June 25, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Webber, Stephanie (September 29, 2013). "Rachael Leigh Cook, Husband Daniel Gillies Welcome Baby Girl". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  19. ^ Toomey, Alyssa (April 8, 2015). "Rachael Leigh Cook Gives Birth to Her Second Child With Husband Daniel Gillies: Find Out His Name!". E! News. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies Announce Split After Nearly 15 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  21. ^ Stone, Natalie (July 16, 2020). "Rachael Leigh Cook's Husband Daniel Gillies Files for Divorce 1 Year After Separating". People.
  22. ^ "Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies Finalize Divorce Nearly 2 Years After Split". People. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021. a Los Angeles judge signed off on the actors' divorce on March 10, nearly two years after the couple split in June 2019.
  23. ^ "'Midsummer Night's Dream' Movie Stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Paz De La Huerta". Variety. April 23, 2016.
  24. ^ "'A Midsummer Night's Dream': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. June 17, 2017.
  25. ^ Yossman, K.J. (May 20, 2022). "'Spirit Halloween': First Photos, Plot Details From Movie Inspired by Costume Store (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  26. ^ Panaligan, EJ (August 1, 2022). "'Spirit Halloween: The Movie' Brings Costume Store to Life in Spooky Trailer". Variety. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  27. ^ "Rachael Leigh Cook Takes a Breakup Trip to Vietnam in 'A Tourist's Guide To Love'". Netflix Tudum. Retrieved January 28, 2023.

External links[edit]