Keri Lynn Russell was born March 23, 1976 in Fountain Valley Ca. to David and Stephanie Russell. Her father was an executive for Nissan Motor Corp. and was transferred several times while Keri was growing up. She lived in Dallas, TX and Mesa, AZ and graduated from Highlands Ranch High School outside Denver, CO.
She studied dance while in school but her discovery by a talent scout in Denver lead to acting jobs in commercials, movies and TV, including a three year stint on the New Mickey Mouse Club for Disney (1991-1994) and nine episodes on the Aaron Spelling prime time soap Malibu Shores (1996). Her most recent series, Felicity (for which she won a Golden Globe in 1999), aired for four seasons on the WB network and ended its run in May 2002. It can now be seen in syndication on WE, the Women’s Entertainment cable channel. All four seasons of the series are now also available on DVD.
During her summer 1999 hiatus, she took a vacation to Ireland, revisiting the country where she made Mad About Mambo and took a camping trip to Yosemite, part of which was photographed for InStyle magazine (Aug. 1999). The summer of 2000 saw her visiting Bali and spending time with friends on a houseboat in Arizona. When Felicity wrapped in the spring of 2002, Keri filmed We Were Soldiers with Mel Gibson and Madeleine Stowe on location in Georgia. After filming ended, Keri took some time to drive around the state, visiting Savannah and Athens.
Keri took over a year off after the end of Felicity in 2002, citing the need to decompress and evaluate the direction her career was going. In the summer of 2003, she received a phone call from J.J. Abrams asking her to come in and test for the role of Lois Lane in the Superman movie he was then directing. Though she lost the part (to Kate Bosworth), she found a renewed energy for acting and began to read scripts and audition for parts again. She won a role in The Upside of Anger which starred Kevin Costner and Joan Allen and filmed in the U.K. in the fall of 2003. May 2004 saw shooting begin in Canada on The Magic of Ordinary Days, a Hallmark, made-for-TV movie. In July 2004, Keri joined the cast of Into the West, a limited series from Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Productions set to air in 2005 on TNT. Keri currently resides in New York City.
A strange footnote to the year 2003 was a rumoured independent project called Cabbages and Queens, supposedly to star Keri and Nathan Lane and be filmed in the summer of 2003. The project turned out to be the fabrication of a well-known con man in the U.K. You can read an interesting story about the incident here. The article is mainly about a fake interview with Stanley Kubrick but Cabbages is mentioned near the end.
Keri made her stage debut in December, 2004 at the Lucile Lortel Theater in New York City in the off-Broadway production of Neil Labute’s Fat Pig, co-starring with Andrew McCarthy, Jeremy Piven and Ashlie Atkinson. 2005 saw Keri attend the Sundance film festival in support of the Upside of Anger. Shortly after, she began filming Rohtenburg (AKA Butterfly, A Grimm Love Story) in Germany.
2006 saw Keri appearing in Mission: Impossible 3 starring Tom Cruise and directed by J.J. Abrams, followed in 2007, by Waitress and August Rush, co-starring Jonathon Rhys Meyers. Keri also signed a contract with CoverGirl in 2006, followed by print ads and a tv commercial. 2008 brings Girl in the Park and Bedtime Stories, in which she co-stars with Adam Sandler.
On a personal note, Keri married long-time boyfriend Shane Deary on February 14, 2007. Their child, River Russell Deary was born June 9, 2007.