Lindsay Lohan Biography
July 2, 1986 • New York, New York
Lindsay Lohan was introduced to filmgoers in 1998 when she faced the difficult task of filling the shoes of beloved child actress Hayley Mills in a remake of The Parent Trap. Lohan offered herself up for comparison again five years later when she starred in Freaky Friday, another classic teen film from a generation ago. Remakes can be tricky, having to live up to the expectations of fans of the original while also appealing to those seeing the film for the first time. In both of these films, Lohan offered a fresh perspective on her characters while staying true to the spirit of the originals, earning the admiration of a broad spectrum of viewers and the adoration of her teenage and preteen fans. Lohan was crowned one of the new teen queens, with her freckled face suddenly appearing on magazine covers everywhere. She hosted Saturday Night Live in May of 2004 and the MTV Movie Awards the following month. More than just a pretty face, Lohan had become an in-demand actress, appearing in two 2004 films, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Mean Girls, with plans to star in no fewer than four films in 2005.
A childhood spent in front of cameras
Born on July 2, 1986, Lindsay Morgan Lohan was a member of a family with close connections to show business. Her father, Michael, a former child actor, has dabbled in a number of careers; he owned a pasta business, worked in finance as a Wall Street trader, and produced films. Lohan's mother, Dina, has also proven to be multitalented. The former professional dancer, one of the world-famous Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes, also worked as a Wall Street analyst and then became her daughter's manager. Lohan's younger brother, also named Michael, is an actor as well, having made his feature-film debut in a small role in The Parent Trap. Lohan has two other younger siblings, Aliana and Dakota.
"I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be. But that's what happens when you're growing up—you don't like things about yourself that much. I didn't like my body or my freckles or my red hair. I still don't like my freckles that much—they just bug me."
With her striking red hair and green eyes, Lohan has been turning heads from an early age. She began modeling at age three, represented by the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency. She appeared in more than sixty television commercials during her childhood, advertising such brands as Pizza Hut, Wendy's, the Gap, and Jell-O. At age ten Lohan was cast as Alli Fowler on the soap opera Another World, a role she played from 1996 to 1997. In early 1997 the young actress learned that she had been chosen from a group of thousands of girls to star in a major film, Disney's remake of its 1961 classic The Parent Trap. Just as in the original, the role of the twin girls was played by a single actress, with Lohan doing the double duty first performed by Hayley Mills (1946–). Lohan successfully met the challenge of playing two different parts, skillfully portraying the girls' different personalities and even different accents. In the film, twin sisters Hallie and Annie are separated during their infancy when their parents divorce. Each grows up, one in the United States and the other in England, not knowing of the other's existence until they meet by chance at a summer camp. After initially clashing, the girls form a tight bond, and their newfound relationship leads to a master plan to reunite their mother and father.
Somewhat overwhelmed and tired out from her hard work in The Parent Trap, Lohan took a break from acting, resuming her "normal" life of going to school and spending time with friends. In 2000 she returned to show business, acting in Life-Size, a made-for-television Disney movie starring model and actress Tyra Banks. That same year Lohan was cast in a new sitcom, Bette, starring comedian, singer, and actress Bette Midler. But when the production for the show moved from New York to Los Angeles, Lohan chose to stay on the East Coast and left the show. Disney came calling again soon after, casting Lohan in Get a Clue (2002), a movie made for broadcast on the company's cable station, the Disney Channel.
Drama queen rules comedies
Lohan's breakthrough role came in 2002, when she was cast as teenager Anna Coleman in another Disney remake, Freaky Friday. Lohan plays a teenage girl embroiled in constant conflict with her widowed mother, Tess Coleman, portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis (1958–). Anna and Tess have little understanding of one another. Tess complains about her daughter's loud music, punk-rock clothing, and taste in boys. Anna resents her mother's plans to remarry, her attempts to control details of her daughter's life, and her refusal to take Anna's musical ambitions seriously. After dinner at a Chinese restaurant one night, Anna and Tess receive identical messages in their fortune cookies, a signal of the mysterious occurrence that results in mother and daughter waking up in each other's bodies the following morning. In a role originated in 1976 by acclaimed actress and director Jodie Foster (1962–), Lohan gracefully handled what amounts to a dual role: Anna the teenager and Tess the mother trapped in a teenager's body. The film, released in 2003, became a hit, its combination of wacky comedy and touching family ties winning over adults as well as its younger target audience.
Her success in Freaky Friday launched Lohan to a new level of fame and made her a must-have actress for young-adult comedies. Lohan once again joined forces with Disney for Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, released in early 2004. The movie, about a drama-loving teenager coping with her family's move from the big city to the suburbs, earned lukewarm reviews, although many took note of Lohan's magnetic presence. She fared better in her next film, released a few months later. In Mean Girls, written by (and costarring) Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey, Lohan played Cady, a teen who grew up traveling the world with her scientist parents. Having been home-schooled all her life, Cady is unprepared for the viciously competitive world of high school cliques. With the help of some new friends, Cady takes on the school's most popular girls, a group known as the Plastics. Mean Girls charged ahead of its competitors at the box office, reaching number one in its first weekend of release. Michelle Tauber wrote in People magazine that this film marked a defining moment in Lohan's career: "Thanks to the critical and financial success of Mean Girls ... Lohan has zipped straight to the head of the class."
Before her eighteenth birthday, Lohan had a number of successful, high-profile film roles under her belt, with more in the works, including yet another revisiting of a Disney classic (1968's The Love Bug ) with Herbie: Fully Loaded, as well as the comedy Dramarama. Her visibility has meant that every step of her transition to adulthood has been documented by the media. Commenting on her physical development in her late teen years, some critics speculated that Lohan had surgery to increase her breast size, a rumor she denounced as ridiculous. A well-publicized tiff with fellow teen queen Hilary Duff revealed Lohan's tough, self-confident nature and, according to Tauber in People, "established Lohan's reputation for making waves." Many news reports have suggested that Lohan heartily enjoys the nightlife, and she has been frequently spotted in clubs, dancing the night away with other young celebrities. Lohan has refused to apologize for her youthful behavior, telling People that "I'm 17. I'm learning, and I'd rather make my own mistakes and learn from them than have to be sheltered my whole life."
Not content to spend all of her time acting, Lohan has also begun developing a singing career. Crafting a style that combines pop, rock, and hip-hop, Lohan started working on her first album in 2003, having earlier signed a multi-album production deal with Emilio Estefan Jr. (1953–), a highly respected producer and the husband of singer Gloria Estefan (1957–). Lohan performed the song "Ultimate" for the soundtrack of Freaky Friday, helping the album reach Billboard magazine's top twenty. The young actress, filled with self-confidence, seems determined to explore her potential on a number of fronts. In numerous magazine articles, including a 2004 profile in Girls'Life, Lohan has explained the reasons behind her career choices and the decisions she makes in her personal life, by expresseing her go-for-it philosophy: "Life is way too short"—too short to worry about what other people think about her, too short to stay at home when she could be out dancing, and too short to settle for starring roles in films when she could become a pop star as well.
For More Information
Bryson, Jodi. "Confessions of a Teen Queen." Girls'Life (April-May 2004): p. 44.
Gostin, Nicki. "Newsmakers." Newsweek (February 23, 2004): p. 67.
Leydon, Joe. " Freaky Friday. " Daily Variety (July 21, 2003): p. 6.
"Lindsay Lohan." People (May 10, 2004): p. 26.
Tauber, Michelle. "Teen Star with a Twist." People (May 24, 2004): p. 79.
"Lindsay Lohan." Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0517820/ (accessed on June 28, 2004).
"Lindsay's Biography." LLRocks.com. http://www.llrocks.com/index.php?a=bio.html&b=blank.html (accessed on June 28, 2004).