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By the time she graduated from high school, Mary Kate Schellhardt had already worked with Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ron Howard, and Tom Hanks. With the support of her artistically-inclined family, Schellhardt trained as a child at Chicago's famous Piven Theater Workshop. Founded by Joyce and Byrne Piven, parents of "Entourage" actor Jeremy Piven, the workshop enabled Schellhardt to audition for major Hollywood films while still in school. She landed her first professional acting gig in 1993's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" as Ellen, the hardworking younger sister of the disaffected title teen (Johnny Depp). The critically-acclaimed drama, centered on Gilbert's growing frustration over being responsible for his morbidly obese mother (Darlene Cates) and mentally-handicapped brother (Leonardo DiCaprio), launched Schellhardt's career. She next appeared as Tom Hanks' eldest daughter in the Oscar-winning film "Apollo 13," about a disastrous 1970 space flight that almost ended in tragedy, and played a sensitive teen in the environmental drama "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home." Since taking a break in the late '90s to study at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, Schellhardt has returned to acting. She's appeared in numerous primetime series, including the medical comedy "Scrubs" and the short-lived drama "Windfall," and starred in the indie slasher flick "Jack Rio."
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