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Anna Chlumsky

Anna Chlumsky

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 3, 1980 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actress, model, food critic

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Although brief, Anna Chlumskyâ¿¿s run as Hollywoodâ¿¿s top female child star was memorable, following her scene-stealing portrayal of the loveable morticianâ¿¿s daughter, Vada Sultenfuss, in the 1991 romantic family feature "My Girl." Only 11 years old when she experienced a kind of overnight stardom â¿¿ and her first onscreen kiss from "My Girl" co-star and fellow child phenomenon, Macauley Culkin â¿¿ the pouty-lipped young actress with a natural gift for acting and a beauty that belied her age went on to star in the less successful sequel "My Girl 2" (1994), along with appearances in a plethora of movies and television series through the end of the millennium. Unlike other child stars sucked into the spotlight who outgrew their fame and had nothing left to show for it, the bright actress put her acting career on hold in order to pursue an education â¿¿ and with it, sacrificing her upward trajectory in Hollywood. After returning to the screen in 2005 and once again appearing in a variety of supporting and starring roles, it was clear that her reign as a young A-lister was over. Anna Chlumskyâ¿¿s fame came as quickly as it went â¿¿ from brilliantly owning scenes in "My Girl," to being relegated to...

Although brief, Anna Chlumskyâ¿¿s run as Hollywoodâ¿¿s top female child star was memorable, following her scene-stealing portrayal of the loveable morticianâ¿¿s daughter, Vada Sultenfuss, in the 1991 romantic family feature "My Girl." Only 11 years old when she experienced a kind of overnight stardom â¿¿ and her first onscreen kiss from "My Girl" co-star and fellow child phenomenon, Macauley Culkin â¿¿ the pouty-lipped young actress with a natural gift for acting and a beauty that belied her age went on to star in the less successful sequel "My Girl 2" (1994), along with appearances in a plethora of movies and television series through the end of the millennium. Unlike other child stars sucked into the spotlight who outgrew their fame and had nothing left to show for it, the bright actress put her acting career on hold in order to pursue an education â¿¿ and with it, sacrificing her upward trajectory in Hollywood. After returning to the screen in 2005 and once again appearing in a variety of supporting and starring roles, it was clear that her reign as a young A-lister was over. Anna Chlumskyâ¿¿s fame came as quickly as it went â¿¿ from brilliantly owning scenes in "My Girl," to being relegated to secondary roles in a hodge-podge of unremarkable films and television shows â¿¿ but so winning was her performance as Vada, that her once-in-a-lifetime role guaranteed a certain kind of Hollywood immortality.

Born Dec. 3, 1980 in Chicago, IL, Anna Chlumsky was born into an ambitious family with an odd but prescient tie to Hollywood. Her father was a saxophone player, restaurateur and culinary instructor at Chicagoâ¿¿s Kendall College, and her mother worked at Eastern Airlines before becoming her coach and manager. Her great-grandfather reportedly owned a trained bear that had appeared in "Three Stooges" movies. When Chlumsky was still a toddler, her mother enlisted the youngster with a local modeling agency, after which she modeled off and on for several years, appearing in department store ads and the Sears catalog. She attended grade school at Grace Lutheran Church and School, before attending Walther Lutheran High School. At some point, the beautiful child crossed over beyond the print add, making her feature film debut with a bit part in the family comedy classic "Uncle Buck" (1989), starring a winning John Candy and future child star who would play a big part in the future starâ¿¿s success, a pre-stardom Macaulay Culkin.

It was in 1991 when eleven-year-old Chlumskyâ¿¿s life changed overnight. She beat out hundreds of young girls to portray the precocious Vada Margaret Sultenfuss, in "My Girl," a romantic comedy starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and the then biggest star â¿¿ forget simply "child" star â¿¿ in Hollywood, Macaulay Culkin. As the 1970s morticianâ¿¿s daughter who tries to thwart her single fatherâ¿¿s attempt at love, Chlumsky not only stole the film from an oddly cast Culkin, but became an overnight sensation â¿¿ despite not even having lead billing. However, unlike her young co-star, Chlumsky still harbored dreams of working with horses or in the field of paleontology, so pursuing acting as the be-all and end-all of her life was never an issue. She allegedly even turned down a role in the family movie "Beethoven" in 1992 because she was unsure of her path as newly minted child star. After unsuccessfully screen-testing for the role of Lex in the future blockbuster "Jurassic Park" (1993), she was not seen again on screen for three years, halting any upward momentum. In 1994, she starred in the inevitable, Macaulay-less sequel "My Girl 2" and played a lead role in the family fantasy "Trading Mom."

In 1995, Chlumsky appeared in the mystery adventure film "Golddiggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain" (1995), in which the now 15-year-old performed her own stunts alongside Christina Ricci. A few years later, Chlumsky made her television debut in the sport drama movie "A Childâ¿¿s Wish" (CBS, 1997), starring alongside John Ritter and Tess Harper. Her next few onscreen appearances were on television as well; as Gina Weatherby/Field Pea in the film drama "Miracle in the Woods" (CBS, 1997), co-starring Meredith Baxter and Della Reese, and parts on the romantic comedy series "Cupid" (ABC, 1998-99) and the fantasy-drama "Early Edition" (CBS, 1996-2000), both in 1989. Not yet quite 20 years old, Chlumsky decided to take a break from acting to return to school. She attended the University of Chicago where she majored in international studies. While there, she also appeared in theater productions in the schoolâ¿¿s venue including "Words, Words, Words," "Into the Woods" and "Nine." In 2002, she graduated with a BA, after which she worked as a restaurant guide in Manhattan aspiring to become a food critic. She also found employment as a fact-checker for Zagat Survey and garnered a job as an editorial assistant for a HarperCollins Publishers. However, finding these types of jobs unsatisfying, she decided resume acting again. So serious was she, the onetime former child star pursued formal training at Manhattanâ¿¿s Atlantic Acting School.

Never one to rush things, her next onscreen role came in 2005, when she was cast as Cara, a lead character in the film short "Wait," starring alongside Tyson Beckford and Debi Mazar. That year she also garnered a major role in the play "The Colonelâ¿¿s Holiday" (2005) with the New York theater group the Poor Artists Collective, as well as starred in Lanford Wilsonâ¿¿s production, "Balm in Gilead" (2005) at the American Theatre of Actors. From that point, the actress landed a mix of roles in films and on television, including guest parts on the popular NBC drama series "Law & Order" (1990-2010), and the sitcom "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), as well as a lead role in the comedy horror film "Blood Car" (2007).

Her next most notable appearance was in BBC Filmsâ¿¿ political satire "In the Loop" (2009) as State Department aide Liza Weld, alongside Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Chris Addison and James Gandolfini. That year she also starred in the off-Broadway production of "Unconditional" (2009) at The Public Theater. From there, the actress appeared in numerous movies including a lead role in the ABC TV film drama "House Rules" (2009), the romantic comedy film "The Good Guy" (2009), and again in a guest-starring role in several episodes of "Cupid." Chlumsky returned to television full time in a supporting role in the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy "Veep" (HBO 2012- ); she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy Emmy Award for the show in 2014. She also appeared in a story arc in Bryan Fuller's atmospheric horror series "Hannibal" (NBC 2013- ).

By Ela Lindsay

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Pill, The (2011)
5.
 In the Loop (2009)
6.
 Good Guy, The (2009)
7.
8.
 Blood Car (2007)
9.
 Miracle in the Woods (1997) Gina/Field Pea
10.
 Child's Wish, A (1997) Missy Chandler
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in first magazine ad at 10 months old
:
Made stage debut as one of the singing/dancing orphans in the musical "Annie" in Chicago, IL
1988:
Appeared with Bob Greene in a Japanese TV commercial
1991:
Made feature film debut as star of "My Girl" opposite Macaulay Culkin
1994:
Reprised role of Vada Sultenfuss in the sequel "My Girl 2"
1995:
Co-starred with Christina Ricci in "Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain"
:
Stepped away from the spotlight to focus on her education
:
After graduating from college, worked in New York City as a researcher for restaurant review guide <i>Zagat</i>
2007:
Returned to acting, appearing on an episode of the NBC drama "Law & Order"
2007:
Guest starred on an episode of NBC's "30 Rock" as the character 'Liz Lemler'
2008:
Starred in the off-Broadway production of "Unconditional" at The Public Theater in New York City
2009:
Played a State Department assistant in the political satire "In The Loop"
2009:
Cast in the off-Broadway revival of Maurine Dallas Watkins' "So Help Me God!" at the Lucille Lortel Theatre
2010:
Appeared in the romantic comedy "The Good Guy"
2010:
Cast in Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron's hit off-Broadway comedy "Love, Loss and What I Wore" at the Westside Theatre
2012:
Co-starred on HBO's "Veep" as the chief of staff of a hapless yet well-meaning U.S. vice president (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Walther Lutheran High School: Melrose Park , Illinois -
University of Chicago: Chicago , Illinois - 2002

Notes

Chlumsky has studied singing, ballet, tap, jazz, piano and clarinet.

On acting school: "That's a bunch of stupid stuff. That's for people who think that they're big hotshot professional people. I just want to be a regular kid--and movies are for money."--Anna Chlumsky, quoted in PREMIERE, March 1994

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frank Chlumsky. Chef, former saxophone player. Divorced from Chlumsky's mother.
mother:
Nancy Chlumsky. Former airline reservation clerk, stage actor, singer, daughter's manager. Divorced from Chlumsky's father; born c. 1952.

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