Family & Companions
When model Rebecca Romijn turned to acting after years on the fashion runways and in the pages of "Sports Illustrated," Hollywood attempted in vain to typecast her as a wild heartbreaker. After a few plunges into sexually charged drama, the statuesque beauty surprisingly found a more natural fit in comedies. However, it was Romijn's portrayal of Mystique in the blockbuster "X-Men" franchise that instantly transformed her into a sex symbol with the comic book crowd and led to a surge in her popularity with the general public. But her continuing struggle against typecasting as one-dimensional eye-candy eventually earned Romijn excellent opportunities on television. With her quick wit and sometimes goofy personality, she proved an appealing supporting comedienne on "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-10) and her own unfortunately ill-marketed vehicle, "Pepper Dennis" (WB, 2005-06), both of which helped usher in a new era of comedic television roles for the down-to-earth bombshell who was that rare commodity - beloved by both men and women. She was also a regular on "Eastwick" (ABC, 2009), an unfortunately short-lived reboot of "The Witches of Eastwick," and the TNT detective series "King & Maxwell" (2013). She also hosted the reality competition show "Skin Wars" (2014-16). New success came when she was cast on the series "The Librarians" (TNT, 2014- ), a reboot of the "Librarian" series of TV movies starring Noah Wyle. Developed by John Rogers after his heist series "Leverage" (TNT, 2008-12) went off the air, "The Librarians" offered Romijn a chance to showcase both her comedic abilities and her action-star qualities, playing a well-rounded, complex character in a fun and adventurous setting.
A real California girl, Romijn was born on Nov. 6, 1972, and raised in Berkeley, CA. Her mother was a teacher and author and her father was a Dutch-born furniture designer. While the natural blonde sprouted to nearly six feet tall as a teen, she never considered modeling when she was young; instead she was self-conscious about the height and slenderness that made her stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, during her freshman year at the University of California-Santa Cruz, her stunning appearance attracted the attention of a modeling scout, who persuaded her to give modeling a try. Faced with the exciting opportunity to travel abroad and make money, Romijn did not return to school for her sophomore year and instead moved to Paris where she did print and runway modeling for well-known designers and fashion magazines. After three years in Paris, she moved back to the United States and landed a modeling contract with Victoria's Secret and made the first of several appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The young model's street cred in the fashion world - combined with her bubbly personality - made her a perfect candidate to host MTV's "House of Style" (MTV, 1989-2000), a position formerly held by fellow supermodel Cindy Crawford.
It was during her run on "House of Style" that the public, as well as casting directors, first realized that this supermodel was also gifted with a winning, sometimes daffy, personality and impeccable comic timing. A blossoming relationship with former "Full House" (ABC, 1987-1995) actor John Stamos further raised Romijn's profile, with the couple's affectionate public appearances making them into one of Hollywood's more "awwwwww"-ed about pairs. Around the time that Romijn's acting career began to gain some momentum, they were married in the fall of 1998 in a high profile ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She had made a few guest appearances before, but most of those had just banked on her good looks. Tired of those limiting gigs, she opted to take on supporting roles that showcased her sense of humor - of particular note was her work in movies like "Dirty Work" (1998) (as a bearded lady), and "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999), opposite Mike Myers. She even skewered the supermodel image with a guest spot as a vapid model who marries David Spade's nebbish character on the hit sitcom, "Just Shoot Me" (NBC, 1997-2003).
The following year, Romijn made her strongest film impression yet when she donned scaly blue body paint over strategically placed prosthetics to portray evil mutant Mystique in the film version of the comic book, "X-Men" (2000). The film became a huge blockbuster, and immediately transformed Romijn into a dream girl for the sci-fi set. She followed up that success in a sci-fi action remake of "Rollerball" (2002), a leaden disaster of near-epic proportions, and "Simone" (2002), where she effectively played an actress who publicly doubles for a popular computer-generated actress whom audiences believe is real. Her first starring role was in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller, "Femme Fatale" (2002), as a former con woman drawn into all manner of illicit intrigue in an attempt to stay on the straight and narrow. But De Palma's notoriously questionable and misogynistic taste prevailed and the film failed to hit the mark like some of the better-known erotic thrillers of the time.
Romijn returned to play the nearly-nude Mystique in "X2: X-Men United" (2003), the superior sequel in which the actress received even more screen time, including a memorable scene in her own her blonde-haired, non-blue persona. Just days before the premiere of "The Punisher" (2004), also with Marvel and producer Avi Arad, news broke that the Romijn had split with her husband Stamos. The resultant media attention surrounding the actress with "The Punisher," in which she played a neighbor of the gun-toting superhero, and the sci-fi thriller "Godsend" (2004), which opened weeks later and starred Romijn and Greg Kinnear as a couple who raise a clone of their dead child with unhappy results, catapulted Romijn into the ranks of in-demand celebrities. In 2005, she announced her engagement to former child actor Jerry O'Connell, then suited up in blue for the third and weakest installment of the series, "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), directed by Brett Ratner.
Feature film directors seemed curiously reluctant to call on Romijn for comic roles after all her success as a femme fatale, but the actress finally got a shot to showcase her goofier side when she was cast as the lead in the series "Pepper Dennis" (WB, 2005-06), as a workaholic journalist whose life is thrown into chaos when her sister suffers an early mid-life crisis and moves in with her. The show debuted on the WB in April - not the best time of year to premiere a new show - while a lame marketing effort concentrating on Romijn's stellar physique rather than her acting chops or the show's strong writing doomed the series to a poor start. It never recovered. But television executives paid notice to Romijn's performance, and the following year she was added to the cast of the Emmy-winning comedy series "Ugly Betty," as a male-to-female transsexual and new executive at the fashion magazine home of America Ferrara's ambitious but bungling young assistant.
In 2007, playful couple Romijn and O'Connell were married in a casual backyard affair that was in stark contrast to the bride's first over-the-top nuptials to Stamos. The following year, she gave birth to twin girls. The busy working mom ended her run on "Ugly Betty" in 2008 and returned to television in 2009 as one of the stars of "Eastwick" (ABC, 2009-), an adaptation of the 1987 supernatural dramedy "The Witches of Eastwick," about a group of suburban women with unusual powers.
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Began modeling career after being recruited by a Parisian model scout
Spent three years in Paris modeling for magazines like <i>Elle, Sports Illustrated, Marie Claire</i>, etc.
Moved to NYC and divided time between U.S. and Europe
Made TV acting debut on an episode of "Friends" (NBC), played Ross' (David Schwimmer) messy girlfriend
Landed small but unforgettable part as a drunken, bearded lady in Norm Macdonald's big-screen comedy "Dirty Work"
Succeeded Daisy Fuentes as host of MTV's "House of Style"
Portrayed Hugh Hefner's daughter Kimberly in the USA Network TV-movie "Hefner: Unauthorized"
Made a cameo in the blockbuster comedy "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"
Had recurring role as David Spade's model wife on the NBC comedy "Just Shoot Me"
First major movie role; playing the evil mutant Mystique in "X-Men"
Played the female lead in "Rollerball," a remake of the 1975 sci-fi film of the same name
Had a small role as an actress doubling for the computer generated female lead of "Simone"
Starred as con woman Laure Ash in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller "Femme Fatale"
Again played Mystique in "X2"
Starred opposite Greg Kinnear as parents who clone their son after he was killed in an accident in the thriller "Godsend"
Starred opposite Thomas Jane and John Travolta in "The Punisher"
Appeared in the documentary "Wet Dreams" about her attempt to choreograph one of the Bellagio's famous water fountain routines; premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival
Played the series lead on the short-lived "Pepper Dennis" (The WB)
Reprised the role of Mystique in the third installment of the "X-Men" series, "X-Men: The Last Stand"
Joined the cast of ABC's "Ugly Betty" as Alexis Meade, a male-to-female transsexual
Cast as Roxie on the short-lived ABC series "Eastwick," based on the John Updike novel and 1987 feature film
Made a cameo in the prequel "X-Men: First Class"
Cast in Tyler Perry written and directed drama feature "Good Deeds"
Played Michelle Maxwell on the short-lived "King & Maxwell"
Had a recurring guest role on "Burning Love"
Began playing Eve Baird on "The Librarians"
Lent her voice to "Adventure Time"
Voiced Lois Lane in the direct-to-video animated feature "The Death of Superman"
Joined the cast of "Star Trek: Discovery"