- Was a member of the Mesa Stars Dance and Drill team, which toured the U.S.; several dance scholarships followed.
- Worked briefly as a model.
- Had a three-year stint as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club from 1991 to 1994.
- Almost wasn't cast on Felicity because executive producer J.J. Abrams initially thought that she was too beautiful for the lead part; she later generated much press when she cut her trademark locks at the beginning of the show's 1999 season.
- In 2004 made her stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Neil LaBute's Fat Pig. Her costars included Andrew McCarthy, Jeremy Piven and Ashlie Atkinson.
- Tested for the role of Lois Lane for the 2006 movie Superman Returns (the part went to Kate Bosworth).
- Enjoys household chores such as cleaning and doing laundry because she finds the tasks relaxing.
- 1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Winner
- 2014, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
- Willa Lou Deary — Daughter
- David Russell — Father
- Todd Russell — Brother
- Shane Deary — Husband (separated)
- Julie Russell — Sister
- Stephanie Russell — Mother
- River Russell Deary — Son
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