Amanda Leigh "Mandy" Moore (born
April 10, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter, actress and fashion
designer. She grew up in Florida. Moore became famous as a teenager in the
late 1990s, after the release of her teen-oriented pop albums So Real, I
Wanna Be with You, and Mandy Moore. Moore subsequently branched out into a
film career, starring in 2002's A Walk to Remember and later appearing in
the lead roles of other movies, such as Chasing Liberty, also aimed at
teenage audiences. Two of Moore's later films, American Dreamz and Saved!,
were satires. Her private life, including her relationships with tennis
player Andy Roddick and with actors Wilmer Valderrama and Zach Braff as
well as her marriage with singer Ryan Adams became the subject of much
discussion in the media. Her most recent album, Amanda Leigh, was released
on May 26, 2009. Moore has sold more than 10 million records worldwide.
Moore was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, the daughter of Stacy, a former
news reporter whom the Orlando Sentinel had once employed, and Donald
"Don" Moore, a pilot for American Airlines. Moore's father is of Irish and
Cherokee descent, and her mother is of English and Jewish ancestry. Moore,
who has two brothers, Scott Moore and Kyle Moore, grew up in Longwood,
Florida, outside of Orlando, where the family moved shortly after her
birth because of her father's job as an airline pilot. She was raised
Catholic, even though she is no longer a practicing Catholic, and attended
Bishop Moore High School, a Catholic school in Orlando, as well as Lake
Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs.
Moore's interest in singing grew after seeing the musical Oklahoma! She
was also encouraged to perform by her maternal grandmother, who was her
inspiration. Some of Moore's first public exposure occurred when she sang
the national anthem at several Florida sporting events. She subsequently
came to the attention of the head of the artists and repertoire department
at Epic Records after his friend, a FedEx employee, overheard her as she
sang at a recording studio.
Moore toured with the Backstreet Boys throughout 1999. Her debut album, So
Real, was released in December 1999 and reached #31 on the U.S. Billboard
200 album charts. Unfortunately for her image, at the time of the album's
release, reviewers considered Moore the latest in a series of
heavily-marketed female teen singers described as "pop princesses," akin
to Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson. Entertainment
Weekly Magazine's review of So Real, written by Elizabeth Vincentelli,
accused Moore's songs, revolving around "not-yet-experienced love," of
having been performed with "suffocating professionalism," and called the
album's ballads "nauseating."
Moore reached mainstream radio later, and at a younger age, than Simpson,
Aguilera and Spears had, and she was initially not as successful as they
were, although So Real was certified platinum in the U.S. in early 2000
and sold nearly one million copies. Moore's debut teen-oriented pop hit
single "Candy," which Yahoo! Movies described as "strangely provocative,"
peaked just outside the top forty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts,
and was certified gold. The single was more successful in Europe,
especially in the UK, where it reached number 6. Allmusic called the
single "mediocre" and "typical," containing lyrics that described love "in
terms of sugar treats."
Moore released I Wanna Be with You in May 2000. The album, which was
mostly completed with synthesizers, bass, guitar, and drums comprised new
songs alongside tracks and remixes from So Real. Several reviewers
criticized it on the basis that it was a remix album and not a true
follow-up, with Allmusic accusing its style of being "trashier, flashier,
gaudier, and altogether more disposable" than that of So Real. It peaked
at #21 on the Billboard 200, was certified gold in the U.S. sold nearly
1,000,000 copies. The title track, "I Wanna Be with You," was the album's
only single and reached #24 on the Hot 100, Moore's highest peak to date.
It was also featured on the soundtrack of the film Center Stage in 2000.
In June 2001, Moore released her second full-length album, her third
overall, the self-titled album Mandy Moore. She promoted the album with
her first headlining concert, "Mandy Moore Live@ShoutBack." The album
contained uptempo tracks and influences from Eastern music, and Allmusic
was kinder, describing it as a "lush, layered production." It received
mixed reviews from other critics. The album debuted at #35 on the
Billboard 200, was later certified gold in the U.S. sold 443,000 copies.
The lead single was "In My Pocket," which Entertainment Weekly said
contained "pumping, Indian influenced Euro disco." The album's follow-up
single was titled "Crush." The early 2002 release of the final single,
"Cry", tied in with the film A Walk to Remember, Moore's debut as a lead
In 2006, Moore commented on her early albums with ill feelings, noting
that although she believed that her first album was appropriate for her
age at the time when she released it, she felt it "sucked" and that her
first albums were "just awful." Moore also said that she "would give a
refund to everyone who bought my first two albums" if she could; during a
radio interview in April 2006, the show's co-host—who had seen her
comments—asked her for a refund on the first album, a request that Moore
In October 2003, Moore released her fourth album Coverage, which Allmusic
characterized as a "leap to musical maturity" and which Entertainment
Weekly called an "effort to shed her bubblegum-blond image". The album
peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 (her highest ranking to date); but
"Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Senses Working Overtime", its only two
singles, did not perform well on the charts. Moore's cover of "I Feel the
Earth Move" appeared on Love Rocks, a compilation CD of songs from gay
Due to low sales for Coverage, Sony's Epic Records dropped Moore. The
company released the hits compilation album The Best of Mandy Moore, which
reached #148 on the Billboard 200 in November 2004 as a final obligation
to Moore's contract. Another compilation, Candy, followed in 2005. During
this time period, the only music Moore had recorded was a song demo,
"Hey!", written by James Renald, and a cover version of Lori McKenna's
In early 2006, Moore stated that she missed her music career and that
singing is what she was the "most passionate about." Moore had signed to
Sire Records after her contract with Epic Records ended, but she left the
company in May 2006. She signed with a new EMI Music-owned record company,
The Firm, in July that year, describing her new contract as "especially
exciting," and adding that she left Sire Records because she did not want
to "follow the mainstream," but rather have "complete control and freedom"
over her work. Moore's new album, Wild Hope, was released on June 19,
2007, and includes collaborations with artists Chantal Kreviazuk, Rachael
Yamagata, Lori McKenna and The Weepies. Moore stayed alone in a house in
Woodstock in Upstate New York while recording the album in late 2006. She
performed new material from Wild Hope at the Sundance Film Festival; her
first single, "Extraordinary," premiered on her MySpace profile on January
29, 2007. Moore performed the song at the Brick Awards on April 12, 2007
and launched a tour in the summer of 2007.
The album was released in the USA in June 2007 to positive reviews. It
fared moderately well on the charts, debuting at number thirty on the
Billboard 200 (Moore's third highest charting album in the U.S.), and at
number 84 in Canada. In August 2007, Moore toured with Paula Cole, and
Rachael Yamagata, playing at mid-size venues in the United States and
Canada. Wild Hope was placed at number 10 on Entertainment Weekly's "The
Must List" and also named Reader's Choice for that August 10 issue, two
months after its release. Moore surprised many with a free concert in
Boston on July 18, 2007.
On February 23, 2008, Moore released Wild Hope in Australia, and
subsequently toured with Ben Lee and the West Australian Symphony
Orchestra in Western Australia, supporting Kelly Clarkson on her tour. In
October 2008, Moore posted on her website blog live videos of three new
songs she's been working on, along with singer-songwriter, pianist and
guitarist Mike Viola. It was at first expected to a be a duo album between
the two, but then in January 2009, it was revealed it would be a solo
album with a collaboration with him, slated for release in April 2009.
It was announced in February 2009 that the new album was to be released in
May 2009, named Amanda Leigh, and be released on a new label called
Storefront Recordings. This new label was founded by Moore's long time
manager John Leshay. On June 2009, Moore performed 5 tracks of her new
Amanda Leigh album, including “Nothing Everything” and “Love To Love Me
Back,” at the Walmart Soundcheck show.
In May 2009, she released her latest album, Amanda Leigh, to generally
positive reviews. Rolling Stone said about the album: "the title is taken
from the singer's real first and middle names, the acoustic
instrumentation emits a cozy campfire glow, and the album was recorded in
a modest basement home studio. Message: This is real music, not
computerized starlet pop." Time Magazine said that the album was
An article on the album by Paper Magazine said, "Mandy (in the album)...
shows real thoughtful and emotional depth." Paper concluded that "Moore is
a far better musician than she's often given credit for."
Moore stated in an article for Shape magazine that she has begun to write
for a new album.
During the summer of 2000, Moore hosted a half-hour MTV talk show, The
Mandy Moore Show, which was renamed Mandy a year later. Moore was also a
Neutrogena spokesperson, appearing in commercials and print ads for the
product. She has modelled for Penshoppe in the Philippines, Coach handbags
in Japan, and was a spokesperson for the School and Youth Programs of the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her first acting role was in the
straight-to-video children's film Magic Al and the Mind Factory in which
she plays the character of Brittany Foster.
In 2001, Moore appeared in a small part as the mean and popular
cheerleader Lana Thomas opposite actresses Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews
in the film The Princess Diaries. During the film, Moore's character
performs "Stupid Cupid," a song from the film's soundtrack. She also had a
voiceover role in Dr. Dolittle 2 as the Girl Bear Cub. In 2002, Moore had
her first starring role in a major feature film in A Walk to Remember,
which co-starred Shane West. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, the
film revolved around the developing romance between a Protestant
minister's daughter Jamie Sullivan (Moore) and an unruly teenager Landon
Carter (West). The film was moderately successful, bringing in $41 million
in the United States, and establishing Moore's status as a lead actress.
Although the film received mainly negative reviews, Moore received several
positive notices for her performance, with critic Roger Ebert calling her
"quietly convincing". At that summer's MTV Movie Awards, Moore won an
award for "Breakthrough Female Performance" for the role. The same year,
she voiced the Final Fantasy VII character Aerith Gainsborough in the
Square-Disney crossover video game Kingdom Hearts, was featured in the
music video for Elton John's "Original Sin", and was ranked number
sixty-seven in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World".
In 2003, Moore starred in the romantic comedy film How to Deal, which
failed to draw in teenage crowds in the U.S. and grossed a total of $14
million domestically. Her next film was 2004's Chasing Liberty, a romantic
comedy that grossed approximately $12 million. Both films received
negative reviews; however, Ebert once again singled Moore's performances
out, noting in his review of How to Deal that Moore has "an unaffected
natural charm" and "almost makes the movie worth seeing," and adding in
his Chasing Liberty review that she has "undeniable screen presence and
inspires instant affection." Other critics described her as an "actress of
limited range," though one review of Chasing Liberty noted that she was
the "most painless of former pop princesses." Later in 2004, Moore
appeared in a lead role in the religion satire Saved! in which she played
Hilary Faye, a proper and popular girl at a Christian school. The film was
positively reviewed, though it did not receive a wide release. Moore
received praise for her performance, with one critic calling her a
"demented delight" and another naming it her best performance to date. She
sang a cover version of The Beach Boys 1966 hit "God Only Knows," with
Michael Stipe, that bookended the movie.
In 2005, Moore lent her voice to the film Racing Stripes and appeared on
the television series Entourage; she was also originally scheduled to star
in the films Cursed, Havoc, and The Upside of Anger, all of which were
eventually released in 2005 without Moore's involvement.
In 2006, Moore guest-starred in two episodes of Scrubs: "My Half-Acre" and
"Her Story II". The same year, she lent her voice to The Simpsons, playing
Tabitha Vixx in the episode Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play which aired
Moore also appeared in the parody American Dreamz, which was released in
April 2006. In the film, she played a deranged contestant on a television
series modeled after American Idol. Director Paul Weitz stated that he had
Moore in mind for the role before she was cast, explaining that "there's
something inherently sweet about Mandy; it makes it all the more
interesting to see her in a villainess role". Moore has said that she
enjoys playing mean-spirited characters but fears being typecast as a
villain. American Dreamz opened at number nine at the U.S. box office,
eventually totaling barely $7 million, and received mixed reviews; critic
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, however, wrote that Moore and
co-star Hugh Grant have a "wicked barbed chemistry" in their roles, while
Variety's Robert Koehler said Moore's role was a "pitch-perfect study of a
woman for whom a reality show is reality".
Later that year, in what ComingSoon.net's review described as a
"surprisingly good performance", Moore voiced Nita, the heroine of the
Disney animated sequel Brother Bear 2, which was released directly-to-DVD
on August 29. She was also originally cast to appear in that year's
ensemble film Bobby, but was replaced by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Moore, citing her conservative upbringing, has expressed dissatisfaction
with her appearance on a May 2006 cover of Cosmopolitan; the magazine's
headline is "orgasms unlimited", which refers to an article unrelated to
her. In her movie following this, Because I Said So, co-starring Gabriel
Macht, Lauren Graham and Diane Keaton, Moore's character describes in
detail the feeling of an orgasm to her mother, Keaton's character. It was
released on February 2, 2007 and received mixed reviews. In License to
Wed, Moore portrays a young bride-to-be who has to complete a three-week
prenup course before her wedding. Co-starring John Krasinski as her fiance
and Robin Williams as a priest, the film was released on July 3, 2007 to
mostly negative reviews. However, according to Variety, Moore's own acting
Moore's movies have grossed a total of $220,701,061 domestically.
In 2007, Moore returned to the small screen in an episode of How I Met
Your Mother entitled "Wait for It".
She has recently begun filming on a new movie titled, "Swinging with the
Finkels". She is also set to voice Princess Rapunzel, the tenth Disney
Princess, in the upcoming animated Disney film Rapunzel.
Moore dated Philippines-born singer/actor Billy Crawford for a "few
months" when she was younger.
Moore dated actor Wilmer Valderrama for eighteen months between 2000 and
2002. In 2006, Valderrama appeared on The Howard Stern Show and detailed
that he and Moore were each other's "first loves" although he did not
claim that their relationship was sexual, as was alleged by several media
sources who misquoted his remarks. Moore later referred to Valderrama as a
"good guy" and a "gentleman" although she has stated that his comments
about their relationship were "utterly tacky".
Moore began dating tennis star Andy Roddick in 2002; Roddick ended the
relationship in March 2004.
In November 2004, Moore began dating Scrubs actor Zach Braff. Referring to
Braff, Moore said that she likes "good Jewish boy(s)... with a sense of
humor". In 2006, the two were incorrectly reported to be engaged and broke
up later in 2006.
In early 2007, media reports linked Moore to Adam Goldstein, known
professionally as "DJ AM" though the two were reported to have ended their
relationship in March 2007.
Also in 2007, she briefly dated actor/singer Greg Laswell.
Moore got engaged to singer-songwriter and New York resident Ryan Adams,
formerly of the alt-country band Whiskeytown; they announced their
engagement on February 11, 2009 and married on March 10, 2009, in
Moore's favorite musicians include Elton John, Switchfoot, Weezer, and
Bette Midler; Midler is also Moore's favorite actress, and her film
Beaches was Moore's favorite film when she was a teenager. Moore also
enjoys Annie Hall and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and has
described herself as a "glass-half-full kind of person"; She says she does
not know how to cook, but has set a goal for herself to take cooking
Moore has also become a fan of mixed martial arts, often attending UFC
events and being noted as one of the mainstream celebrities on hand. When
shown at UFC 83, from Montreal, Quebec, color commentator Joe Rogan
jokingly referred to her as a "UFC groupie". She was next seen at the MGM
Grand Garden Arena on May 24, 2008 for UFC 84, with play-by-play announcer
Mike Goldberg observing that "She's becoming a UFC regular." She was seen
at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 6, 2008 for UFC 86, cheering for
light heavyweight contender Forrest Griffin and most recently at UFC:
Silva vs. Irvin on July 19, 2008.
As to her religious beliefs, Moore considers herself spiritual, and has
said that she does not think of herself as either Catholic or Christian.
In early 2007, Moore stated that during the previous year, she had
undergone a "really crazy time" in her life, asking herself "life-altering