Jennifer Love Hewitt (born February
21, 1979) is an American actress, television director, voice actress,
singer-songwriter, and film and television producer. Hewitt began her
acting career as a child by appearing in television commercials and the
Disney Channel series Kids Incorporated. She rose to fame in teenage
popular culture via her roles in the Fox series Party of Five, as Sarah
Reeves, and the films I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel, as
As a singer, Hewitt has been signed by Atlantic Records and Jive Records.
She is primarily known for her recordings in the pop genre and has a
contralto vocal range. To date, her most successful single on the
Billboard Hot 100 is the 1999 release "How Do I Deal", which peaked at
#59. In addition, she has contributed music to the promotion or
soundtracks of acting projects.
Hewitt's physical appearance has been the subject of much media attention
throughout her career. She has been lauded as one of the most attractive
women in the entertainment industry by publications such as Maxim, in
which she was named the sexiest woman in the world in 1999, and TV Guide,
which named her the sexiest woman on television in 2008. In 2007,
paparazzi photos of Hewitt on a beach led to a much-publicized matter in
which she defended her weight, and was supported by other celebrities.
These incidents received coverage from People magazine.
In addition to acting, Hewitt has also served as a producer on some of her
film and television projects. She can be seen on the CBS television
program Ghost Whisperer as Melinda Gordon, a young woman who can
communicate with ghosts. She won a Saturn Award in 2007 and 2008 for Best
Actress on Television.
Hewitt was born in Waco, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Mae (née Shipp),
a speech-language pathologist, and Herbert Daniel Hewitt, a medical
technician. Hewitt grew up in Nolanville, Texas; after the divorce of her
parents, Hewitt and her older brother, Todd Hewitt, were brought up by her
As a young girl, Hewitt was attracted to music, which led to her first
encounters with the entertainment industry. At the age of three, she sang
"The Greatest Love of All" at a livestock show. Just a year after that, at
a restaurant-dance hall, she entertained an audience with her version of
"Help Me Make It Through the Night." By the time she was five, Hewitt
already had tap dancing and ballet in her portfolio. At nine, she became a
member of the Texas Show Team (which also toured in the Soviet Union). At
the age of ten, at the suggestion of talent scouts and winning the title
of Texas Our Little Miss Talent Winner, she moved to Los Angeles,
California, with her mother to pursue a career in both acting and singing.
In Los Angeles, Hewitt attended Lincoln High School where her classmates
included Jonathan Neville, who later became a talent scout and recommended
Hewitt for her role in Party of Five.
After moving to Los Angeles, Hewitt appeared in more than twenty
television commercials. Her first break came as a child actor on the
Disney Channel variety show Kids Incorporated (1989–1991), where she was
credited as just Love Hewitt. During this time she danced in and sang all
the songs for a live action video called Dance! Workout With Barbie
released by Buena Vista.
In 1993, she played Pierce Brosnan's daughter in a pilot for NBC called
Running Wilde, which featured Brosnan as a reporter for Auto World
magazine whose stories cover his own wild auto adventures. However, the
series wasn't picked up and the pilot never aired. Aired in 1993 was
Sister Act II in which Hewitt also played a role, singing in the choir.
Although not a leading speaking role she did appear prominently in the
film. Hewitt later had roles in several short-lived television series,
such as Fox's Shaky Ground (1992–1993), ABC's The Byrds of Paradise
(1994), and McKenna (1994–1995), and finally became a young star after
landing the role of Sarah Reeves on the popular Fox Television show Party
of Five (1995–1999). She assumed the role of Sarah after joining that show
during its second season and continued it on the short-lived Party of Five
spin-off, Time of Your Life (1999), which she also co-produced. The show
was cancelled after only half a season.
Hewitt made her film debut in the independent film Munchie (1992). She
became a film star after a lead role in the horror film I Know What You
Did Last Summer (1997), which enjoyed great box-office success
(125,000,000 U.S. dollars worldwide). The film made Hewitt and her
co-stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar
some of the most popular young stars in the USA. She also appeared in the
sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), which, though
ultimately not as successful as the first film, took in more money on its
opening weekend. Other notable film roles have included the high-school
comedy Can't Hardly Wait (1998) and a starring role with Sigourney Weaver
in the romantic comedy Heartbreakers (2001).
In 2000, Hewitt appeared in The Audrey Hepburn Story. That same year, she
was the "most popular actress on television" due to her Q-rating (a
measurement of a celebrity's popularity) of 37. For that reason, Nokia
chose her to become its spokesperson, because of her "fresh image," and
her being "a symbol of youthfulness and wholesomeness."
In 2001, she appeared in the music video for the Enrique Iglesias song,
"Hero," as the singer's love interest.
Hewitt wrote "I'm Gonna Love You" for the movie The Hunchback of Notre
Dame II because, although she was a well-known singer at the time, her
character Madellaine was the only character who didn't sing in the movie.
The song won Best Song at the DVD Awards.
Since September 2005, Hewitt has starred in the television series Ghost
Whisperer. In Australia, Ghost Whisperer has been popular since its
introduction; in the United States, the show averages 9–11 million viewers
for each new episode. Hewitt has also auditioned for many roles. She was
asked to play Juliet in Romeo + Juliet, but the director felt she wasn't
modern looking. The role went to Claire Danes. She also had to give up the
role of Darlene in Brokedown Palace because of scheduling conflicts; that
role went to Kate Beckinsale.
Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy are starring in "Cafe", an indie drama from
writer-director Marc Erlbaum. Alexa Vega, Madeline Carroll, Daniel Eric
Gold and Hubble Palmer also appear as part of an ensemble of Philadelphia
residents who frequent the local West Philly Grounds coffee shop where
Hewitt's character Claire works. The film began shooting on May 11, 2009.
In 1991, Meldac funded the recording of Hewitt's first album Love Songs,
when she was just 12. The album was only released in Japan in 1992 where
Hewitt became a pop star. Her explanation for her success in Japan is that
the Japanese "love perky music. The poppier the music, the better."
After she joined the cast of Party of Five in 1995, she signed to Atlantic
Records, who rushed her first single and second album, Let's Go Bang, out
Juggling her music career with her acting career, she recorded her
follow-up in 1996. The first single, "No Ordinary Love," failed to chart
and led to the album doing the same. Atlantic dropped Hewitt, who didn't
return to the music scene for three years.
In 1999, she recorded the single "How Do I Deal" for the I Still Know What
You Did Last Summer soundtrack. The song became Hewitt's first charting
single by climbing to #59 on the Hot 100 and #36 on the Top 40 Mainstream.
It also reached #8 in Australia.
In 2002, Hewitt signed to Jive Records and recorded her fourth album with
singer/songwriter/producer Meredith Brooks. The first single, "BareNaked,"
became her biggest radio hit to date when it peaked at #24 on the Bubbling
Under Hot 100 chart, #31 on the Adult Top 40 and #25 on the Top 40
Mainstream. It also climbed to #6 in Australia and #33 in the Netherlands.
The moderate success of the single propelled her album of the same name to
peak at #37 on the Billboard 200 and #31 in Australia. However, it only
remained on the chart for three weeks. The second single, "Can I Go Now,"
failed to chart in the US, while managing to peak at #8 in the Netherlands
and #12 in Australia.
Since 2003, Hewitt has not actively done anything in the music industry,
but a compilation called Cool with You: The Platinum Collection was
released in Asia.
In addition to starring in the 2004 film If Only, Hewitt also co-wrote and
performed two songs for its soundtrack: "Love Will Show You Everything"
and "Take My Heart Back."
She also appeared in the 2004 made-for-television musical version of A
Christmas Carol, performing the singing role of Ebenezer Scrooge's fiance
In May 2009, she confirmed she was working on a country album. The album
is due for a 2010 release date, a country label has not been announced
Hewitt is an honorary godparent of the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
She has dated singer-guitarist John Mayer and professional kayaker Brad
Ludden among others.
Hewitt was engaged to Scottish actor Ross McCall, whom she met when he
made an appearance on Ghost Whisperer. After a year of dating, they became
engaged In November 2007, while vacationing in Hawaii. However, on January
5, 2009, People magazine reported that Hewitt and McCall called off their
engagement. She later began a relationship with Ghost Whisperer co-star
Jamie Kennedy; the two were reported to be engaged July 21, 2009, but the
couples' representatives and Kennedy himself later stated that this had
Hewitt told Craig Ferguson she was a soccer fan, and she is a supporter of
Celtic F.C on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Paparazzi photographs secretly taken of Hewitt on vacation in a bikini led
to harsh criticism of her body by bloggers. Hewitt responded: "I've sat by
in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly
scrutinized.... What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best
days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of
having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad
angles." She posed on the cover of Us Weekly 10 weeks later, having lost
18lb since the photos were taken. She said she had lost the weight to
boost her energy levels, while her trainer claims that she said the weight
loss had nothing to do with critical comments. Hewitt later defended
Jessica Simpson for receiving similar criticism saying, "It gets silly.
We're all supposed to look how we're supposed to look. We're made to be
Hewitt recently wrote a book, to be released in March 2010, called The Day
I Shot Cupid, in which she writes of her experiences with love and dating.
While talking about the book during an interview on Lopez Tonight (12 Jan
2010), she famously said that there is a chapter in it about "vajazzling"
her "vajayjay" (decorating her vagina with Swarovski crystals). She said
it looked "cute", revealed that she was currently vajazzled with "hot
pink" crystals and recommended to all women that they also "vajazzle their
vajayjays". This became a big internet hit with the video going viral,
widespread news coverage and the term "vajazzling" becoming one of the
most searched terms on google the next day.