Mena Suvari

1979

Mena Alexandra Süvari was born in Newport, Rhode Island to Candice (Thompson), a nurse, and Ando Süvari, a psychiatrist. Her father was Estonian and her mother is of Greek, English, and German descent. Mena was raised in a Rhode Island home that was built in 1870 and had early aspirations of becoming an archaeologist before moving to Charleston, SC where she then attended a nationwide modeling competition that landed her a contract with Wilhelmina Models. She later moved out to Los Angeles under their children's theatrical division WeeWillys, which began her acting career.Her film debut was made working with director Gregg Araki in the cult-classic Nowhere (1997) which was soon followed up by the blockbuster American Pie (1999), for which she did her own singing, and the five-time Oscar-awarded American Beauty (1999) directed by Sam Mendes, in which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award as Best Supporting Actress. People Weekly magazine titled an article about her, "All-American Girl" (1

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