Jessica Claire Biel (born March 3, 1982) is an American actress, model, and occasional singer. Biel is known for her television role as Mary Camden in the long-running family-drama series 7th Heaven. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films, including Summer Catch, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Illusionist, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and The A-Team.
Jessica Claire Biel was born in Ely, Minnesota. Her mother, Kimberly (née Conroe), is a homemaker and spiritual healer. Her father, Jonathan Biel, worked for GE and was also an entrepreneur and business consultant. She is of German, French, English, and Choctaw ancestry and has a younger brother, Justin, born in 1985. Biel's family moved frequently during her childhood, living in Texas, Connecticut, and Woodstock, Illinois, before finally settling in Boulder, Colorado. While growing up, Biel played soccer and also trained as a gymnast. She is also an avid snowboarder. From 2000 to 2002, she attended Tufts University in Medford, MA.
Biel initially trained to be a vocalist, and from age nine appeared in several musical productions in her hometown, playing lead roles in productions such as Annie, The Sound of Music, and Beauty and the Beast.