Family & Companions
After an impressive early appearance as a straight-talking sex kitten in the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" (1998), followed by a prominent role in the megahit teen comedy "American Pie" (1999), appealing young actress Tara Reid was poised for a robust career in Hollywood. After starting her career with television guest spots on shows like "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (NBC, 1993-2000), she landed the breakout role of trophy wife Bunny in "The Big Lebowski." Suddenly a hot ticket, Reid was offered parts in projects such as the thriller "Urban Legend" (1998) and teen melodrama "Cruel Intentions" (1999). However, it was her role as the virginal Vicky in the raunchy high school sex farce "American Pie" that officially put Reid on the Hollywood map along with the rest of her co-stars.
Born on Nov. 8, 1975 in Wyckoff, NJ to parents Donna and Tom, Reid attended several schools as a young girl, including Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School and Ramapo High School, before graduating from Barnstable Academy, an alternative high school. She later attended the Professional Children's School in Manhattan. Reid began her acting career at the age of four, when, after being notice by a casting agent, she was booked on several commercials, including spots for McDonald's and Jell-O. As a six-year-old, she began appearing regularly on the short-lived daytime game show "Child's Play" (CBS, 1982-83), prior to landing a small role as a preteen vampire in the horror sequel "A Return to Salem's Lot" (1987). Upon graduating from Barnstable, Reid moved to Los Angeles, and before long was picking up small roles on television series like the teen comedy "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (NBC, 1993-2000), as well as the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ). Her big break came with a small, but memorable role in Ethan and Joel Coen's cult classic "The Big Lebowski" (1998). In the film, Reid played the role of the bikini-clad Bunny, trophy wife of the titular Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston), a millionaire whose shady dealings draw dedicated slacker, The Dude (Jeff Bridges), into an increasingly bizarre case of mistaken identity. Although on screen for less than a minute, Reid's sassy, sexy performance brought the young actress the attention she needed to jumpstart her fledgling career.
With her heightened profile, Reid picked up more work and excelled in supporting roles that traded on her undeniable sexuality, as in the Dominique Swain feature, "Girl" (1998), which cast her as Cybil, a hard-edged musician in the Seattle alt-rock scene. That same year she appeared in the formulaic teen slasher movie "Urban Legend" (1998), in which she played Sasha, a college radio therapist stalked by an insane killer, in addition to the indie drama "Around the Fire" (1998), which found Reid playing the hippie girlfriend of a privileged youth who turns his back on his affluent family. She continued in the same vein with a turn in "Cruel Intentions" (1999), a modern-day reimagining of "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988), set in posh Manhattan, with teenage protagonists Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon. It was, however, another film that same year that would catapult Reid to the status of bright young starlet. In the bawdy teen sex comedy "American Pie" (1999), Reid played Vicky, girlfriend of Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who along with his friends has pledged to lose his virginity before high school graduation. The frequently squirm-inducing, coming-of-age romp turned out to be the surprise comedy hit of the year, suddenly making Reid and co-stars Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Sean William Scott and others some of the most sought after young actors in Hollywood. For Reid, it was a potential that - due to reasons both professional and personal - would go largely unfulfilled.
In the wake of the huge box office bonanza that was "American Pie," Reid became a familiar face among young Hollywood. Attracting as much, if not more, attention as her film work was her brief engagement to MTV "Total Request Live" host Carson Daly, as well as her growing reputation as a celebrity party girl. In the heady, post-"American Pie" days, Reid picked up roles in films like "Body Shots" (1999), as a girl who claims she was raped after a night of drunken revelry, and as one of Richard Gere's daughters in Robert Altman's poorly received "Dr. T and the Women" (2000). She returned to broad comedy as the epitome of the dumb blonde character in the live-action adaptation of the cartoon "Josie and the Pussycats" (2001), before reprising the role of Vicky in the inevitable sequel "American Pie 2" (2001), albeit in a much reduced capacity. The following year found Reid playing Ryan Reynolds' love interest in "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002). Next came the tepid romantic comedy "My Boss' Daughter" (2003). Shot two years prior, the film had finally been released by a less than enthusiastic Dimension Films only after leading man Ashton Kutcher's star began to rise. In a surprise return to television, a professionally floundering Reid impressed with a recurring role on the medical sitcom "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08/ABC, 2008-2010), as Danni, the obsessive girlfriend of J.D. (Zach Braff), throughout the 2003-05 seasons. Unfortunately, no sooner had she earned a modicum of respect for her work as an actress, than her offscreen antics began taking center stage, such as when the seemingly oblivious, possibly intoxicated Reid exposed her breast during a "wardrobe malfunction" at a 2004 red carpet appearance, leading to the revelation that she had recently undergone a poorly done surgical enhancement. For Reid, the backlash was painful and embarrassing.
Try as she might, Reid's attempts to shift the media focus away from her botched plastic surgery and hard-partying ways were not helped by her growing résumé of largely overlooked B-movies. "Alone in the Dark" (2005), the inept thriller co-starring Christian Slater and directed by schlock-meister Uwe Boll, was a perfect example of this downward trend. Then, in a move that might not have provided the troubled celebrity with an ideal work environment, Reid signed on to host a reboot of the irreverent travel series "Wild On..." (E!, 1997-2003) - a program that took the hosts around the world to enjoy international culture. Just prior to the show's premiere, network executives decided to retool the series as a reality show, focusing more on Reid and her wild child lifestyle, than on specific locales and cultures, re-dubbing the endeavor "Taradise" (E! Network, 2005-06) in her honor. However, after a brief single season of poor ratings and rumored alcohol issues for its host, the show was deemed too difficult and expensive to produce and was quickly cancelled. A string of direct-to-video movies followed, including a third sequel to the original Brandon Lee supernatural thriller "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" (2005), the internet-premiered sci-fi slasher movie "Incubus" (2006), and the low-budget high school comedy "Senior Skip Day" (2008). With a tacit admission that her alcohol-fueled antics were perhaps getting the better of her, Reid briefly checked into a Los Angeles area rehab facility in late 2008. Later, she tried her hand behind the scenes as executive producer on the crime biopic "Kill the Irishman" (2011), starring Ray Stevenson, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Made her TV debut on the game show "Child's Play" (CBS) at age 6
Professional acting debut in the film, "A Return to Salem's Lot"
Moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school
Had a recurring role on the NBC soap "Days of Our Lives"
Featured in the teen thriller "Urban Legend"
Offered a memorable performance as Bunnie, Lebowski's trophy wife in the Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski"
Landed a small role in "Cruel Intentions," starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe
Breakthrough role as Vicky in the ensemble teen comedy "American Pie"
Played one of Richard Gere's daughters in Robert Altman's "Dr. T and the Women"
Co-starred in the live-action feature "Josie and the Pussycats"
Reprised role of Vicky for the sequel "American Pie 2"
Appeared in the comedy "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" opposite Ryan Reynolds
Landed recurring role on NBC's "Scrubs" as a romantic interest for medical resident J.D.
Co-starred with Ashton Kutcher in the romantic comedy "My Boss's Daughter"
Hosted the E! Entertainment show, "Taradise" (formerly "Wild On!"), cancelled due to poor ratings, with only 8 of the 14 episodes aired
Starred with Christian Slater in the supernatural thriller "Alone in the Dark"
Appeared on the BBC reality series "Celebrity Big Brother"
Reprised role of Vicky along with original cast in "American Reunion"