Family & Companions
A slim, blonde actress who has sportingly played down her good looks for the sake of character in several projects, Alexandra Holden has been working steadily in film and television since the mid-1990s, but is probably best known for her 2000 recurring stint as Ross Geller's student-turned-girlfriend on the popular NBC sitcom "Friends." Hailing from Minnesota, Holden moved to Los Angeles shortly after her 18th birthday. After a year without an acting job, the young hopeful was ready to return home, but just before she headed out, she landed a recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Mr. Rhodes." While the series failed to live up to its hype and didn't finish out its first season, it proved a good jumping off point for the actress, who went on to land roles in the films "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" (1996, aired on Cinemax in lieu of wide theatrical release in 1997) and "In & Out" (1997). Playing the best pal of Breckin Meyer's California-bound small-town boy in "Dancer, Texas" and starring as a sexy scientist in the Aerosmith video "Hole In My Soul" raised her profile some in 1998, before she had a breakout role as the anorexic reigning beauty queen in the comedy feature "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999). Set in her native Minnesota, the black comedy had some of its darkest and most riotously funny moments thanks to Holden, who pulled out all the stops in her portrayal of the emaciated and incapacitated perfect pageant princess.
After a cameo in "EDtv" (1999) and a recurring role on ABC's "Once and Again" (2000), Holden hit the big time with a recurring role on "Friends." As Elizabeth, the co-ed professor Ross (David Schwimmer) inappropriately dates, the actress did a nice job balancing her character's very adult feminine wiles and her juvenile quirks. Beautiful and forthcoming, she was alluring enough that Ross would risk his job, but at the same time she irritated him with her unwillingness to commit, tendency to perform childish pranks and her running-wild, spring break behavior caught on tape. When Bruce Willis guested as Elizabeth's father on the series, Holden got her first taste of superstardom, but it's a safe bet that it won't be her last.
2001 saw the actress join the ensemble of the dark teen comedy "Sugar & Spice" playing Fern, the new cheerleader recruit who is allowed on the squad despite her apparent lack of skill and soap as a trade for arms. When a group of cheerleaders (Marley Shelton, Mena Suvari, Rachel Blanchard, Melissa George, Sara Marsh) decides to rob a bank in order to support an expected baby, their quest for guns leads them to Fern, whose father lowers the bill in return for his daughter having a spot on the squad. Stringy hair, bad posture and a dirty face almost made Holden unrecognizable, and unlike most movies of the genre, her transformation was neither quick nor completely successful, but her character was able to contribute significantly to the heist. Next up for the actress was a recurring role on Fox's "Ally McBeal" in 2001.
Lensed in 2000, the horror thriller "Wishcraft" promised to win the actress a genre following, while the 2001-lensed mystery "American Gun" would cast her as the granddaughter of James Coburn's sharp-witted World War II vet out to solve the murder of his daughter. In 2002, along with appearing in small, adventurous indies like the thriller "Purgatory Flats" and the comedy "Moving Alan" Holden was seen by large mainstream audiences opposite Rob Schnieder in the gender-bending comedy "The Hot Chick" as Lulu, one of the gal pals of the body-swapped sorority girl, and she also made an impression as a Hollywood party girl who suffers a girsly fate in an opening sequence of the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under." The actress was next cast as Mandy Moore's man-hungry best friend Scarlett in the teen romance "How to Deal" (2003).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Left her small-town Minnesota home to give her acting career a shot in Los Angeles
Played Vicky in Beat biopic "The Last Time I Committed Suicide"; aired on Cinemax in 1997 in lieu of a theatrical release
Had a recurring role on the short-lived sitcom "Mr. Rhodes" (NBC)
Featured in the comedy "In & Out"
Played the best friend of Breckin Meyer's Keller in the small town-set independent "Dancer, Texas"
Had a role in the Aerosmith video "Hole in My Soul"
Had a cameo as a college co-ed in "EDtv"
Played the anorexic reigning beauty queen in the teen pageant mockumentary "Drop Dead Gorgeous"
Made guest appearance on the ABC drama "Once and Again"
Had a recurring guest role on "Friends" (NBC) as a student who has a relationship with Ross (David Schwimmer)
Co-starred as a exterminator's daughter who becomes a cheerleader in payment for procuring guns in the comedy "Sugar & Spice"
Acted on the Fox legal comedy "Ally McBeal"
Cast as a supporting character in "How To Deal"