Christina Applegate: The Woman Behind The Laughs

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Now a mother, a wife, a sitcom star, a movie star and an incredible philanthropist, Christina Applegate has proved that she can do it all and more, making her a front runner in the entertainment industry today who shows no signs of slowing down.

The Family Business

Christina may have started in the industry from an early age but she more or less grew up in the entertainment industry. Her father, Robert, was a record company producer and executive while her mother, Nancy Lee Priddy was an actress and singer.

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Unlikely Star

When Applegate was cast in the sitcom Married…With Children as young Kelly Bundy, the casting decision came as a surprise. Christina admitted that she was a “dark kid” and due to her personality, never expected to be put in a role of the ditzy, obnoxious teenager, Kelly Bundy. Christina continued in saying, “I always thought serious projects were going to be my jam. But the show really helped me to let go of being so serious all the time.”

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Christina The Pussycat Doll

Christina was a triple threat and her talents landed her many different job within the entertainment industry. Christina was one of the founding members of the original girl group The Pussycat Dolls, the all singing, all dancing group of risqué performers. Their debut performance was at Johnny Depp’s Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 1995. When the group’s popularity grew, they moved to The Roxy in 2002 where Christina acted as the master of ceremonies.

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Baby Star

With her mother an actress, Christina’s on-screen debut came when she was just three months old. Her mother Nancy had a cameo in popular soap opera Days Of Our Lives and appeared on the show with her newborn daughter. In the arms of her mother, Christina was a natural and her first appearance led her to star in her first solo baby commercial at just five months old. However, Christina’s next stint in front of the camera didn’t come until seven years later.

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Her Mother’s Love

Christina was raised mostly by her mother after her parents were divorced when she was a baby.  Nevertheless, Christina’s childhood was kept as normal as possible because of her mother who strived to not let the issues from her marriage affect her daughter. When reflecting on her upbringing and her mother’s involvement, Christina recalled of Nancy,  “You were dealing with a lot of things, and the fact that I made it out of that house and out of my childhood okay is a testament to you.”

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She Was Almost In Titanic

On the back of her successful sitcom career which transitioned into her roles on the movie screen, Christina found that many big directors were chasing her to audition for their films but perhaps the most prominent to approach her was James Cameron. In 1996, Christina was asked to audition to star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio for the iconic role of Rose in the worldwide blockbuster Titanic. Christina ended up losing out on the role to Kate Winslet.

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First Marriage

After years of dating, Christina married Jonathon Schaech in 2001 but their union did not last long. The couple ended up filing for divorce in 2005 citing “irreconcilable differences” and around this time, Christina met Lee Grivas and they began dating. However, things were different for Schaech and he struggled with the divorce stating, “Being raised Catholic and having parents that are still together over 50 years, I felt I failed everyone. I thought God had given up on me.”

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Unexpected Success

When Christina was cast as Kelly Bundy on Married…With Children, producers and the network were excited about the series but never expected the sitcom to have as much success as it did. For Applegate, she saw the opportunity to play the teenager as a starting point in her career which would help her land more roles in the industry after working with Fox. The show became a huge hit and lasted for an impressive 11 seasons but Christina was already looking for new opportunities.

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Christina Applegate for PeTA

As a teenager, Christina became a vegetarian after asserting “I can’t eat something that has been alive, so I stopped and that was it.” Her admission drew the attention of animal rights group PeTA who reached out and started a partnership with Applegate to draw attention to their cause. Christina later became an advocate for PeTA, going so far to strip off for the charity, starring in campaign about wearing animal fur, entitled “Fur: Get Me Not.”

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She Bought a House At Age 7

Due to Christina’s success from such a young age, starring in numerous baby commercials followed by her film debut in Jaws Of Satan at age 7, she was able to assist her mother in buying them a new home. Although her mother Nancy was an actress herself, she decided to take a backseat when her daughter was starting out in her career and needed the support. Christina returned the favor in supporting her mother financially.

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Sorry, Johnny Depp

In 2005, Christina was approached by director Tim Burton to star alongside Johnny Depp in his remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Instead of taking the coveted role, Christina opted for  a lifelong dream, starring in musical Sweet Charity. She explained of her decision “When there’s a dream in a 7- or 10-year-old girl that doesn’t get fulfilled, you will always feel that loss in your life, and this came along and this was that dream.”

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Inspired Performance

When Christina was cast as the lead in sitcom Jesse, she drew experiences from her own life to inspire her acting. The series focused on single mother Jesse Warner raising her nine-year-old son, Little John in New York. The show portrayed the mother balancing work and parenting as well as trying to maintain relationships. This role allowed Christina to see the world through her alternative eyes, being a single, working mom. She said that she appreciated all that her mother did for her after playing Jesse.

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Christina Grieves

Christina’s past relationship with Lee Grivas ended due to her disproving of his substance abuse, also the reason for their rocky relationship but approximately two years after they split, Christina received some devastating news. Grivas appeared to never get over his struggles and died as a result of an overdose. Speaking about the loss of her ex-lover, Christina stated that she was “profoundly saddened” and that Grivas would be “missed beyond words” even going so far to say how important he was to her.

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Branching Out

In the 90’s Christina was mostly known for her role on Married…With Children but in the later years of the show, she wanted to separate herself from that in order to win other, more respected roles. From this, in 1998, she went onto star opposite Mark Wahlberg in action comedy The Big Hit and in the same year, starred in Mafia! alongside Lloyd Bridges and Jay Mohr. However, Christina’s biggest film roles did not come until later years.

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Breast Cancer Battle

Christina was hit with some life-changing news in August 2008 when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. Her representative released a statement confirming the news and stating that “Benefiting from early detection through a doctor-ordered MRI, the cancer is not life-threatening. Christina is following the recommended treatment of her doctors and will have a full recovery.” The actress inherited the BRCA1 mutation from her mother who was a breast cancer survivor. Applegate later had a double mastectomy and was confirmed as cancer free.

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Welcoming Her Daughter

2011 was a joyous time for Christina as she welcomed her first child with her fiancé, singer Martyn LeNoble. The actress noted that her daughter, Sadie Grace was the best thing that ever happened to her, stating “I love my kid … more than I’ve ever known [is] possible,”. In an emotional statement, Christina also recognized the love her mother had for her and she admitted she didn’t her the best way in return. Christina’s relationship with her father also improved after having her daughter.

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She Won an Award For Her Friends Appearance

In 2002, Christina made a guest appearance in the hit sitcom Friends in the episode entitled “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister,” playing Rachel’s sister Amy. Her appearance was given outstanding reviews from critics which led her to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series. From this, the Friends producers asked her to return in the same role for a second cameo in the following tenth season of the sitcom.

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Second Marriage

In 2008, Christina found love again with singer Martyn LeNoble and their relationship went from strength to strength. Two years after they welcomed their first child, Martyn popped the question to the actress but their schedules forced them to delay their nuptials. Christina stated “Of course [we will get married], but the schedule, the way that it is — it’s just almost impossible. It really is. It’s insane.” In 2013, the day finally came and the two were married in a private ceremony.

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Anchorman Years

Recently, Christina is most commonly recognized for her role in comedy film Anchorman, starring opposite Will Ferrell, but the first movie drew in a disappointing opening at the box office. However, the popularity for the movie grew immensely and the sequel was green lit. Speaking of her time playing Veronica Corningstone, Applegate stated “At that time, Anchorman was my favorite job I’d ever done and one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life.”

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Tearing Down Trump

Christina has never been one to shy away from voicing her opinions. She has been vocal in condemning Donald Trump’s presidency and policies and often takes to Twitter to speak her mind on controversial bills. After attending the Women’s March on Washington, she tweeted “This is a country of many voices. Some we may disagree with. But at the core we are humans with rights. We will not be silenced.” Moreover, when Trump announced his ‘Muslim ban’, she said she was “appalled” and “frightened.”

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Who Do You Think You Are?

In 2013, Christina was given the opportunity to appear on heritage show Who Do You Think You Are alongside her father, Robert. The experience allowed Christina to bond with her father who she wasn’t close with growing up. In the show, the two discovered that Robert’s mother had passed away from tuberculosis when he was just 13. They also found out a history of alcohol abuse in the family which Christina said ended with her father, telling him he should be “incredibly proud.”

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Insomnia Struggle

Christina recently revealed her long-term battle with insomnia, leading her to sleep only three hours per night. She said “In my 20s and 30s, I used to never be able to fall asleep and would just stay up all night long, it’s something a lot of people don’t talk about. It affects your spiritual self, emotional self and physical self.” Feeding her newborn daughter did not help the problem and she was not able to slip out of that cycle ever since she was born.

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Perfecting The Face

Being in the entertainment industry, the competitive nature of the business results in many actresses perfecting their looks to stay relevant and desirable. Christina is no different and had succumbed to having plastic surgery in an attempt to hold onto her youthful appearance. Her most obvious change was her nose job while other subtle improvements she made included having lip injections and at 38-years-old, began having botox to correct the sagging skin and signs of aging around her eyes.

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A New Sitcom

In 2007, Applegate returned to sitcoms, starring in ABC’s Samantha Who? Christina was due to play the lead which focused on a 30-year-old who was a victim of a hit and run accident and after developing amnesia she has to rediscover everything about her life including relationships and learning things about herself. Christina was due to star opposite Jean Smart, Jennifer Esposito and Melissa McCarthy. The show had two seasons before being cancelled despite Christina campaigning to bring it back.

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Paparazzi Problems

Being a famous actress, Christina is often followed by the paparazzi in her private life but in 2012, she spoke out against the photographers invading her family’s privacy. In a series of tweets, Christina slammed the paparazzi for surrounding her 1-year-old daughter. She exclaimed “I want my daughter to live a normal life I want her to feel free to be who she wants, so paparazzi stop taking pics of her! Enough!” She continued “We need a law against this! Taking pics of kids is sick!”

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Christina’s Photoshoot

When Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer and made the decision to have a double mastectomy, she decided to do something for herself first to have a recollection of her body pre-surgery and do a nude photoshoot. She said of her decision “I made sure that I have close-up photographs of them from every angle so I can kind of remember them.” She described the experience as an emotional and physical scarring time and she had to go through a “grieving process and a mourning process.”

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Music Video Appearance

One of Christina’s most unlikely appearances came in the form of a cameo in pop star Jessica Simpson’s music video for A Public Affair. The video also starred Christina Milian, Eva Longoria and Ryan Seacrest as they acted out a small skit of women in Hollywood who love the paparazzi and want to be world famous. Although Christina provided the comedic value, many questioned her integrity with critics slating the video, calling it “embarrassing” and “cringeworthy.”

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Christina’s Philanthropy

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Christina became an advocate for breast cancer awareness, appearing in a television show, Stand Up To Cancer to raise funds for research with many other actresses and singers including Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge. In 2009, she continued in her philanthropic work, founding Right Action For Women, a foundation for breast cancer screenings, focusing on her own experiences to help other women. Christina’s dedication to the cause earned her the Saint Vintage Love Cures award.

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Christina Dated Brad Pitt

In 1989, Christina found herself dating one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood. The actress began dating Brad Pitt when she was only two seasons into Married…With Children. She was one of the most sought after TV stars at the time, the beautiful blonde was only 18-years-old when they struck up a romance. When the two were seen together the tabloids went into overdrive, speculating on what was going on but their relationship came to an awkward halt.

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Brad Pitt Dumped For Another Man

Christina and Brad attended the MTV Movie Awards together but she left him mid-date to go off with another man! Christina later confirmed this but refused to state who the man was, only revealing that he wasn’t an actor but known to the public. Following this, Sebastian Bach of Skid Rowtook the responsibility as the other man and stole Pitt’s woman. Christina kept tight-lipped whether this was true but admitted that she and Brad were no longer dating.

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