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     Thora Birch
Given Name:
     Birch, Thora
     March 11th, 1982
     Los Angeles, California, USA

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Thora Birch Biography

Born March 11th, 1982 Thora Birch by age 9, had her life pretty much figured out. During an L.A. Times interview she stated that she planned to become a director by 24, then spend a year ice skating, then spend a year as a policewoman, and, finally, become a singer.

You might remember Thora Birch as the apple-cheeked blonde who once gazed up at Quaker Oats spokesman Wilford Brimley and said, "Mmm-hmm. Yeah, grandpa,". At age 4 Thora was a regular at commercial auditions, and by 6 she'd landed a spot on the short-lived daycare sitcom "Day by Day" in 1988. Her film career got off to an auspicious start that same year, when she won a Young Artist Award for her debut opposite Neil Patrick Harris in the children's fantasy flick Purple People Eater (1988). It wasnt much later that she picked up a role in another fleeting sitcom, "Parenthood" in 1990 co starring with David Arquette, Ed Begley Jr., and future star Leonardo DiCaprio

Early appearances credited Thora Birch as just "Thora" but she picked up her last name and returned to the big screen as Elijah Wood's tomboy friend in Paradise. She had a couple of big breaks as she scored high-profile supporting roles, as Harrison Ford's daughter in Patriot Games, which she later reprised in Clear and Present Danger in 1994. In the middle she managed to stay busy with family films Hocus Pocus (1993) and Monkey Trouble (1994). In 1995, Birch graduated into adolescent territory with her turn as a younger Melanie Griffith in Now and Then. She followed that up with a top-billed role in the snowy adventure Alaska, before take an acting break. Thora Birch returned in 1999 in the made-for-TV Night Ride Home and then again in an acclaimed role in American Beauty.

Thora's role in American Beauty is considered by many to be her first adult role as the troubled Jane Burnham. She was only 16, and thus a minor in the United States, when the movie was made, therefore her parents had to approve of Birch's brief nude scene in the movie. Thora Birch's mother was a porn star between the years of 1971-1983, working under the name of Carol Connors. She starred in the infamous porn movie Deep Throat, in the role of the nurse at the doctor's office. Carol starred in 21 porn movies, before she retired in 1983.

Thora Birch heard about 'Beauty' through the industry grapevine, and she immediately set her sights on the part of Jane Burnham. As it turned out, she was the first to audition for director Sam Mendes; while he saw dozens of other actresses for the role, none delivered a more convincing performance. Still reeling from her sudden celebrity status, Birch plucked a handful of diverse projects from the deluge of post 'American Beauty' scripts. Seeking an even edgier adolescent role, she appeared as a punk-rocker in the indie film The Smokers (2000), then dropped the tough-girl pose to play the gentle Empress Savina in the live-action adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons (2000). She also signed up to play a teen hipster caught up in a post-high school identity crisis in Ghost World (2001) (based on the graphic novel), and an English schoolgirl in the thriller The Hole (2001). Style-conscious and sophisticated beyond her years, Birch lives on her family's East L.A. ranch (where she recently finished high school through a computer-based correspondence course). She still hopes to try her hand at directing someday, but for now she's content to continue blossoming in front of the camera.

Thora Birch Casting Credits

Shamrock Boy (2006) .... Nulla McGarvey
Boomerang Deal (2006)
Vinyl (2006) .... Julie
Dark Corners (2006) .... Karen Clarke/Susan Hamilton
Slingshot (2005) .... April
The Dot (2004) (voice) .... Narrator
Silver City (2004) .... Karen Cross
Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story (2003) (TV) .... Liz Murray
Shadow Realm (2002) (TV) .... Susan Thornhill
Ghost World (2001) .... Enid
The Hole (2001) .... Liz Dunn ... aka After the Hole (USA)
Dungeons & Dragons (2000) .... Empress Savina ... aka Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie (UK: promotional title)
The Smokers (2000) .... Lincoln Roth
Anywhere But Here (1999) (uncredited) .... Mary
American Beauty (1999) .... Jane Burnham
Night Ride Home (1999) (TV) .... Clea Mahler
Alaska (1996) .... Jessie Barnes
Now and Then (1995) .... Young Tina 'Teeny' Tercell
Clear and Present Danger (1994) .... Sally Ryan
Monkey Trouble (1994) .... Eva ... aka Pet
Hocus Pocus (1993) .... Dani
Patriot Games (1992) .... Sally Ryan
The Itsy Bitsy Spider (1992) (voice)
All I Want for Christmas (1991) .... Hallie O'Fallon
Paradise (1991) .... Billie Pike
Dark Avenger (1990) (TV) (as Thora) .... Susie Donovan
"Parenthood" (1990) TV Series (as Thora) .... Taylor Buckman
"Day by Day" (1988) TV Series (as Thora) .... Molly (1988-1989)
Purple People Eater (1988) (as Thora) .... Molly Johnson
Vinyl (2006) (pre-production) (executive producer)
The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2003) (TV) (uncredited) .... Herself
Inside the Playboy Mansion (2002) (TV) .... Herself
Making of 'Ghost World' (2002) (V) .... Herself
American Beauty: Look Closer... (2000) (V) .... Herself
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (2000) (TV) .... Herself
The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) (TV) .... Herself (Co-Presenter)
MTV Europe Music Awards 2000 (2000) (TV) (uncredited) .... Herself (Presenter)
The Secret World of Spying (1992) (TV) .... Sally Ryan
Patriot Games: Up Close (2002) (TV) (uncredited) .... Sally Ryan
"Punk'd" playing "Herself" (episode # 5.4) 17 July 2005
"The Hollywood Greats" playing "Herself" in episode: "Lauren Bacall" 13 July 2005
"Celebrities Uncensored" playing "Herself" (archive footage) (uncredited) (episode # 2.6) 24 March 2004
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" playing "Herself" 28 March 2003
"Night Visions" playing "Susan Thornhill" in episode: "The Maze" (episode # 1.21) 19 September 2002
"Late Show with David Letterman" playing "Herself" 1 August 2001
"Politically Incorrect" playing "Herself" 27 July 2001
"The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" playing "Herself" 18 July 2001
"Late Show with David Letterman" playing "Herself" 18 July 2001
"The Martin Short Show" playing "Herself" (episode # 1.25) 15 October 1999
"Donny & Marie" playing "Herself" 5 October 1999
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" playing "Herself" 4 October 1999
"Touched by an Angel" playing "Erin" in episode: "The Pact" (episode # 4.6) 26 October 1997
"Promised Land" playing "Allison Rhodes" in episode: "Running Scared" (episode # 1.15) 4 February 1997
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" playing "Herself" 15 August 1996
"The Rosie O'Donnell Show" playing "Herself" 15 August 1996
"The Outer Limits" playing "Aggie Travers" in episode: "The Choice" (episode # 1.6) 28 April 1995
"Monty" playing "Ann Sherman" in episode: "Here Comes the Son" (episode # 1.1) 11 January 1994
"Married People" playing "Emily" in episode: "To Live and Drive in LA" (episode # 1.14) 26 December 1990
"Doogie Howser, M.D." playing "Megan" in episode: "Vinnie Video Vici" 1989