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The Life of Katherine Moennig

Katherine Moennig is a star on the rise. As the daughter of a Broadway dancer and the renowned violin maker William Moennig, she was raised around the arts. Her first stage appearance was in a Children's Theatre Workshop production of "Winnie the Pooh" at age 10, and sparked Kate to write and direct an improvised version of "Pooh" with a friend, which the duo performed at Philadelphia's Free Library. A bit of a tomboy, like many other girls her age, Kate's free time was spent climbing trees and skateboarding with friends in the streets of Philly's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

After high school, Kate moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Just two months after her graduation from AADA, she landed an apprenticeship at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival. During two seasons with Williamstown, she acquired a wealth of experience working on shows such as Comedy of Art, The Theory of Total Blame, Morning in the City, and in 2000, appeared in a production of Shakespeare's As You Like It that featured fellow-actress, cousin Gwyneth Paltrow.

Kate's first commercial success came with the central role in the music video "Is Anybody Home?" which was filmed in Toronto for the Canadian band Our Lady Peace in 1999, just months before she made her television series debut as "Jake Pratt" on the WB's Young Americans, which would prove to be a defining role for her. She played Jacqueline Pratt, a girl with a wealthy mother who is too absorbed in her own Broadway career to pay much attention to her daughter. As a result, Jacqueline rebels and enrolls in the all-male boarding school Rawley Academy under the name "Jake Pratt." Kate's androgynous appeal enabled her to pull off the challenging task of making "Jake," fit in with the other guys at Rawley -- and not only did 'he' fit in, he caused some serious havoc for the character Hamilton Fleming (played by Ian Somerhalder), who developed a crush on Jake (this was not Kate's first time playing a gender-bending role: she'd auditioned for the lead role in "Boys Don't Cry," which eventually earned Hilary Swank an Oscar). Hamilton, whose father was the dean of Rawley Academy, was unaware of Jake's secret. Naturally, this led to several awkward moments ("Oh my god, we're gay!") until Jake reveals her true identity to Ham. The romance blossoms, but things still aren't easy for the pair -- their relationship roles aren't quite clear, because Hamilton has trouble acquiescing his power as "the guy" to strong-willed, motorcycle-driving Jake. The dynamics of the Jake/Ham romance were so appealing that many fans tuned into Young Americans just for that storyline, and the show gave Katherine the exposure to pursue new work in film and TV. Young Americans ran for 8 episodes on the WB network in the summer of 2000.

Katherine's newfound recognition led to smaller roles in The Shipping News and Peter's Sehr's film Love the Hard Way. In October 2001, she returned to television with a guest lead as Cathy Moriarty's daughter "Melissa" on NBC's hit show Law and Order and recently made a guest lead appearance on Law and Order: SVU in the episode "Fallacy" in April 2003. She has also appeared in a national commercial for Fleet Bank and has completed filming on Loren Marsh's upcoming black comedy, Invitation to a Suicide. Her most anticipated project, the Showtime series The L Word, which is a full-season drama about a group of lesbian friends in Los Angeles, features Kate as the heartbreaking stud 'Shane' and is due out in early 2004.

Info About Kate:

Age: 25

Birthdate: December 29, 1976; Capricorn

Hometown: Philadelphia; currently lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Hair/Eyes: Green/Dark Brown

5'8 (172 cm)

American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC; St. Mary's Interparochial School in Philadelphia

Misc: Kate is trained in fencing, and if she hadn't gone into acting, she would probably be in marine biology or the FBI.

Trivia: actress Gwyneth Paltrow is her cousin. Gwyneth's mom, actress Blythe Danner, is Kate's aunt.

I want to give credit to for the bio part and the special is a wonderfulpart of the website!