Date of Birth: October 11, 1985
Place of Birth: New York, New York, USA
Height: 5' 7"
Best Known For: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series) and Eurotrip
|Michelle Trachtenberg Biography
Michelle Trachtenberg was born on October 11, 1985, in New York City, to Michael Trachtenberg, a fiber optics engineer, and Lana Trachtenberg, a former actress turned puppeteer. She was raised with her older sister Irene (b. 1978), in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. She attended Isaac Asimov Public School 99 (elementary school), Bay Academy Junior High School in Brooklyn, New York, and Notre Dame High School. She graduated with awards in Social Studies and Religion and was also named under the California Scholarship Federation.
Trachtenberg landed her acting job on television, when she made an appearance in a 1988 commercial for Wisk Detergent. She subsequently appeared in more than 100 commercials. She won her first real acting gig in 1993, when she played Nona F. Mecklenberg in The Adventures of Pete & Pete. She made regular appearances on the successful show from 1994 through 1996. During this time, she also played Lily Montgomery on the popular soap opera, All My Children. While working on All My Children, Trachtenberg met Sarah Michelle Gellar. The two became fast friends on the set and Gellar eventually suggested Trachtenberg for the role of Dawn Summers on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Trachtenberg won her first leading role in 1996, in the Nickelodeon film Harriet the Spy. The following year she returned to television in the sci-fi comedy Meego, for which she won a Young Artist Award. In 1999 she won a role in Inspector Gadget, playing Penny, the brains behind her uncle's operation.
In 2000, Trachtenberg moved to Los Angeles and was cast as Dawn Summers on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thanks to friend Sarah Michelle Gellar. She stayed with the show until its end in 2003. The year after Buffy's conclusion, Trachtenberg starred in the teen comedy, Eurotrip, directed by Jeff Schaffer. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series Six Feet Under as Celeste, a spoiled pop star for whom Keith Charles serves as a bodyguard.
In 2004, Trachtenberg received high praise for her serious role as Wendy, a friend to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Neil, in the highly controversial film, Mysterious Skin. In 2005, she took on a lighter role in the family flick, Ice Princess, alongside Joan Cusack and Sex and the City actress, Kim Cattrall. Having studied ballet as a child, she found it relatively easy to perfect her skating performances.
In late 2006, Trachtenberg guest starred on the crime drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In the episode "Weeping Willow," she played the role of Willow, a kidnapped video blogger based on lonelygirl15. She also voiced multiple characters, including Amanda Bynes, for 3 episodes of the popular animated series, Robot Chicken.
Beside traditional acting jobs, Trachtenberg has appeared in multiple music videos. She made a cameo in Fall Out Boy video for "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," Ringside's video for "Tired of Being Sorry" which was directed by Joaquin Phoenix, and Trapt's video "Echo."Upcoming projects for Trachtenberg include the comedy Seventeen, which is about an adult man who suddenly becomes a 17-year-old high school student again, starring Zac Efron, and the drama The Possibility of Fireflies with Famke Janssen.
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