Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981) is an American television and film actress. She began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994). Alba rose to prominence as the lead actress in the television series Dark Angel (2000–2002). Alba later appeared in various films including Honey (2003), Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Into the Blue (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Good Luck Chuck both in 2007.
Alba is considered a sex symbol and often generates media attention for her looks. She appears on the "Hot 100" section of Maxim and was voted number one on AskMen.com's list of "99 Most Desirable Women" in 2006, as well as "Sexiest Woman in the World" by FHM in 2007. The use of her image on the cover of the March 2006 Playboy sparked a lawsuit by her, which was later dropped. She has also won various awards for her acting, including the Choice Actress Teen Choice Award and Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role in the television series Dark Angel.
Alba was born in Pomona, California to Catherine (née Jensen) and Mark Alba. Her mother is of Danish and French Canadian descent and her father is Mexican American. She has a younger brother, Joshua. Her father's Air Force career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi and Del Rio, Texas, before settling back in California when she was nine years old. Alba described her family as being a "very conservative family – a traditional, Catholic, Latin American family" and herself as very liberal; she says she had identified herself as a "feminist" as early as age five.
Alba's early life was marked by a multitude of physical maladies. During childhood, she suffered from collapsed lungs twice, had pneumonia 4–5 times a year, as well as a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. Alba became isolated from other children at school, because she was in the hospital so often due to her illnesses that no one knew her well enough to befriend her. Alba has also had asthma since she was a child. Alba has said that her family's frequent moving also contributed to her isolation from her peers. She has acknowledged that she has suffered from obsessive–compulsive disorder during her childhood. Alba graduated from high school at age 16, and she subsequently attended the Atlantic Theater Company.