April 25, 1975
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An actress who previously couldn't even land a commercial in her hometown of Chicago, Emily Bergl won a starring role in "The Rage: Carrie 2" (1999) by sending an audition videotape to MGM. The striking newcomer generated a good deal of interest around the horror sequel, with her piercing eyes, dark curly hair and luminous pale skin featured prominently in film advertisements. Making her feature debut, she portrayed Rachel, a tormented teenager with telekinetic powers. While the thriller did poorly with critics, Bergl received favorable notice for her performance as the fed up teen outsider with a troubled home life. Conscious of the threat of being typecast in similar roles, the actress took to the stage in order to ensure a more diverse career. The day before her first screen role was released, Bergl bowed on the Broadway stage alongside Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing in a revival of James Goldman's "The Lion in Winter," playing Princess Alais, the young French mistress to Fishburne's King Henry II. Previously, she had been an understudy in Lincoln Center's production of "Ah, Wilderness!" shortly after completing her acting training at the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Theatre Institute. Her additional theater credits include a run as Juliet in a production of "Romeo & Juliet" (opposite Neil Patrick Harris) at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, and a starring role in "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" at the Dorset Theatre Festival.