Jessica McNamee

Australian actress Jessica McNamee made the often difficult leap from television performer in her native country to film star in America on the strength of turns in such high-profile projects as "CHiPs" (2017) and "Battle of the Sexes" (2017). Born February 21, 1986 in Sydney, Australia, she was one of five children, including her older sister, Penny McNamee, who also became a stage and television actress in both their native country and the United States. McNamee made her television debut with a turn as a brief romantic partner for series regular Bobby Morley on the Australian soap opera "Home and Away" (Seven Network, 1988- ) in 2007 before assuming the role of the sweet-natured Sammy Rafter on the long-running comedy-drama "Packed to the Rafters" (Seven Network, 2008-2013). Sensing that she could become pigeonholed by such roles, she departed the series in 2010 and pursued projects that allowed her work outside of the scope of her TV personas, including a Goth-minded sister to a murder victim in the indie horror thriller "The Loved Ones" (2010) and a turn as contestant on the ninth season of the Australian edition of "Dancing with the Stars" (Seven Network, 2004-2015). In 2012, McNamee made her American feature debut as the younger sister of amnesia sufferer Rachel McAdams in "The Vow," which led to guest roles on Stateside television series and series regular duty on the short-lived comedy show "Sirens" (USA Network, 2014-15) for producer Denis Leary. 2017 proved to be McNamee's breakout year in the United States, thanks to a starring role as a tough Highway Patrol officer in Dax Shepard's big-screen spoof of "CHiPS" and as Margaret Court, a real-life Australian tennis champ and outspoken opponent of gay rights in "Battle of the Sexes."