Mandy Moore

Since arriving on the entertainment scene as a teen pop singer in 1999, Mandy Moore consistently and successfully broke away from pre-conceived notions of her talent, from critically praised collections of mature music to well-regarded acting turns in films and television series like "A Walk to Remember" (2002), "Because I Said So" (2006), and "This is Us" (NBC, 2016- ). Born Amanda Leigh Moore on April 10, 1984 in Nashua, New Hampshire, she and her two brothers were raised near Orlando, Florida by her airline pilot father and news reporter mother. But it was her maternal grandmother, a professional ballerina in England, to pursue a career as a performer. She soon cut her teeth on local productions before deciding to try her hand at pop music; while recording at a studio in Orlando, a Federal Express worker overhead her voice and asked to take a recording of it to a friend at Epic Records. The demo led to Moore signing with the label and her debut single, "Candy," in 1999. Though a modest hit, peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, it immediately minted Moore as a member of the teen pop movement that included Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. But if her stint as a teen idol was not as successful as that of her peers - her debut album, So Real (1999), peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard albums chart - Moore also proved more adaptive and resilient than the other pop vocal acts. After releasing I Wanna Be With You (2000), which was essentially a remix of So Real, she moved away from teen pop sounds with her self-titled third LP. Released in 2001, it too rose no higher on the charts than No. 35, but showed that Moore's interests lay in more mature material. At the same time, she began making inroads into an acting career, first through a voice-acting role in "Dr. Dolittle 2" (2001), and then as Anne Hathaway's rival in "The Princess Diaries" (2001). By the following year, Moore earned her first starring role in "A Walk to Remember," an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel about a romance between a spoiled upper-class boy (Shane West) and a small town minister's daughter (Moore). A massive hit with teen audiences, it announced Moore's transition to movie stardom, though she continued to record music during this period, most notably Coverage (2003), which featured her takes on popular songs from the 1970s and 1980. It failed to generate any charting singles, and after ending her contract with Epic with The Best of Mandy Moore in 2004, she focused her efforts almost entirely on acting. She initially kept within teen movie boundaries, playing a strong-willed high schooler in "How to Deal" (2003) and earning critical praise as the daughter of a U.S. President in "Chasing Liberty" (2004). But with "Saved!" (2005), an acidic spoof of religious conservatism, Moore again displayed a willingness to stretch beyond audience expectations; her turn as a pious Christian schoolgirl won critical attention, as did her performance as a manic reality show contestant in Paul Weitz's "American Dreamz" (2006). She then returned to music for a pair of releases - Wild Hope in 2007 and Amanda Leigh in 2008 - both of which settled in the Top 40 for albums and earned respectable reviews but no hit singles. She then returned to steady work in a string of unremarkable features, including the popular "Because I Said So," with Diane Keaton, and "License to Wed" (2007) with Robin Williams. Moore, who had been dating alt-country favorite Ryan Adams during this period, took a two-year break after their 2009 wedding, and then returned to features, though again, the resulting projects, like "Swinging with the Finkels" (2011) and "Hotel Noir" (2012), were underfed. More successful was the Disney animated feature "Tangled" (2011), with Moore voicing a very modern Rapunzel. The film was a major hit for the studio, earning its animation wing its third-highest grosses worldwide, and Moore followed that success with another Disney animated project, "Sheriff Callie's Wild West" (Disney Channel, 2013-17). She announced the start of work on her seventh studio album, this time with husband Adams providing assistance, in 2013, but the project lay dormant for a number of years, and eventually eclipsed their marriage, which ended under less than amicable circumstances in 2015. But Moore's fortunes were soon on an upswing: she reprised Rapunzel for the well-received "Tangled: The Series" (Disney Channel, 2017- ), then scored a modest hit with the underwater thriller "47 Meters Down" (2017). But her most popular effort during this period was "This is Us," an emotionally fueled look at a mixed family over the course of several decades. Moore earned a 2017 Golden Globe nomination as Rebecca Pearson, the matriarch of the family, and added an Emmy nomination two years later; the upbeat year was capped with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March and in September, the release of "When I Wasn't Watching," her first original song in a decade, which she co-wrote with new husband Taylor Goldsmith of the band Dawes.