A TV star with Broadway and animation voice work experience, Lacey Chabert finally made her movie debut on-camera in the big screen version of Lost in Space (1998). Born in Purvis, MS, Chabert began performing as a small child, learning how to play the violin and piano as well as sing and act. After playing the young Cosette in the Broadway production of Les Miserables for two years and appearing on the TV daytime serial All My Children, Chabert became a prime-time star playing one of the beleaguered Salinger family members on the Fox drama Party of Five (1995-2000). As the precocious youngest daughter Claudia, Chabert aged from child violin prodigy to grounded, if occasionally confused, teen before the show ended its run. While working on Party of Five, Chabert lent her voice to the animated movies Anastasia (1997) and An American Tail III: Treasure of Manhattan Island (1998). Chabert gained further notice as difficult daughter Penny Robinson in the big-screen Space, but the film was not quite the blockbuster it was expected to be. The lack of positive reviews did little to slow the actresses career though, as she continued to do frequent voice work (The Wild Thornberries Movie (2002) and Rugrats Go Wild! (2003)), as well as showing her face again in Not Another Teen Movie and Hometown Legend (both 2001).
After climbing the credits as a tormenting teen in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, Chabert would next dive headlong into a night of playful teen mischief in the 2004 teen comedy Dirty Deeds.