As semi-reformed bad girl Jennifer Lindley on Dawson's Creek, actress Michelle Williams garnered a certain type of notoriety unavailable to her more morality-inclined co-stars. In spite of this notoriety--or perhaps because of it--the role provided Williams with a wealth of opportunities, making her one of the foremost teen stars of the late 1990s.
Born September 9, 1980 in small-town Kalispell, Montana and raised there until she was ten, Williams started acting after her family moved to San Diego. Beginning with roles in community theatre productions, she was soon shuttling back and forth to Los Angeles for auditions. Williams made her film debut in 1994 with Lassie, and then had a small but memorable part as the young version of the nubile and bloodthirsty alien in Species (1995). After the dismal and virtually unseen Timemaster (1995), Williams moved on to more auspicious fare with Jocelyn Moorhouse's A Thousand Acres (1997). Williams was cast as Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter, and the film's small-town setting must have given her some context for her next role, that of Jenn in Dawson's Creek. The show, which premiered in January of 1998, gave Williams her break-out role, and in short time she was besieged with movie offers and a stream of interviews.