Jennifer was born in Chicago in 1963. Her mother is white and her father is black. Jennifer Beals is best known for her role in the movie “Flashdance.” She is a private person who says she knew she was “different” growing up.
Jennifer was Alex Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, and starred with Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series the L Word. She has spent two decades performing in both independent and major motion pictures with such actors as Nicolas Cage and Denzel Washington. She continues to act in films and on TV.
Beals grew up in a predominately African American neighborhood, and has reported that she was teased about her biracial heritage. She has stated that it was experiences like that, which turned her into a loner. Beals said “Because I am biracial, I’ve always lived sort of on the outside. The idea of being “the other” in society is not foreign to me.”
Beals racially ambiguous beauty has awarded her a diverse range of film roles over the years. She played a Latina in The Soup, and a White Brit in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. She was often passed over for “black roles.” She told Vibe magazine “People say that I don’t look black enough.” Beals ended her interview stating “The whole country is changing and the whole idea of race has got to change.”
— Makensie Shay McDaniel, Project RACE Teen President