Alison Elizabeth "Ali" Larter (born February 28, 1976) is an American actress and former fashion model. Larter has played the characters Niki Sanders and then her identical long-separated sister Tracy Strauss on the NBC sci-fi drama Heroes
Despite starting her career as a model, Larter soon transitioned herself into acting. Her film career began in 1999 appearing in Varsity Blues. She then appeared in the horror film House on Haunted Hill and then landing a lead role in the box office smash Final Destination. After appearing in several high profile films, Larter then starred in Legally Blonde alongisde Reese Witherspoon
. Since then, she has starred in several projects including starring as the titular character in the Bollywood film Marigold, starring in the romantic comedy A Lot Like Love and reprising her role in the sequel to Final Destination entitled Final Destination 2. As well as featuring in a number of indie movies including Crazy and Confess, Larter has had her biggest commercial successes with the action-horror Resident Evil: Extinction and with the 2009 thriller, Obsessed.
Larter was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the daughter of Margaret, a homemaker, and Danforth Larter, a trucking executive. She attended Carusi Middle School and Cherry Hill High School West. She began modeling with Ford Models at the age of fourteen and traveled the world. At seventeen, Larter settled temporarily in Japan. Later, in 1995, she accompanied her boyfriend in his move to Los Angeles, California. Soon afterward, he left her and she flew to Australia "to put a little distance between us." Back in Los Angeles, she began taking acting classes at a friend's suggestion.
Modelling/Early career (1993–1999)
Larter began her modeling career at the age of 13 when a modeling scout discovered her on the street. She was asked to star in a Phillies commercial and later signed a modeling contract with the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency in New York. Larter subsequently skipped her senior year to model in Japan and Australia. While modelling in Italy, Larter met fellow model and aspiring actress Amy Smart. According to Larter, the two "became instant friends." Smart persuaded Larter to take up acting and the two then moved into an L.A. apartment together.
In November 1994, Larter portrayed the hoax model Allegra Coleman in Esquire magazine in which the magazine told of the fictional model's relationship with David Schwimmer
, how Quentin Tarantino
broke up with Mira Sorvino to date her, and Woody Allen
's overhaul of a film to have her star. Even after the hoax had been revealed, various talent agencies sought to represent the non-existent Coleman.
Larter landed her first professional roles in 1997 when she appeared in several television shows. She appeared, for one episode, in the Brooke Shields television series, Suddenly Susan, and the short lived television series Chicago Sons. The roles were followed by a number of other appearances on Dawson's Creek, Chicago Hope
and Just Shoot Me!
In 1999, Larter began her film career with an appearance in Varsity Blues which re-united her with Dawson's Creek star Van Der Beek, and close friend Amy Smart. Varsity Blues drew a domestic box office gross of $53 million. Afterwards, Larter appeared in teen comedies, Giving It Up and Drive Me Crazy. That year as well, Larter starred in the horror remake House on Haunted Hill. Made for around $20 million, the movie was panned by the critics but grossed $15 million on its opening weekend and went on to earn over $40 million.
In 2000, Larter starred as Clear Rivers in the teen horror film Final Destination which earned $112,802,314 at the end of its run. The following year in 2001, she appeared in the comedy Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon. The film earned the top spot with $20,377,426 in its opening weekend. She also appeared in the western American Outlaws with Colin Farrell and the Kevin Smith film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
. That year, Larter appeared on the cover of Maxim magazine and performed in the stage play The Vagina Monologues in New York City.
In 2003, Larter reprised her role as Clear Rivers in the sequel to Final Destination, Final Destination 2 and a year later served as an associate producer and starred in the thriller Three Way. In 2005, Larter appeared in the independent film Confess and the romantic comedy A Lot Like Love alongside Amanda Peet
and Ashton Kutcher
As of September 2006, Larter has been portraying Jessica/Niki Sanders & Tracy Strauss on the NBC Emmy Award
-nominated science fiction drama television series Heroes
, created by Tim Kring. Larter's initial character Niki Sanders, was a wife, mother, and a former internet stripper from Las Vegas who exhibits superhuman strength and an alternate personality who goes by the name of Jessica. Larter had been nominated for "Best Supporting Actress" for the 33rd Saturn Awards. As of the third season, Larter began portraying a new character, Tracy Strauss, who possesses the ability to freeze objects; and later, turn her body into water.
In 2007, Larter starred in the Bollywood film Marigold as the title character alongside Salman Khan, which was released in August. She also joined the cast of the film franchise Resident Evil: Extinction portraying the character Claire Redfield in the horror film with Milla Jovovich
. Her role sent her to Mexicali, Mexico for filming from May to late July in which she also dyed her hair a light red for the film. Larter explained her character Claire, "She became the leader of this convoy. She's incredibly strong, patient. I think she serves a role for everyone within this convoy, let it be a mother to someone, a buddy, a best friend." Larter also attended the 2007 Comic Con International, her second appearance at the event, to promote the film, which was released in theaters on September 21, 2007. The film became Larter's highest grossing movie with $146,162,920 worldwide. That year she also appeared in the comedy Homo Erectus and in the biographical film Crazy based on guitarist Hank Garland.
In an interview for Resident Evil: Extinction, Larter had expressed interest in producing films in the future, saying, "I definitely have many ideas and different avenues that I want to take as my career goes on."
In April 2009, Larter starred opposite Beyoncé Knowles
and Idris Elba in the Screen Gems-produced film Obsessed, about an office executive (Elba) whose marriage to Knowles' character is threatened by the aggressive interests of a co-worker, portrayed by Larter. The film opened at #1 with $28,612,730, a career high for Larter.
In September, 2009 it was announced that Larter is slated to return as Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Afterlife; directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
In 2002, Larter was ranked #40 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". Also ranking as #6 in Maxim's Hot 100 for 2007. In 2008, Larter appeared on 3 lists. AskMen.com featured her as #92 on the "100 Most Desirable Women in the World", while FHM Magazine listed her as #19 in their "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2008" supplement. She also ranked #2 on Maxim's "Hottest Women of Horror Movies" list.
Larter also appeared on People Magazine's "Ten Best Dressed List" as "The Newcomer" and was named Victoria's Secret Sexiest Legs of 2008.
Larter appeared on the cover of Glamour along with fellow actresses Rachel Bilson
and Diane Lane
in 2007. When asked if she still wishes she had the same body she had at 20 she replied:
"No. I actually think I look better now because I feel so much better about myself now. And that’s what’s so exciting. As you get older, you get better…. Look at all these incredible women, like Vanessa Redgrave, who are still so beautiful. The reason is because they embrace who they are."
Larter has also lived in Miami and then New York City after the spring of 2002, where she studied at Michael Howard Studios. In January 2007, she moved to Los Angeles to take on the commitment of working on Heroes.
On August 1, 2009, Larter married her boyfriend of seven years, actor Hayes MacArthur, in a small ceremony in Maine.
Biography courtesy of Wikipedia