Date of Birth: March 23, 1976
Growing up in the small town of Winthrop, Iowa, Michelle Monaghan acted in school plays, but never dreamed she would wind up being a professional actress. After high school, she went on to study journalism at Columbia College in Chicago. While there, she did some modeling to help pay for tuition fees. Impressed by the money she was earning, and finding herself in demand for print ads, she moved to New York City in 1999 to pursue modeling full time.
Shortly after, she landed a regular role on the new WB drama series, Young Americans. The series didn't last long, but Monaghan bounced back with an appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and made her feature film debut in Perfume (2001), which screened at Sundance, but wasn't released to theaters.
Following a small role as Richard Gere's secretary in Unfaithful (2002), Monaghan garnered a recurring role on Fox TV's hit series Boston Public as a high school teacher. She stayed with the show until it came to an end in 2003, then returned to the big screen in It Runs in the Family (2003) opposite Michael Douglas. Supporting roles in big budget pictures such as Winter Solstice (2004), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and North Country (2005) followed.
Monaghan played her first major motion picture starring role in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. This elevated her Hollywood profile enough that she was chosen as Tom Cruise's leading lady in Mission: Impossible 3 (2006). She worked with Downey Jr. again when she played his wife in the comedy Due Date 2010.
Monaghan married Australian Pete White in August 2005. They have one daughter, Willow Katherine White and the family resides in New York.