Jennifer Beals (born December 19, 1963) is an American actress. She portrays Bette Porter on Showtime's The L Word and its sequel The L Word: Generation Q, and also serves as an executive producer on the latter.
Beals was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Jeanne, an elementary school teacher who was of Irish decent, and Alfred Beals, who owned a grocery store and was of African-American decent. She has two brothers, Bobby and Gregory. Her father died when Beals was ten years old and her mother re-married to Edward Cohen.
Beals graduated from Yale University in 1987, receiving a B.A. in American Literature.
Jennifer Beals is an internationally renowned actress with more than 90 credits to her name, including critically-acclaimed feature films and some of the highest-rated television series to date. For her performance as Bette Porter on The L Word, Beals received the prestigious GLAAD Golden Gate Award, as well as two NAACP Image Award nominations and a Satellite Awards nomination. In 2012, Beals was presented with the Human Rights Campaign's 'Ally for Equality Award' for her support of the LGBTQIA community. Additionally, Beals and The L Word's executive producer Ilene Chaiken are set to executive produce the series THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, an adaption of Taylor Jenkins Reid's acclaimed novel. Beals and filmmaker Tom Jacobson created the concept for the new novel, The Hive, which was named one of People's Best Books of Fall 2019.
Throughout her accomplished film career, Beals has worked with many of the industry's most acclaimed filmmakers and talent. She co-starred alongside Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman in THE BOOK OF ELI, and starred opposite Garry Marshall, Faye Dunaway and Brendan Fraser in THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS, for which she won a Golden Satellite Award. Beals was featured among an all-star cast in the crime thriller RUNAWAY JURY. Other notable film credits include THE MADONNA AND THE DRAGON from legendary film director Samuel Fuller, MANHATTAN NIGHT, A HOUSE DIVIDED, IN THE SOUP, MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE and AFTER. For her role in the iconic film FLASHDANCE, Beals earned a Golden Globe nomination as well as an NAACP Image Award for Lead Actress. She earned another NAACP Image Award nomination for her work in DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS.
On television, Beals recurred in the series THE LAST TYCOON, receiving critical acclaim for her performance as Hollywood starlet Margo Taft. Beals was also seen in TAKEN, the adaptation of the hit movie franchise, and co-starred in the series SWAMP THING. Beals starred in A WIFE'S NIGHTMARE, for which she received a Canadian Screen Award nomination. Notable television credits include PROOF, THE NIGHT SHIFT and THE CHICAGO CODE.
Notes and trivia
- Beals starred in the 2010 film "A Night for Dying Tigers" with fellow The L Word alumna Lauren Lee Smith (aka Lara Perkins).