"I was raised with a lot of comforts and luxuries around me and yet I have lived with the poorest of the poor in Africa and Latin America when I worked for Conservation International and when I did other development work and studies … and I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere. I detest the modern-day stresses that accompany our lives and yet I am probably one of the busiest girls I know, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. So I just kind of go with it and hop, skip and jump between worlds. Currently living in Hollywood, I long for the serenity and purity of the African bush existence. I miss it tremendously and hope to produce or act in a film out there soon." Jennifer Siebel
No stranger to various organizations linked to environment, education, women's and children's rights, and poverty alleviation, Jennifer Siebel tried her hand at acting and has starred in a number of independent films and major studio pictures, including "Something's Gotta Give" (2003), "Rent" (2005), and "In the Valley of Elah" (2007). She will next be seen in the upcoming films "Till You Get to Baraboo," "Doorman," and "Por vida.”
TV viewers can catch her in the NBC drama series "Life" (2007-Present), playing Jennifer Conover, the ex-wife to Damian Lewis' lead character Charlie. She also has guest starred in such TV shows as "Strong Medicine" and "Numb3rs."
On a more personal front, the 5' 7½" blond, brainy actress became engaged to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in late December 2007.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to investment manager Ken Siebel and Discovery Museum of Sausalito co-founder Judy Siebel, Jennifer Lynn Siebel, nicknamed Jen, was born on June 19, 1974, in San Francisco, California. Her grandfather, John Fritzer, came to Hollywood to be an actor, but when WWII broke out, he was forced to join the U.S. Army Air Corps.
After graduating from Stanford University, Jennifer volunteered as a doctor's assistant in a children's hospital in Quito, Ecuador, and later joined global environmental group Conservation International, where she worked with Bushmen and rain forest communities in southern Africa and Latin America.
Upon her return to San Francisco, Jennifer attended Stanford Business School during the day and took a certificate program at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) during the evenings. She booked a number of TV and indie film roles and later formed a production company called “Girls' Club Entertainment” that finances independent films.
"When I lived in Africa, I was trying to figure out a way to help the local artisans by exporting some of their environmentally sound arts and crafts back home. Stanford Business School enabled me to focus on entrepreneurship and global management." Jennifer Siebel
Jennifer dances, sings, and plays sports. She most recently studied Wushu for a martial arts film. She was a starter on the Women's Junior National Soccer Team '91-'93 and played Varsity Soccer at Stanford prior to a back injury. She was also a Varsity Athlete in tennis and basketball in high school.
On December 29, 2007, Jennifer became engaged to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (born on October 10, 1967) after he proposed while they were vacationing in Hawaii.
The Trouble with Romance
In 2002, Jennifer Siebel began her career in David M. Rosenthal's 14-minute short mystery/thriller film called "Waiting for Anna" (starring Kristin Minter), which she also produced. That same year, she acted in another short film, "Harold Bloom Is About to Die," a comedy by Anthony Piersanti's that stars Jeffrey Weissman in the title role.
Siebel next began appearing on television. She was spotted as a guest in the NBC action-adventure series "She Spies," CBS’ drama "Presidio Med," Lifetime’s medical drama "Strong Medicine," and Disney Channel's animated sitcom "The Proud Family."
She also starred in an independent comedy film by Casey Rodgers, "Hades Night" (2003), before receiving her first role in a major motion picture, "Something's Gotta Give" (2003), Nancy Meyers' Academy Award-nominated romantic comedy starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in which Siebel played a bit part as a young woman in a market.
2004 saw Siebel starring in Marc Rosenbush's award-winning surrealist Buddhist murder mystery indie "Zen Noir," Kevin O'Neill's prehistoric horror movie "DinoCroc" (with Charles Napier and Joanna Pacula), Frank Crim's short comedy "Blonde," in which she portrayed a blonde diva opposite Erika Gardner, and Roger Christian's romantic movie "American Daylight," alongside Nick Moran. She also guest starred in a March 2004 episode of Fox’s short-lived sitcom "Cracking Up" and in a September 2005 episode of CBS’ crime/cop drama show "Numb3rs."
Siebel subsequently starred as Robert Cuthill's girlfriend Monica in Drew Filus' independent romantic comedy film "Raw Footage" (2005) and co-starred in Marius A. Markevicius' short thriller "Undisclosed" (2005). She also appeared in Chris Columbus' film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Rent" (2006; with Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Rosario Dawson), Lo Ming's short action "Safe" (2006), and Francis Megahy's comedy "Late Night Girls" (2006; starring Francis Megahy).
In 2007, Siebel replaced Claudia Black to play the recurring role of Jennifer Conover, the ex-wife to Damian Lewis' lead character Charlie, in the NBC drama series "Life." Premiering on September 26, 2007, the show had been picked up for a second season and will return for the Fall 2008/2009 season.
Meanwhile, Siebel continued to act in films. She could be seen in Gene Rhee's provocative "The Trouble with Romance," which she also produced, and Brett A. Hart's independent drama/thriller starring Luke Goss, "Bone Dry." She was also cast in Paul Haggis' Academy Award-nominated "In the Valley of Elah,” starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon.
"I personally think that I have as much if not more to offer Hollywood than someone who has lived here their entire life. Having had real-life experiences all over the world, I believe I am a shoo-in to play a breadth of diverse, international characters. To have a career like that of Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, etc., would be a dream come true. But Hollywood needs to determine that for themselves." Jennifer Siebel
Siebel was recently seen in the straight-to-video released horror "April Fool's Day" (2008), starring Taylor Cole. She has completed Emmett Loverde's upcoming romantic comedy movie called "Till You Get to Baraboo" and Stephen Leeds' new musical drama/comedy, "Doorman." She will soon wrap up "Por vida" (aka. "For Life"), a drama by Alan Jacobs starring Danny Glover and Snoop Dogg. Siebel also serves as co-executive producer for the film.
“I feel very grateful to be living this creative life. It’s extremely satisfying to be able to challenge and stretch myself with new stories, characters, situations and roles. I love delving into a character’s psyche, history, relationships, patterns, motivation and circumstances. I love other cultures. I love the mind and how it works. I find myself in a perpetual state of curiosity about humanity and acting allows me to explore it all.” Jennifer Siebel