Childhood & Early Life
Amanda Peet was born in New York City on January 11, 1972, to Charles D. Peet, Jr. and Penny Levy. Her father was a corporate lawyer by profession and her mother was a social worker.
Peet is also related to Samuel Roxy Rothafel, a theatrical impresario, and Samuel Levy, a public official, who served as the Manhattan Borough President; both were her maternal great-grandfathers.
Her father was a Quaker and her mother belonged to a Jewish family; she was raised in the Quaker tradition. Peet moved to London at the age of seven only to return to New York four years later and attended a private day school named Friends Seminary in Manhattan.
She enrolled at the Columbia University and graduated with a degree in American history. After her graduation, Peet took acting classes under Uta Hagen for four years and also appeared in Broadway shows.
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Amanda Peet appeared in Broadway shows and did several commercials including a television commercial for Skittles before trying her luck in the film and television industries.
She made her debut in the film industry with a role in the 1995 American thriller-drama ‘Animal Room’. She appeared alongside the likes of Matthew Lillard and Neil Patrick Harris (as a drug addict).
In 1995, she also made her television debut in an episode (‘Hot Pursuit’) of the American police procedural and legal drama television series ‘Law and Order’. She did two independent films in 1996, ‘Winterlude’ and ‘Virginity’.
She earned a chance to work alongside Michelle Marie Pfeiffer and George Clooney in the romantic comedy film ‘One Fine Day’ in 1996. In the same year, she appeared in the romcom ‘She's the One’ alongside Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston.
For Peet, the roles kept coming but she had to wait till 1999 to get a lead role in a televisions series. She was cast in the American comedy-drama television show ‘Jack & Jill’. She was part of the show between 1999 and 2001, playing the role of ‘Jacqueline Barrett’ in 32 episodes.
Towards the end of the 1990s, Peet appeared in a series of films playing small roles; most of the films were of the romantic-comedy genre. Some of her popular films of this period were ‘Grind’, ‘Playing by Heart’, ‘Simply Irresistible’ and ‘Body Shots’. She then appeared in the 2000 biographical comedy-drama film ‘Isn't She Great’ as ‘Debbie Klausman’.
In 2000, Peet was picked to play the role of ‘Jill St. Claire’ in the American crime comedy film ‘The Whole Nine Yards’. She worked alongside the likes of Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Michael Clarke Duncan and Natasha Henstridge. Peet’s work in the film was widely praised by the critics and the audience.
Amanda Peet appeared in a lead role in a multi-starrer comedy film ‘Whipped’ in 2000. She appeared alongside Brian Van Holt, Beth Ostrosky, Callie Thorne, and Bridget Moynahan. The film received mixed reaction but Peet earned a lot of praise for her work. She also won the Young Hollywood Award for Best New Style Maker and was named among the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine.
She appeared alongside Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, and Jack Black in the 2001 American comedy-drama film ‘Saving Silverman’. The film was widely criticized for its poor content and received poor reviews as well.
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Amanda Peet appeared in a number of films in the early and mid-2000s. She appeared in the 2003 American psychological thriller film ‘Identity’ as ‘Paris’. She also worked alongside Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in the romantic comedy film ‘Something's Gotta Give’.
In 2005, Peet appeared opposite Ashton Kutcher in the romantic comedy-drama film ‘A Lot Like Love’. Their on-screen chemistry was widely talked about and audience loved the pair. The film was based on two individuals whose relationship evolves from lust and friendship to serious romance. Peet was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for ‘Choice Movie Actress – Comedy’.
In 2006, Amanda Peet was signed for the role of ‘Jordan McDeere’, a hired president of an entertainment program, in the American comedy-drama television series ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’. Peet was part of the show for its entire run, spanning 22 episodes.
In the next decade, Peet appeared in several films, playing small yet significant roles. She appeared in ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’ and ‘What Doesn't Kill You’. She also appeared in the American epic science fiction disaster film ‘2012’. She was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for ‘Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi’. Her other popular works include ‘Please Give’, ‘Gulliver's Travels’, ‘Identity Thief’, and ‘Trust Me’.
After appearing in a number of television shows in guest appearances, Peet worked in ‘The Good Wife’, a legal political drama series, in 2012. She also played lead roles in ‘Togetherness’ (as ‘Tina Morris’) and ‘Brockmire’ (as ‘Jules’).
Amanda Peet is best known for the role of ‘Jill St. Claire’ in the mafia-comedy film ‘The Whole Nine Yards’. She was part of a high-profile lineup in the movie that had names like Bruce Willis, Michael Clarke Duncan and Natasha Henstridge. The film grossed over US$106 million worldwide and received positive reviews from the critics.
Peet’s role in the movie earned her wider attention and she was nominated for the ‘Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy or Romance’ award at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. She also received a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards.
The role of ‘Jordan McDeere’ in Aaron Sorkin's comedy-drama television series ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ is another one of her career highlights. She was part of the show for the entire season and played one of the lead roles. Peet was nominated at the Satellite Award for ‘Best Actress – Television Series Drama’ for her work in the show.
Amanda Peet is married to American screenwriter David Benioff who is popular for creating the critically acclaimed HBO fantasy drama series ‘Game of Thrones’. The couple married on September 30, 2006, in Peet’s hometown New York City. They have three children together, Frances "Frankie" Pen Friedman, Henry Peet Friedman, and Molly June Friedman.
Amanda Peet is good friends with the ‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage and also shares a strong bond with actress Sarah Paulson with whom she has worked with in ‘Jack & Jill’ as well as ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’.
Peet has been an active volunteer and spokesperson for childhood vaccination. She has worked closely with ‘Every Child By Two’, a non-profit organization that works for the same cause. She was also felicitated by Independent Investigative Group with an award to recognize her work in this field.