Danica McKellar is an American actress, mathematics writer, and education advocate, who is best known for her role in the television series ‘The Wonder Years’. She had always been passionate about acting and joined acting classes at the age of seven. Danica McKellar started her acting career as a child artist in television commercials and also acted in a couple of episodes of a popular television show ‘The Twilight Zone’. She then got a significant role in a popular American television comedy drama ‘The Wonder Years’ that gave her a lot of fame and recognition. The show ran for six seasons and after it got over, Danica McKellar took a break from acting to focus on her studies and she majored in Mathematics. She has written four books on mathematics and has been able to encourage and inspire numerous teenage girls to develop interest in the subject. Danica has given guest appearances in many of the television shows and has also written and directed two short films. She has won many awards and honors for her efforts in encouraging young girls to have confidence to do well in mathematics.
Childhood & Early Life
Danica McKellar was born on January 3, 1975, in La Jolla, San Diego, California and moved to Los Angeles at the age of eight. Her father, Christopher, is a real estate developer and her mother, Mahalia, was a homemaker. She has a sister, Crystal McKellar, who is an actress and a corporate lawyer.
Her parents got divorced in 1982 and her dad married Molly with whom he produced two sons, Christopher and Connor.
At the age of 7, she started taken acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Institute and began her acting career at the age of nine. She started her journey with television commercials.
She studied Bachelor of Science and graduated with specialization in Mathematics in 1998 at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). She got a degree in Analytical Mathematics.
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Danica McKellar started her acting career at the age of nine, in 1984, with television commercials for Mountain Dew, Volkswagen and several others. She appeared in two episodes of a well-known television show ‘The Twilight Zone’, in 1987.
At the age of 13, she was signed for a major role in an American television series ‘The Wonder Years’ and worked in the same during the period 1988-1993. She played a character named Gwendolyn (Winnie) Cooper in the show.
In 1989, she was seen playing cello in Debbie Gibson music video titled ‘No More Rhyme’.
After the television series ‘The Wonder Years’ got over, Danica took a break from acting in order to focus on her studies. She joined UCLA and graduated with Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, in 1998.
She made several guest appearances during her graduation as well and appeared in two Lifetime Television movies: ‘Cradle of Conspiracy’ in 1994, and Justice for Annie in 1996.
She performed a recurring role in 2002-03 series of ‘The West Wing’ and also appeared in lingerie in the July2005 edition of ‘Stuff’ magazine. She also made guest appearances in popular TV shows, such as ‘Babylon 5’, ‘Sirens’, ‘NCIS’, ‘NYPD Blue’, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’.
In 2006, she starred in a Lifetime movie and web series named ‘Inspector mom’. The series was about a mother who solves mysteries. In 2008, she played the lead role in ‘Heatstroke’, a Sci-Fi Channel original movie about searching for alien life on Earth.
Apart from acting, she has also worked as a voice actress. She gave her voice for the popular video games: ‘X-men Legends’, ‘Marvel: Ultimate Alliance’ and ‘Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2’ in 2004, 2006 and 2009 respectively. She is also voice of Miss Martian in the animated TV series ‘Young Justice’.
Some of the other projects, which she has been part of are: Lifetime movie 'Love at the Christmas Table' (2012), Syfy movie 'Tasmanian Devils' (2013), as participant in season 18 of 'Dancing with the Stars' (2014) and Netflix original series 'Project Mc2' (2015).
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Apart from the movies, she has also written four books on mathematics, namely, 'Math Doesn't Suck', 'Kiss My Math', 'Hot X: Algebra Exposed' and 'Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape'. Through these books she has tried to encourage teenager girls to develop interest in mathematics.
Danica McKellar is best known for her work in the American television comedy-drama 'The Wonder Years' that ran for that ran for six seasons on ABC, from 1988 to 1993 and grabbed a spot in the list of Nielsen Top 30 during four out of its six seasons . The show made her a household name in America.
She is also known for her four books on mathematics: 'Math Doesn't Suck', 'Kiss My Math', 'Hot X: Algebra Exposed' and 'Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape'. These books have gone a long way in encouraging young girls and boys to develop an interest for the subject.
Awards & Achievements
Danica McKellar was nominated as ‘Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series’ for the 11th Annual Youth in Film Awards in the year 1988-1989. It was for her role in the television show ‘The Wonder Years’.
She was recognized as the Person of the Week for August 03-August 10, 2007 on World News with Charles Gibson. The recognition was for her efforts towards encouraging young girls to develop an interest in mathematics.
She received Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award, in January 2014. The award was an acknowledgement of the encouragement that she provided to countless middle and high school students, especially girls, to be more interested in mathematics.
Personal Life & Legacy
Danica McKellar took wedding vows with her longtime boyfriend Mike Verta on March 22, 2009. The marriage lasted for three years and they separated in 2012 and were granted a divorce in February 2013. The couple has a son named Dranco
She started dating Scott Sveslosky soon after her divorce and got married to him on November 15, 2014.
As of February 2017, Danica McKellar has a net worth of $ 3 million.
Danica McKellar has a passion for skiing and has participated in various skiing tournaments. She is also a dancing enthusiast and a Yoga lover.
She had her first kiss at the age of twelve with Fred Savage. It was on the sets of ‘The Wonder Years’.