AJ. Cook
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AJ. Cook

Birth name: Andrea Joy Cook
Born: July 22, 1978
Age: 39
Birthplace: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Actress
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Biography

Andrea Joy "A. J." Cook-Andersen (born July 22, 1978) is a Canadian actress best known for her role as Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films including The Virgin Suicides, Out Cold, and Final Destination 2.

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Early life

Cook was born in Oshawa, Ontario and spent most of her life growing up in Whitby where she attended Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute. Her father, Mike, is a teacher, and her mother, Sandra, works as a psychiatrist. She has three siblings, Nathan, Paul, and Angela. Cook is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A dancer from age four, Cook began taking jazz, tap and ballet lessons. She danced competitively for many years, before deciding at the age of 16 that she wanted to try acting.

Career

Cook's first job was in a McDonald's commercial in 1997. She graduated to series work with a guest role on the television series Goosebumps, and parts in two television movies, In His Father's Shoes and Elvis Meets Nixon. Cook launched her feature film career as one of five captivating suicidal sisters in 1999's The Virgin Suicides. Also that year, she took a starring role in the TV series Higher Ground, in which Cook played Shelby Merrick, a rough-around-the-edges teenage girl dealing with abuse and heartache at a wilderness school for struggling kids. Higher Ground lasted one season, ending with a romance between Shelby and Hayden Christensen's character, Scott.

After Higher Ground, Cook appeared in the 2000 TV movie The Spiral Staircase (alongside Higher Ground alum Kandyse McClure), and then captured leading roles in several films, including Out Cold (as Jason London's love interest), Ripper, I'm Reed Fish, and Final Destination 2.

In 2003, A.J. guest starred in a pivotal role on the critically acclaimed series Dead Like Me. (Interestingly, the episode preceding her appearance in Sunday Mornings was entitled A Cook, although there was no connection between the guest characters in either episode.)

She currently stars as Jennifer "J.J." Jareau in the CBS drama Criminal Minds. On June 14, 2010 it was announced that her contract option would not be picked up for the show's sixth season as a series regular, but she did return for two episodes to wrap up her character's storyline due to thousands of letters and petitions written to the show's producers. She also returned for one episode for the departure of Paget Brewster from the series. On April 16, 2011 it was reported that she had signed to reappear for two more seasons of the show.

Personal life

In August 2001, Cook married her long-time boyfriend Nathan Andersen, whom she met in a film class at Utah Valley University. She later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to be with him and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

In March 2008, it was reported that Cook and Andersen would be expecting their first child in October. Their son, Mekhai Allan Andersen, was born on Saturday, September 13, 2008. Weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long, Mekhai was born at 8:50 p.m. A.J. said "He's such a good baby. I feel so lucky that he's mine. My husband and I feel very blessed!" Mekhai made a brief appearance in Criminal Minds in Season 5 when Cook's character Jennifer Jareau was in a pharmacy buying children's medicine which lead to a breakthrough in the case the BAU was currently trying to solve. Cook and Andersen are also the owners of a Yorkshire Terrier named Zara.

Cook was considered legally blind at an early age because of a severe astigmatism, but wore contacts to correct her vision. She eventually underwent surgery where a lens implant was used to correct the impairment.

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Laserhawk Pretty Girl #1
1999 Virgin Suicides, TheThe Virgin Suicides Mary Lisbon
1999 Teen Sorcery Dawn Video
2001 Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell Diana Collins Video
2001 Ripper Molly Keller
2001 Out Cold Jenny
2002 House Next Door, TheThe House Next Door Lori Peterson
2003 Final Destination 2 Kimberly Corman
2006 I'm Reed Fish Theresa
2007 Night Skies Lilly
2008 Misconceptions Miranda Bliss
2010 Mother's Day Vicky Rice
2012 Least Among Saints Cheryl Completed
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1997 In His Father's Shoes Lisa TV movie
1997 Goosebumps Kim Carter Episode: "Don't Wake Mummy"
1997 Elvis Meets Nixon Hippie Chick TV movie
1997 PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Jill Starling Episode: "Second Sight/Chocolate Soldier"
1998 PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Lee Mason Episode: "Hell Week"
1999 Blue Moon Alison TV movie
2000 Spiral Staircase, TheThe Spiral Staircase Local Girl TV movie
2000 Higher Ground Shelby Merrick 22 episodes
2000 First Wave Lindsay Tilden Episode: "The Flight of Francis Jeffries"
2003 Dead Like Me Charlotte Episode: "Sunday Mornings"
2003-2004 Tru Calling Lindsay Walker 21 episodes
2005 Bloodsuckers Fiona TV movie
2005-present Criminal Minds Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau 132+ episodes
2006 Vanished Hope TV movie
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Debbie Shields Episode: "Mask"
2011 Bringing Ashley Home Libba TV movie

[ Source: Wikipedia ]