Published on January 14, 2014 by Amy
Shannon Elizabeth Fadal (born September 7, 1973), known professionally as Shannon Elizabeth, is an American actress and former fashion model. Elizabeth is well known for her roles in comedy films such as American Pie, Scary Movie and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. She is also known for her work in horror films such as Thirteen Ghosts, Cursed, and Night of the Demons. She became widely known as a sex symbol for her role in the 1999 comedy film American Pie.
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Born Shannon Elizabeth Fadal, Elizabeth’s father is of Lebanese descent and her mother is of English, Irish, German, and Cherokee ancestry. She was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Waco, Texas. She grew up in a low income background. In high school, she was very much interested in tennis and at one point even considered a professional tennis career. She worked as a model before she began a career in film.
Acting and modeling
Elizabeth appeared in several films before being cast in 1999′s American Pie. Pie was a major box office success. Elizabeth subsequently appeared in several Hollywood films, including Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Tomcats. Elizabeth starred in the UPN series Cuts until the show was canceled in May 2006. Cuts and its parent show, One on One, were two of the many shows not to be picked up by The CW. Elizabeth appeared in That ’70s Show for a number of episodes.
In August 1999, she posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy. In 2000 and 2003, she was featured in Maxim. In June 2008 she was Maxim’s cover girl. She provided the likeness and voice for Serena St. Germaine in the 2004 video game, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. Elizabeth was one of the celebrities on an episode of NBC’s Thank God You’re Here along with Tom Green, Chelsea Handler, and George Takei. Elizabeth was among the cast of the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Derek Hough. Elizabeth was the seventh star eliminated from the competition. Elizabeth was the host of the comedy/burlesque series “Live Nude Comedy” in 2009. Shannon also featured in Chris Brown’s Next To You music video, as Brown’s girlfriend.
Elizabeth describes poker as her “second career” and has been called “one of the leading celebrity poker players.” She visits Las Vegas up to three times each month to participate in poker games with the top players of the United States. Elizabeth played in the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker under the guidance of Daniel Negreanu, and won a special tournament celebrating the opening of a new poker room at Caesars Palace hotel in January 2006, beating out 83 celebrities and poker professionals to win $55,000.
She has also cashed four times in the World Series of Poker in 2006 and 2007, but again busted out of the Main Event early. In 2007, she advanced to the semi-finals of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in a field consisting of the top poker professionals before losing to eventual champion Paul Wasicka. Among the four opponents she defeated were three World Series of Poker multiple bracelet winners: Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein, and Humberto Brenes. In May 2010, due to her half Lebanese ancestry, Elizabeth chose to play for Team Lebanon at the World Team event in Las Vegas.
After the September 11 attacks, Elizabeth recorded a public service announcement in which she said, “I’m half Arabic, but I am 100 percent American. What is going on affects me the same as everyone else.”
Elizabeth had been married to actor Joseph Reitman from 2002 – 2005.
After being eliminated from Dancing with the Stars in April 2008, Elizabeth began dating Derek Hough, her dancing partner on the show. Their relationship reportedly lasted until August 2009.
She is also an environmentalist and is a vegan.
Elizabeth is the cousin of the TV host and relationship coach Tamsen Fadal.
Animal Avengers, a non-profit animal rescue organization founded by Elizabeth and her then-husband Reitman, is dedicated to rescuing and finding a home for homeless pets, reducing pet overpopulation, promoting responsible pet guardianship and preventing animal cruelty. Among the many fundraising events, Team Bodog raised over $50,000 for Animal Avengers in a celebrity poker night on October 8, 2005. The event was hosted by noted tournament director Matt Savage. Over the past year Shannon Elizabeth has participated in numerous other Bodog-sponsored charity events as well.
Elizabeth has served as the spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey program, urging people to adopt a turkey instead of eating one for Thanksgiving.