MOTW: The Life and Career of American Actress Jane Levy

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing
October 10th, 2013

MOTW: The Life and Career of American Actress Jane Levy

Jane Colburn Levy was born in Los Angeles County on Dec. 29, 1989. Her father, Lester, was of Jewish origin and employed as a musician. Her mother Mary, an artist, came from a British background. Levy moved around a lot as a child and lived in places such as New York and North Carolina. She attended high school in Marin County, North Carolina.

While at school, Levy was a member of the hip-hop team as well as the captain of her school's soccer team. Levy was not very interest in acting during her early years in high school, and it was only after trying out for a school theater production that she became interested in pursuing acting as a viable career. Levy appeared in several theater productions at her school, including "Annie" and "The Wizard of Oz." Her background in soccer and dance helped her immensely when she performed onstage by giving her the confidence to perform her roles. Also while in high school, Levy visited England for five months by herself. It was during this time that her eyes were really opened to the outside world, and being on her own also helped to prepare her for the challenges that were to come later on in her life. As a student, Levy described herself as someone who was able to get along with pretty much everyone.

After graduating from high school, Levy went to Goucher College in Maryland for a semester. She did not find what she was looking for there, so she transferred to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City to pursue a career in acting. As Levy had already lived in New York for quite some time during her childhood, it was not such a big step moving from a small rural town to the bright lights of the Big Apple.

Levy studied for two years in New York honing her craft, and the experience proved vital for her. After she decided to move back to California, it was only a few short weeks before she was cast in her first onscreen role. Although it was only a minor recurring role, playing the character of Mandy Milkovich in "Shameless" allowed Levy to put her name out as an up-and-coming young talent looking to find success in Hollywood.

In March 2011, Levy secretly married Portuguese actor Jamie Freitas. Very little publicity was given to it at the time, and it was only seven months later when the pair split up that attention was cast on their marriage. Almost eighteen months after separating, the pair finally divorced, with Levy citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the breakup.

At about the same time that Levy got married, she was handed her first lead role on the sitcom series "Suburgatory." The creator of the television show, Emily Kapnek, was immediately struck by how calm and collected Levy was on set. Cast as Tessa Altman, Levy fit right in as a young daughter whose father moved her from New York City to the suburbs. Her performances during the first season of the show were largely praised, with many critics comparing her to fellow redhead actress Emma Stone. Levy was pleased that she was able to develop a character over multiple seasons rather.

After the first season of "Suburgatory," Levy was named as one of the breakout stars of 2011 by many review sites. She was also named on the Forbes list of the thirty brightest young stars, which helped to raise her profile even more. During 2012, Levy had bit parts in two small feature films, "Nobody Walks" and "Fun Size." These two roles allowed Levy to branch out a little bit from her regular television role and get some experience on the big screen.

In 2013, Levy was cast as the drug-addicted Mia in "The Evil Dead," The remake of a 1981 horror classic. Lily Collins was originally lined up for the role but had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts. Although Levy still has her role of Tessa in "Suburgatory," she is continuing to develop her film career, with roles in "Frank and Cindy" and "About Alex" lined up for 2014.