MOTW: The Life and Career of Lindsay Lohan

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
September 20th, 2013

MOTW: The Life and Career of Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Dee Lohan was born on July 2, 1986, in New York City. Lohan's father, Michael, had a highly successful career as a Wall Street trader who ran the family pasta business, while her mother, Dina, was a dancer and singer. Of Irish and Italian descent, Lohan grew up on Long Island for most of her childhood. She was raised a Catholic along with her three younger siblings, Michael Jr., Aliana, and Dakota—all of whom went on to become models or actors. Lohan's parents split up while she was still a toddler, although they did not get a divorce at that time.

Lohan's path to greatness began at the tender age of three, when she signed up with child modeling agency Ford Models. During her time as a child model, Lohan appeared in over five dozen commercials nationwide. At the age of ten, she was cast in her first television role on "Another World." Playing the character of Alexandra Fowler, Lohan got a taste for acting during her four episodes on the show. This small part would ultimately lead to a starring role in the 1998 Disney film "The Parent Trap." The remake of a 1961 comedy hit, this film provided the breakthrough that Lohan needed for her acting career. Reviews of her performance were mostly positive, and Lohan won a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film. The icing on the cake proved to be a three-film contract with Disney.

Due to her newfound fame, Lohan decided to stop attending Cold Spring Harbor High School and instead begin homeschooling. This move gave her greater flexibility when it came to choosing film roles. In 2003, she decided to participate in another Disney remake: "Freaky Friday." Starring opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, Lohan was once again praised by film critics, many of whom believed that she would go onto achieve film greatness. Lohan was recognized the following year when she picked up the Breakthrough Performance Award at the MTV Movie Awards.

The year 2004 proved to be a mixed one for Lohan commercially but ultimately led to her career taking a different path. Her first film of the year, "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," failed spectacularly. It was after this failure that Lohan decided to break away from Disney. The move proved to be a masterstroke, as she soon took the lead role in "Mean Girls." Many film critics pronounced her as the new teen movie queen, and the title was further reinforced when she picked up multiple film awards at the Teen Choice Awards and MTV Movie Awards the following year.

All of this success led to Lohan hosting "Saturday Night Live" three times over the next three seasons. This helped her become a household name in Hollywood, but it also brought some downsides. Media attention on her was fiercer than ever before, with some gossip magazines focusing solely on her love life and partying ways. In December 2004, Lohan released an album titled "Speak." The album debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and achieved platinum status early the following year. Lohan continued her new focus on music, and in December 2005, she released her follow-up album, "A Little More Personal (Raw)." However, this album was not as successful as her debut album, so she shelved her music career afterward.

In 2005, Lohan's parents separated for a second time, and they finalized their divorce a couple of years later. The breakup hit Lohan hard, and she chose to break off all communication with her father after her parents got divorced. In 2006, she began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in an attempt to get her drinking problem under control. However, it did not prove to be successful in the long term. The following year, while filming for "Poor Things," Lohan was arrested while drinking and charged with a DUI. She was forced to stay in a rehab facility for six weeks, but only a few days after being released, she was arrested for possessing cocaine. As a result of her legal troubles, Lohan lost her role in "Poor Things." This would prove to be a pattern over the next few years.

Alcohol abuse and drug problems continued to haunt Lohan, as she was sentenced to prison on multiple occasions but let out early due to overcrowding. Despite her legal woes, Lohan attempted to remain in the spotlight for all the right reasons. In November 2012, she starred as Elizabeth Taylor in the television movie "Liz & Dick." Reviews were mixed as to her performance. In April 2013, she appeared in "Scary Movie 5" alongside Charlie Sheen. In May, Lohan began three months of rehabilitation on the order of a court judge, and after she finished her stint in rehab, it was announced that she will participate in an eight-part documentary series covering her own life on Oprah Winfrey's OWN channel. With most of her legal troubles seemingly behind her, the future looks bright for the career of actress Lindsay Lohan.