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A blonde, energetic newcomer who convincingly portrayed wealthy ice princess Nicole Julian on The WB series "Popular" (1999-2001) despite her own humble beginnings, Tammy Lynn Michaels was so determined to channel her interest in drama into a career that she convinced her single mother to drive her from their Indiana home to New York City following her high school graduation. Hoping to study at an acting conservatory, Michaels found herself struggling with jobs as a nanny and waitress when those plans fell through. While making ends meet, she was approached in a restaurant by an acting scout in the legendary discovery manner. Work in commercials followed, and before long, Michaels was cast on "Popular" in the role she would make her own in grand style.
With nary a bone of compassion in her body, the character of Nicole Julian unapologetically upheld the restrictive code of popularity and persecuted the peons who didn't fit in. Michaels' portrayal was a comic highlight of the show, and her unflinching flair for the dramatic made her the camp icon for a new generation. Capably pulling off hysterics worthy of Joans Collins and Crawford, Michaels was well-exploited by the series' writers who put her in situations and fed her lines that were fantastically over the top.
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