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Steven Meizler

Steven Meizler

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A vivacious blonde presence on daytime and primetime television for over a decade, Emmy nominee Jessica Collins established herself as a popular player on the soap opera "Loving" (ABC, 1983-1995) before breaking into feature work, like "Catch Me If You Can" (2002), as well as episodic television, such as "Tru Calling" (Fox, 2003-2005). Though frequently cast for her physical appeal, Collins sought out and often succeeded at more challenging roles, like her drug addict character on "Tru Calling," which led to more work on television and the occasional film part. But attempts to mint Collins as a primetime star on "Unscripted" (HBO, 2005) and "Scoundrels" (CBS, 2010) met with failure, spurring her to delve into a second career as a chef while returning to daytime on "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). The steady work on the venerable soap and her growing popularity as a celebrity chef not only suited Collins' ambitions, but also minted her as a much-loved figure in two very distinct mediums. Born Jessica Lynn Capogna on April 1, 1971 in Schenectady, New York, Jessica Collins's first exposure to the entertainment industry came in 1988 as the winner of the Miss New York Teen USA. She was...

A vivacious blonde presence on daytime and primetime television for over a decade, Emmy nominee Jessica Collins established herself as a popular player on the soap opera "Loving" (ABC, 1983-1995) before breaking into feature work, like "Catch Me If You Can" (2002), as well as episodic television, such as "Tru Calling" (Fox, 2003-2005). Though frequently cast for her physical appeal, Collins sought out and often succeeded at more challenging roles, like her drug addict character on "Tru Calling," which led to more work on television and the occasional film part. But attempts to mint Collins as a primetime star on "Unscripted" (HBO, 2005) and "Scoundrels" (CBS, 2010) met with failure, spurring her to delve into a second career as a chef while returning to daytime on "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). The steady work on the venerable soap and her growing popularity as a celebrity chef not only suited Collins' ambitions, but also minted her as a much-loved figure in two very distinct mediums.

Born Jessica Lynn Capogna on April 1, 1971 in Schenectady, New York, Jessica Collins's first exposure to the entertainment industry came in 1988 as the winner of the Miss New York Teen USA. She was subsequently named first runner-up in the national Miss Teen USA pageant that same year before heading to New York to study acting. Collins further honed her craft at the Royal National Theatre Studio in London and the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Los Angeles before earning her first break in 1991 as Dina Lee Mayberry on the soap opera "Loving" (ABC, 1983-1995), which brought her two Daytime Soap Opera Award nominations. She departed the series in 1994 to pursue work in primetime television and feature films, which began with low-budget efforts like "Leprechaun 4: In Space" (1996) and episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000). Her tenacity paid off in 2002 with a small role as an ambitious stewardess in Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can" and a recurring turn on the nostalgic drama "American Dreams" (NBC, 2002-05). The following year, Collins earned critical praise for her turn as Eliza Dushku's drug-addicted sister on the supernaturally themed drama "Tru Calling."

A score of short-lived but high profile TV pilots, including Susan Seidelman's "The Ranch" (2004), about the lives of sex workers at a brothel, and series like "Unscripted" for George Clooney and Grant Heslov comprised her mid-2000s work. By the end of the decade, she was working steadily as a guest player on primetime shows like "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003-2010), but attempts to find series roles with staying power remained elusive. In 2009, Collins decided to pursue a second career as a chef after graduating with high honors from the prestigious cooking school Le Cordon Bleu. She alternated line work in restaurants and maintaining a popular cooking blog with acting jobs before returning to daytime television in 2011 as attorney Avery Bailey Clark on the long-running "The Young and the Restless." Her performance netted a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2013.

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