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Juliette Lewis was born June 21, 1973, in Los Angeles, CA, Lewis was the daughter of film and television player Geoffrey Lewis and mother Glenis, a graphic artist, who had seven marriages and 11 children between them. Lewis wanted to be an actor from the time she was six, and when she was a teen she landed her first "daughter" roles in the Showtime miniseries.

Anxious to get on with a full-time acting career, she dropped out of high school at age 14, passed her equivalency test, and became an emancipated minor at age 15, which allowed her the same workplace freedom as adult actors. While the young actress had already found her experience on sitcoms like.

But her feature film debut as the third actress to play the daughter of bumbling suburban dad Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989) confined her to emotional territory very much in keeping with the sitcoms she loathed. Her turn as a series regular on "A Family For Joe" (NBC, 1990), starring Robert Mitchum no less, was thankfully her last in a sitcom.

She resurfaced with a vengeance in "Whip It" (2009), Drew Barrymore's directorial debut in which Lewis co-starred as the coach of a female roller-derby teen and the terrifying archrival of a newcomer on the circuit (Ellen Page). With its all-star cast of favorite indie film actresses, the film positioned Lewis to regain her big screen visibility and remind viewers of her fiery onscreen appeal.