Jessica Karen Szohr is an American actress. She started her screen career appearing on television shows such as My Wife and Kids (2003), Joan of Arcadia (2004), What About Brian (2007) and CSI: Miami (2007). She gained recognition in 2007 with her breakthrough role as Vanessa Abrams on The CW‘s teen drama series Gossip Girl (2007–2012).
She has appeared in feature films including the horror film Piranha 3D (2010), the comedy film I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011), the comedy film The Internship (2013) and the comedy film Ted 2 (2015). Her recent television credits include Complications (2015), Kingdom (2015), Twin Peaks (2017) and Shameless (2017–18). Since 2018, she has been a main cast member of the Fox/Hulu science fiction series The Orville, as Talla Keyali.
Years active: 2003–present
Born: March 31, 1985, 38 years old and 4 months, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Sun Sign: Aries
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 5 ft 5 in / 1.65 m
Measurements: 35-25-34 in / 89-63.5-86 cm
Bra Size: 32C US / 70C EU
Jessica Szohr GOSSIP GIRL (2007-2012)
Father – Unknown
Mother – Karen Roach
Siblings – Megan Szohr (Younger Sister), Danielle Szohr (Younger Sister), Nick Szohr (Younger Brother), Sadie Szohr (Younger Sister)
Others – Ronald Szohr (Maternal Grandfather)
Children – 1
Jessica has African-American ancestry on her dad side while she is from her mother, Hungarian and German (from her own father) and Irish and English. The oldest of five children (Megan, Danielle, Nick and Sadie), Szohr played soccer, served on the student council, and was part of the cheerleading squad while in school. She started a cleaning company with a friend, cleaning their teachers’ houses.
Szohr started modeling at age six. Her first national campaign was for Quaker Oats at age ten, and she also appeared in print ads for Kohl’s department store. Subsequent modeling gigs followed, including prints for Crate & Barrel, Mountain Dew, Sears, Jockey and JanSport. Szohr graduated from Menomonee Falls High School a semester early and moved to Los Angeles with her mother at the age of 17 to pursue an acting career. She told Seventeen magazine that she “almost moved home like five times.” She initially aspired to become an interior designer and had enrolled in Columbia College Chicago, but her agent ultimately convinced her to try pilot season auditions.
Szohr made her debut as an actress in 2003 in an episode of the third season of My Wife and Kids, titled “Not So Hostile Takeover”. Her first film was Uncle Nino (2003), playing a minor role as The MC. She appeared in numerous guest roles in teen television series such as That’s So Raven, Drake & Josh, What I Like About You, and Joan of Arcadia. She also appeared in three episodes of CSI: Miami as Samantha Barrish.
In 2007, she appeared in a major recurring role as Laura for six episodes in the ABC dramedy series What About Brian. Along with Stacy Keibler, she played a neighbor to the leading role, Brian O’Hara (Barry Watson). She also appeared in the music videos for “Best Days” by Matt White and “Over You” by Daughtry, in which she played Sarah.
In the same year, Szohr earned her breakthrough role on the hit CW teen drama series Gossip Girl. She plays Vanessa Abrams. Szohr said of her character: “Vanessa doesn’t change for other people. She says what she thinks. […] she’s just a badass girl from Brooklyn”. The portrayal of Vanessa has drawn criticism from Ziegesar. Originally cast as a recurring role, Szohr was promoted to series regular after the season one episode “The Blair Bitch Project” in April 2008. In May 2011, it was confirmed Szohr would not be returning for the fifth season. She returned in for a cameo appearance on the series finale, “New York, I Love You XOXO“, on December 17, 2012.
Szohr has appeared in small roles in films such as Somebody Help Me, The Reading Room and Fired Up. She signed on to Dimension Films‘ horror Piranha 3D, in the role of Kelly. The role required her to be underwater; Szohr later told the New York Daily News filming was difficult because she was “not the best swimmer.” Filming began in June 2009, and the film was pushed back from its original release date in March to August 2010. She also appeared in a Funny or Die video promoting the film alongside Kelly Brook and others.
Szohr was awarded the Breakthrough Actress in Film award at the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year awards for her work in Piranha 3D.
In April 2010, Szohr joined the cast of the romantic comedy Love, Wedding, Marriage, along with Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz. The film began principal photography in April 2010 and was filmed in New Orleans. That same year, Szohr was included on People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People in the World” list.
Szohr has a role in the 2012 independent post-apocalyptic sci-fi film Hirokin. Her role as Orange has been described as a “cunning temptress”.
Szohr starred in the 2012 indie drama Art Machine as an outlaw hipster and a pyrotechnic artist. In October 2011, she finished filming a horror comedy film in East Lothian, Scotland titled Love Bite with co-star Ed Speleers. In November 2011, Szohr filmed the drama Light Years in Los Angeles.
In 2012, Szohr helped Hayden Panettiere punk Glee actress Dianna Agron.
Szohr appeared in Taylor Swift‘s 2013 music video for the song “22“. In March 2013, she was cast as the female lead in the Fox drama pilot The List, playing FBI agent Natalie Voss. However, it was reported on May 8, 2013 that Fox had passed on the pilot. In November 2013, Szohr was cast as Gretchen in USA Network’s medical drama pilot Complications.
In June 2015, Szohr was set as a recurring on the upcoming second season of DirecTV’s MMA drama Kingdom. Szohr will play Laura Melvin, an artist/photographer who has “read everything, been everywhere,” and immediately intrigued by Jay (Jonathan Tucker) whom she wants to hire for a photo shoot.
On February 12, 2018, Szohr was cast as a regular for the second season of the science fiction comedy-drama series The Orville, as Talla Keyali.
On January 26, 2022, Szohr launched the podcast XOXO with Jessica Szohr, a walk down memory lane with the cast and crew of Gossip Girl featuring behind-the scenes stories, on-set memories, and more with interviews and occasional episode rewatches.
Szohr gave birth to a daughter, on January 11, 2021. The two got engaged in May 2022.
In 2003, she appeared in Uncle Nino for her role as The MC.
First TV Show
In 2003, Jessica guest appeared as Dee-Jay in ABC sitcom My Wife and Kids.
Jessica Szohr Favorite Things
Food – Pizza, French fries
Shopping Store – Target
Favorite Gossip Girl Season – Season 1
All-time Favorite Video Game – Mario
Sports – Snowboarding, hiking, yoga, and football.
Jessica Szohr Facts
Jessica was a cheerleader in school.
She was on the student council in her school.
When in school, she, along with a friend, started a cleaning business where she used to clean the teachers’ houses.
At 6 (in 1991), she started modeling. In 2003, she commenced acting.
Before modeling, she was aspiring to become an interior designer.
Her last name is pronounced as “Sawr.”
Jessica likes to snowboard, hike, do yoga, and play soccer.
She is an avid fan of American Football team Green Bay Packers.
She is friends with Dianna Agron, Taylor Swift, Jessica Stam, and Nina Dobrev.
She describes her hobbies as a result of her being from Wisconsin.
Jessica has a daughter with her partner, Canadian professional hockey player Brad Richardson.
She also is a Green Bay Packers fan.