Mena Suvari is an American actress. She is known primarily for her roles in films such as "American Beauty" and the "American Pie" series. She has also played recurring characters on the television series "Six Feet Under" and "Chicago Fire."
Mena Alexandra Suvari was born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island and grew up in an old mansion along with her parents and three brothers. A name such as hers often makes people wonder not only how to pronounce it, but what it's origins are. As it turns out, her mother is part Greek and her father is Estonian, so her last name is of Estonian descent. As for her first name, it was given to her in honor of her godmother of the same name, who herself was named after the Mena House, a hotel as the base of the Egyptian pyramids.
When you're as beautiful as Mena, it never tends to take too long to be discovered. After she moved with her family to Charleston, South Carolina at age 12, she attended a modeling convention and was eventually signed with Wilhelmina Models. Within a year, she had landed her first official acting gig in a television commercial for the product Rice-A-Roni. From there, she was able to land guest appearances on a number of television series including "Boy Meets World" and "ER" before making her feature film debut in "Nowhere" in 1997.
Of course, Mena's two most famous roles wouldn't come around until 1999, when she starred in back-to-back hits "American Pie" and "American Beauty," the latter of which even won the Academy Award for best picture, director and screenplay while also putting Mena up for a BAFTA Award for best supporting actress. Launching her career in such a way has done wonder for her through the years, as she has gone on to star in a number of films including "The Musketeer," "Domino," and even two more "American Pie" sequels (although she didn't appear in "American Wedding").