Actress Jessica Alba hails from a military family - both her father and grandfather served our country. Among her other accomplishments on and off the screen, the movie star, philanthropist, and entrepreneur became one of six newly announced members of the board of directors at Yahoo this month.
The star from films like “Honey,” “Little Fockers,” and “L.A.’s Finest” traveled extensively as a military brat. Alba’s father, Mark, was in the U.S. Air Force.
“We lived on a couple different bases. The ones that I remember, one was in Biloxi, Mississippi, and then the other one that was sort of the more formative years, it was like age five to nine, was in Del Rio, Texas, Laughlin Air Force Base,” she told Fortune. “I was really sad to leave when my dad decided to get out of the military because you get — I mean, it’s really like such a safe environment, and everyone on base becomes your family.”
Though her Air Force Dad moved the family across the country when she was young, they finally settled in southern California when Alba was nine years old. She took her first acting lessons at 11 and soon emerged as a gifted actress.
Within months, Alba had an agent and was featured prominently in commercials for JC Penny and Nintendo. At 13, she was hired for a small role in Disney's “Camp Nowhere,” but her big break came when a girl with a larger role backed out after filming began. She quickly landed a recurring role on Nickelodeon's “The Secret World of Alex Mack,” and at 14, acted in a direct-to-video film with Morgan Fairchild called “Venus Rising.” While the mid-1990’s found her acting in a redux of “Flipper,” her breakthrough role came in the Fox TV sci-fi drama “Dark Angel,” which aired from 2000-2002.
Alba has reflected publicly on the influence of growing up in a tight-knit family of modest means with a relatively strict upbringing. Her household included her grandparents, as well. Her maternal grandfather was a Marine NCO for thirty years, serving in the Pacific during World War II.
Alba also says that most of her family pursued creative talents and hobbies. Her grandfather – who once encouraged his granddaughter to become a nun – was Assistant Drum Major for the United States Marine Band, according to Wikipedia.
But despite the wishes of her Marine grandfather, the self-described rebellious actress continued to pursue her acting passion.
Alba’s other movies include series’ like “Fantastic Four,” romantic comedies such as “Valentine’s Day,” and action films including “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.” She’s been a guest judge on “Project Runway” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award in 2008 and has been nominated for several other awards.
A businesswoman as well, Alba started The Honest Company in 2012, which sells baby and beauty products. Her company was valued at roughly $550 million earlier this year.
Through everything, family is a driving force in her life.
"My parents taught me about unconditional love, because you have your ups and downs, but you stick through it. I learned a lot from that, and I know that kind of love is possible," People Magazine reports. Alba is the proud mother of three children, and has been married for 14 years to Cash Warren, son of actor Michael Warren, who she met while filming Fantastic Four.