Adrianne Palicki was born on May 19, 1983, in Toledo, Ohio. Though she’s now known for her beauty and grace, Palicki was actually thought of as a tomboy throughout her formative years. She participated in a variety of athletic endeavors while attending Whitmer High School, including stints on the basketball and track-and-field teams. It wasn’t until she was a sophomore that she first gave thought to the idea of acting, with a small role in the school play inevitably cementing her desire to pursue a career as a performer.
After graduating from high school, Palicki packed up and moved to New York City to participate in a modeling and talent competition. Three months later, she decided to devote herself 100% to her dream of making it as an actress, and she subsequently moved to Los Angeles. She quickly landed roles in a pair of 2003 indies, with her big break coming the very next year after she successfully auditioned for a starring role in a Lost in Space pilot directed by John Woo. Though the show wasn’t picked up, Palicki had managed to get her foot in the door and subsequently spent the next few months popping up in a variety of popular shows (including Smallville, Quintuplets and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation).
Adrianne Palicki’s increased profile helped her land roles in obscure films (2005’s Popstar and 2006’s Seven Mummies) and cable television shows (South Beach, Supernatural), and in 2006, she even snagged a substantial part on the ill-fated Smallville spin-off Aquaman (which was to pair the up-and-coming actress with such familiar faces as Justin Hartley, Lou Diamond Phillips and Ving Rhames). Palicki didn’t have too much time to mourn the series’ failure, however, as she managed to land a prominent role on the NBC series Friday Night Lights.
The show, based on the 2004 film of the same name, cast Palicki as Tyra Collette, a spunky high schooler whose palpable disdain for football continues to cause friction with her on-again-off-again boyfriend (Taylor Kitsch’s Tim Riggins). Although the series has never quite become a hit in the ratings, Friday Night Lights has managed to win over a core group of intensely passionate fans with its gritty and downright authentic sensibilities, with USA Today labeling the program “brilliant” and hailing Palicki’s work as “wonderful.”
After three seasons of Friday Night Lights, Palicki used her increased notoriety to branch out into the world of features. First up for the actress was a role in the predominantly female comedy Women in Trouble, in which she worked alongside Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton and Friday Night Lights’ costar Connie Britton. Her biggest project to date, the apocalyptic thriller Legion, was released in 2010 and pitted Palicki against some seriously impressive names, including Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany and Tyrese Gibson.
In February 2011, Adrianne Palicki landed the role of Wonder Woman -- and her true identity, corporate powerhouse Diana Prince -- in a Wonder Woman pilot for NBC.
Given that the Wonder Woman pilot (directed by Jeffrey Reiner, who also directed Friday Night Lights) revolves mostly around the superhero aspect of the character’s life, it’s a good thing Palicki recently had some practice with the action-packed Legion in 2010. She will also star in the upcoming action film remake Red Dawn before taking on her role as Wonder Woman.