Selma Blair Beitner (Southfield, Michigan, June 23, 1972) is an American actress who has worked in various types of roles in both film and theater. She has starred in movies like Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, The Sweetest Thing, Hellboy, The Fog, Purple Violets, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army as well as TV series like Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane and Anger Management.
She was born in Southfield, Michigan on June 23, 1972. She is the daughter of Molly Ann and Elliot Beitner. She has three older sisters, Katherine (publicist), Elizabeth and Marie. She began her studies at a Jewish school and at Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills. She attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where she finished high school, and later enrolled with honors at the University of Michigan in 1994. Following this, Blair moves to New York to pursue her career, but her career takes a turn when she begins to take acting classes.
Following acting classes at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Blair began acting in small roles during the early 1990s, appearing in short films and independent films, alongside then-unknown Josh Hartnett, Girl Alongside Dominique Swain, the high school teen comedy Can't Wait Anymore, or Strong Island Boys, which would never see release in any format. She went to the casting for the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but could not get the role.
After several years of auditions and independent films, she managed to star in her first box office film, Cruel Intentions (or Sexual Games, as it was known in Latin America), in 1999, playing "Cecile", the naive girl whom her classmates , wicked stepbrothers "Kathryn" (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and "Sebastian" (Ryan Phillippe) try to corrupt. For her scene with Gellar she won the award for best kiss at the MTV Movie Awards, but what catapulted her to the top of stardom was her starring role as Zoe Bean in the student series Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane (1999) for the WB.
Entering the new millennium, she stars alongside rising stars Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Stiles in the teen comedy Down to You.
In 2001, she stars in the cult film Kill me later where she demonstrates why she is considered one of the best actresses in independent cinema, and for the first time receives positive comments from critics. She also reteamed with Reese Witherspoon in the hit movie Legally Blonde. She also stars in the journey of some young people to Kurt Cobain's funeral with Jared Leto and Jake Gyllenhaal in Highway.
At the end of that year, the art film Storytelling is released, where she plays an insecure student whose life is destroyed by her teacher at her school seducing her and half of her forcing her to have a relationship with him.
By 2002, she premiered in theaters The Sweetest Thing in which she stars alongside Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate, considered a stumbling block in Blair's career. In 2003, she starred in A Guy Thing, a comedy where she shares credits with Julia Stiles again and Jason Lee also participates.
In 2004, she filmed for underground director John Waters in the sexual satire comedy A Dirty Shame, in which she played Ursula Udders, a flashy teen. In the same year she played Elizabeth "Liz" Sherman, a superhero with a difficult childhood who possesses pyrotechnic powers in director Guillermo del Toro's film Hellboy.
In 2005, three titles stand out: she works on the underrated political thriller The Deal, with Christian Slater and Angie Harmon, which tries to show how politics and oil are handled in the United States; The Fog (Terror in the fog), the