Vanessa Lee Chester is an American television and film actress. She is best known for portraying Kelly Curtis in the 1997 blockbuster sequel "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." She has also guest starred on numerous TV series including "The West Wing," "Veronica Mars" and "How I Met Your Mother."
Vanessa Lee Chester was born on July 2, 1984 in Hollywood, California. While it makes sense that someone born in Tinsel Town would grow up to become an actress, the situation was a bit more special for Vanessa, who was the first in her family of Guyanese immigrants to be born in the United States. That said, she still wound up being raised mostly in Brookly, New York before her career as a child star began to bloom.
Initially known for her roles in films such as "A Little Princess" and "Harriet the Spy," she truly exploded onto the Hollywood scene after she was cast in one of the lead roles as Kelly Curtis in the 1997 sequel "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Of the experience, she's had plenty to say over the years. First and foremost, after initially catching the attention of director Steven Spielberg, she was asked to audition for her role alongside "Jurassic Park" veteran Jeff Goldblum. In a strange twist, the audition consisted of Goldblum mimicking a Velociraptor while Vanessa had to run around pretending to be scared of him. Odd as the process may have been, it won her the part and cemented her early success.
Since her early years of success, Vanessa has managed to keep plenty busy. Along with becoming a fairly prominent television star with guest roles on every series from "The West Wing" to "How I Met Your Mother," she also found the time to attend the University of Southern California, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006.