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Biography
The occasionally feisty, petite blonde actress Marisa Coughlan spent years tackling supporting roles in feature films of somewhat variable quality before scoring a lead in a popular television series. Coughlan debuted onscreen in 1999 (at age 24) in Kevin Williamson's critically panned teen thriller Teaching Mrs. Tingle; she played Jo Lynn Jordan, a young woman who kidnaps the titular sadistic teacher (Helen Mirren) along with her friends Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes) and Luke (Barry Watson) and ties the tyrant to a bed. Thereafter, Coughlan signed for supporting roles in two frat-boy style comedies -- Super Troopers and the awful gross-out fest Freddy Got Fingered (both 2001), and landed a key supporting role (as Julie) in Tony R. Abrams and Adam Larson Broder's controversial, jet-black satire Pumpkin (2002). Coughlan also had a recurring role on the popular legal comedy drama Boston Legal during its second and third seasons, playing Alan Shore's (James Spader) secretary, Melissa Hughes. Coughlan revealed even greater dimension, however, as the lead in the gentle, thoughtful Lifetime series drama Side Order of Life (2007). In that program, the actress played Jenny McIntyre, a young woman who begins questioning numerous aspects of her life (including her pending marital engagement) when a terminally ill friend comes face to face with her own mortality.

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