Australian actress Melissa George was born in Perth on August 6, 1976, the second of four children. As a child, she developed an interest in dancing and began studying jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance at the age of seven. George's enthusiasm for dance eventually evolved into a passion for roller skating, and, after skating competitively in Australia, she represented her nation in several international events. At 16, George left skating behind when she quit school and began exploring the world of modeling; she was soon named Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year. As a result of this honor, she auditioned for a role in the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away, and, in 1993, was cast as Angel Brooks. George's performance won her a sizable following in both Australia and Great Britain, but, after three years with the series, she left to pursue other projects. After appearing in several made-for-TV movies (and posing in the Aussie edition of Playboy), the actress landed a small role in the sci-fi thriller Dark City, and was cast as the female lead in an offbeat television pilot, Hollyweird, which, unfortunately, failed to sell. After a brief appearance in Steven Soderbergh's The Limey (as Terence Stamp's ill-fated daughter), George landed her first significant American role in the teen comedy Sugar & Spice, in which she played Cleo, a cheerleader-turned-criminal who has an unquenchable enthusiasm for Conan O'Brien; she also played a small but important role as mob-connected ingénue Camilla Rhodes in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and appeared in the pilot of HBO's short-lived series adaptation of L.A. Confidential. In 2001, George was cast opposite John Stamos in the leading roles of the television series Thieves; despite positive reviews, however, the series lasted only three months. She got another chance to prove her mettle on American television in 2003, when she was cast in an American version of the popular British sitcom Coupling. Unfortunately, she only got to act in an unaired version of the pilot episode before her part was recast. The show failed anyway and George rebounded quickly, landing a prominent role in the 2003-2004 season of the popular spy series Alias as Lauren Reed, the new wife of Agent Vaughn (Michael Vartan) and romantic rival of Sydney Bristow (series star Jennifer Garner).