The American actress Vanessa Lee Chester rose to prominence at a young age through her roles in the films “Harriet the Spy” and “A Little Princess.” She is popularly known for her lead role in the 1997 Steven Spielberg-directed science fiction and adventure film “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Vanessa Lee Chester is a native of Brooklyn, New York City USA, and was born under the Cancer zodiac sign on 2 July 1984, which makes her 38 years old as of 2022. She is the first-born child of her Guyanese immigrant parents, and has a younger brother named Kelvin Chester – she’s kept the names of her parents under wraps. She spent her childhood with her mother in Los Angeles, California, and grew up very interested in acting – she began appearing in commercials at a young age.
Chester began her studies in Los Angeles – she hasn’t revealed the name of the high school she attended, but it is widely known that she matriculated to the University of Southern California, from where she graduated with a Business degree in 2006.
Vanessa made her film debut in the Tamra Davis-directed comedy “CB4” in 1993 when she was nine years old, playing Talona and sharing the screen with Chris Rock, Charlie Murphy and Allen Payne. She next played the starring role of Becky in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award-winning family drama “A Little Princess” in 1995, alongside Liam Cunningham and Liesel Matthews. The role made her famous, and saw her selected to star as Janie Gibbs in the critically acclaimed Kids’ Choice Award-winning Nickelodeon comedy “Harriet the Spy”; the 1996 film was based on Louise Fitzhugh’s eponymous 1964 novel.
“The Lost World: Jurassic Park”
The American film producer, director, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg, was very impressed with Vanessa’s acting skills the first time he met her, and he offered her the role of Kelly Curtis in the second installment of the “Jurassic World” film series. She said during an interview that she was very excited to meet and work with Jeff Goldblum, who played Ian Malcolm, her father in the film. She also learned a lot, and had a great experience sharing the screen with talented and experienced actors such as Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn and Pete Postlethwaite. The 1993 film won many awards including the People’s Choice for Favorite Movie, BAFTA Lloyds Bank Most Popular Film, plus an Academy Award nomination for Visual Effects. The movie was the second highest-grossing in 1997, behind the romantic drama “Titanic,” which had a box office collection of $2.2 billion.
Vanessa appeared in five films in the 2000s, including “Stepsister from Planet Weird” in 2000, “Extreme Movie” in 2008, and “17 Again” in 2009. 2011 saw her playing Eleanor in the TV film “Reconstruction” and her most recent appearances have been in the short films “The Arrangement” and “Fated” in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Vanessa landed her first TV role as Stephanie in the episode “Miracle in Oaktown” of the ABC sitcom “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” in 1992 when she was eight years old. In 1997, she was cast as Emily Dixon in two episodes of the CBS drama “Promised Land,” which is the spin-off from the fantasy drama “Touched by an Angel.” In 1999 and 2000, she played the recurring role of Annie in the ABC Primetime Emmy Award-winning drama “Once and Again,” which was created by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz.
In 2004, Chester played Andrea in Tim Krim’s NBC crime drama “Crossing Jordan”, then she appeared in single episodes of seven series from 2005-2012, before she was cast as Mia in the acclaimed CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” in 2012. The following year saw her appearing in four episodes of the transmedia web series “Welcome to Sanditon,” which was created by the makers of the hit drama “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” Her next roles were in the shows “Scorpion” in 2015, and “Ladies Like Us: The Rise of Neighborhood Watch” in the year that followed. Recently in 2021, she voiced Nancy in an episode of the animated series “Summer Camp Island.”
Jurassic World Premiere. (Check out my mama supporting on the side 😍❤️).
Vanessa worked in the wardrobe and costume department of the short films “Hope’s War” and “Crackheads” both in 2013. She also came in as the art assistant of the 2016 short movie “A Night at the Movies”, and in 2022, she worked as additional make-up and hair designer in the comedy-drama, “Pretty Problems.”
Awards and Nominations
Chester has so far won one award; a 1997 Young Artist Award in the category of Best Performance in a Feature Film for her role in “Harriet the Spy.” Her role in “A Little Princess” saw her nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Leading Actress in 1996, and in 1998, Vanessa was nominated for two awards: a Saturn for Best Performance by a Younger Actress/Actor and an Image (NAACP) for Outstanding Youth Actress/Actor, both for her performance in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
Social Media Presence
Vanessa’s Instagram account – @vanessalchester – has around 20,000 follower. She describes herself as a nap connoisseur and dessert enthusiast on Twitter – @VanessaChester – and has around 3,000 followers – she joined the platform in November 2009. Her Facebook page is followed by about 1,000 fans.
Vanessa hasn’t spoken about her previous dating life, and hasn’t introduced anyone as her boyfriend. She is single as of now, and is seemingly focused on her successful career in the showbiz industry. She appears to be introverted and seems to be leading life in her private way.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Vanessa is slimly built, weighs approximately 110lbs (50kgs), is 5ft 3ins (1.60m) tall, with vital statistics of 32B-29-30. She’s keen on her diet, and exercises regularly to maintain her slim figure. She is of Afro-American ethnicity, and has a heart-shaped face, black hair, and dark brown eyes.
As mentioned, Vanessa has starred in several hit projects, which have helped her career. She has a net worth of approximately $2 million as of 2022. She’s the owner of a luxury apartment in Los Angeles, but seemingly lives a modest lifestyle.