Celebrity crush: Anna Chlumsky
Name: Anna Chlumsky (images | Web site | Twitter)
Hometown: Chicago, according to her Wikipedia profile -- and it was in Chicago where she pursued her higher education, earning a degree in International Studies at the University of Chicago, IMDB notes.
Her last name -- which means "hill" -- is of Czech origin. A cousin, Vik Foxx, has played drums for Vince Neil and the Australian band The Veronicas, Wikipedia notes.
Best Known For: Anna is best known for starring in two movies as a child actor -- My Girl (which paired her with Macauley Culkin) and My Girl 2, both of which featured Dan Ackroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis as her on-screen parents. Prior to those films, she had a small role in the John Candy film Uncle Buck.
Since returning to acting as an adult -- after time as a fact-checker for the Zagat Survey and working as an editorial assistant at a book publisher -- she's clocked a couple of Law and Order appearances, one guest turn each on 30 Rock and Covert Affairs (all of them in the NBC family), and a recurring role on the short-lived CW series Cupid (of which more will be said below).
Upcoming roles include at least three films and at least two episodes of the FX boxing drama Lights Out. She's in the forthcoming Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom Veep for HBO (which will find her working as Louis-Dreyfus' chief of staff), and she appeared with Sopranos star James Gandolfini in a political satire feature film called In the Loop back in 2009.
Humble Beginnings: As a kid, she also did a movie called Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain with Christina Ricci, and her roles since returning to acting as an adult include a film called Blood Car whose name just screams out for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival.
Deja Vu All Over Again: Anna was in four of the seven episodes of Rob Thomas' 2009 CW series Cupid -- which was adapted from his 1998-99 ABC series by the same name, and Anna guest-starred in one episode of THAT series as well. (Different characters.)
Why Ye Olde Podcaster Likes Her: She turned in a great performance in My Girl, from what I remember of seeing it at the time, but it's her work as a grown-up that is the focus here. Anna has emerged as a great young character actress, playing a variety of character types in her various TV appearances of the past few years.
The Covert Affairs appearance -- as a woman involved in a smuggling operation being investigated by fellow crush Piper Perabo's CIA operative character -- was what earned her a spot on the list. The part was sympathetic, funny at times, and I was flabbergasted when I looked the episode up online to identify the actress for possible inclusion here, only to discover it was someone whose name I already knew. I just hadn't recognized her in the role, so well had she adapted to the part.
TV and Web series credits: Veep, season 1 (Amazon | iTunes) * White Collar, season 3: "Where There's a Will" (Amazon | iTunes) * Lights Out (Amazon | iTunes) * Covert Affairs, season 1: "I Can't Quit You, Baby" (Amazon | iTunes) * Law and Order, season 20: "Innocence" (Amazon | iTunes) * Cupid (2009) (Amazon | iTunes) * 30 Rock, season 1: "The Fighting Irish" (Amazon | iTunes) * Law and Order, season 17: "Charity Case" (Amazon | iTunes) * Early Edition, season 3: "Teen Angels" (Amazon | iTunes) * Cupid (1998): "Meat Market" (Amazon | iTunes)
Film and TV-movie credits: Sam (Amazon | iTunes) * Three Weeks, Three Kids (Amazon | iTunes) * The Pill (Amazon | iTunes) * Civil Unions: A Love Story (Web video) * The Quinn-tuplets (Amazon | iTunes) * 12 Men of Christmas (Amazon | iTunes) * My Sweet Misery (Amazon | iTunes) * The Good Guy (2009) (Amazon | iTunes) * In the Loop (Amazon | iTunes) * House Rules (2009 TV-movie) (Amazon | iTunes) * Eavesdrop (Amazon | iTunes) * Blood Car (Amazon | iTunes) * Wait (2005 short) (Amazon | iTunes)