Spunky child star Alexa Vega shot to fame in 2001 as one of the young secret agents in the 007 spoof Spy Kids. Born on August 27, 1988 in Miami, Vega spent her early years living on a nearby Florida farm. When she was four, her family relocated to California, where her mother got a job with a talent agency. Inspired by Vega’s precocity, her mother brought her to an audition for Burt Reynolds’ TV series Evening Shade — she landed the two-year gig on her first try.
Vega worked continuously ever since, landing guest-starring roles on E.R. and Chicago Hope, and appearing in Little Giants (1994) and Nine Months (1995). After portraying a young Helen Hunt in Jan de Bont’s Twister (1996), she played Steven Seagal’s daughter in The Glimmer Man (1996), Alec Baldwin’s daughter in Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), and Michelle Pfeiffer’s daughter in The Deep End of the Ocean (1999).
Vega returned to series television as Alfred Molina’s daughter in CBS’ short-lived sitcom Ladies Man, before taking center stage in Spy Kids. Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film followed two preadolescents who must save their secret-agent parents from the grips of a madman bent on destroying the world. Along with co-star Daryl Sabara, Vega insisted on doing the majority of her own stunts, instantly becoming a hero to kids everywhere. The movie, which also featured Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, and Tony Shalhoub, was a box-office smash. Vega returned a year later for its highly anticipated sequel, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002), which featured the kids traveling to a lost island in an effort to thwart the evil plans of a mad scientist played by Steve Buscemi.
After the Spy Kids series wrapped with 2003’s Spy Kids 3-D, Vega focused her efforts on parlaying her newfound stardom into other high-prolife projects. In the Summer of 2004, Vega’s first post-Spy Kids film, Sleepover, debuted in theaters.