The photogenic and fair-haired Brittany Snow traveled the path of Brooke Shields and others by going to work as a model at the age of three. Born in Tampa to John and Cynthia Snow on March 9, 1986, Brittany appeared on the small screen from the age of eight — when she landed a number of spots on the Spielberg-produced SeaQuest DSV, starring Roy Scheider — not a bad start for an elementary schooler. Snow later voiced Shizuku in the Americanized version of Hayao Miyazaki’s Whisper of the Heart. In the fall of 2000, she enrolled as a freshman in the Tampa-area’s Gaither High School, a public secondary institution.
At the age of 16, Snow signed for one of the central roles on NBC’s coming-of-age series American Dreams, a kind of Wonder Years update. Set about five years before that series began, Dreams opened in 1963 with the Kennedy assassination. As Meg Pryor, a high schooler with a much-coveted job as an American Bandstand dancer (and two romances — one with a Bandstand participant, the other with a record store employee), Snow stole viewers’ hearts and helped propel the series to a four-season run.
After a supporting role in the 2005 Vin Diesel comedy The Pacifier, Snow found her broadest exposure in two 2006 releases. That year’s black comedy John Tucker Must Die (by Hill Street Blues alum and Private Parts director Betty Thomas) unofficially reworks — and sanitizes — the Dangerous Liasons formula, with Snow and two other teen heartthrobs (Ashanti and Sophia Bush) as disgruntled high schoolers determined to give the class stud a comeuppance by hiring a girl to break his heart. The film received so-so reviews and opened in late July 2006 to predictably decent box office. Snow landed her first big-screen lead in the same year’s On the Doll (directed by Thomas Mignone) , as Balery, a stripper. In spring 2006, she signed with Kristin Cavallari to star in the psychological thriller Fingerprints for Harry Basil (Meet Wally Sparks Cloud Nine).