She is African-American and Irish
Jennifer Sue Beals was born in Chicago on December 19, 1963 as the second child of Jeanne Anderson and Alfred Beals. Her mother, an Irish-Catholic retired elementary schoolteacher, still lives in Chicago. Her African-American father owned a grocery store on the South Side of Chicago where she spent the first decade of her childhood, near 82nd Street and Indiana Avenue.
Jennifer Beals was born on December 19, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard (1980). After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature. She appeared in her first starring role in the movie Flashdance (1983) while still a freshman at Yale. While at Yale, she also starred in Franc Roddam‘s The Bride (1985). After graduation from Yale, Beals married independent filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell, and appeared in several of his films. Most notably, she starred in his In the Soup (1992), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival.
She put her career on hold to attend Yale.
While at Yale, she was classmates with David Duchovny, who suggested her for a part on “The X-Files” (1993) (which went to Gillian Anderson).
Was offered the part of “Apollonia” for Purple Rain (1984). She turned it down because she wanted to concentrate on college.
She was the original choice for the lead role in Pretty in Pink (1986), but the part went to Molly Ringwald.
Close friend of Quentin Tarantino. He often stayed at her home while struggling as a director before making Pulp Fiction (1994).
Jeanne and Alfred Beals