Lindsay Lohan was born in New York City and grew up in Merrick and Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, New York. She began her career as a child model with Ford Models at the age of three. She modeled for Calvin Klein Kids and Abercrombie kids, and appeared in over 100 television commercials. By the age of 10, Lohan played Alexandra "Alli" Fowler in the series Another World.
Lohan remained in the role for a year, before leaving to star in Disney's 1998 family comedy The Parent Trap, a remake of the 1961 movie. The film won Lohan a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film as well as a three-film contract with Disney.
At the age of 14, Lohan played Bette Midler's daughter in the pilot episode of the short-lived series, Bette, but resigned her role when the production moved from New York to Los Angeles. She also starred in two Disney television movies: Life-Size opposite Tyra Banks in 2000, and Get a Clue in 2002.
Lohan starred as Anna Coleman alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in the 2003 family comedy Freaky Friday. At Lohan's own initiative, her character was rewritten and changed from a Goth style to be more relatable. Freaky Friday earned Lohan the award for Breakthrough Performance at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards and, as of 2010, it remains her most commercially successful film.
Aiming to become a triple threat—actor, singer and dancer, similar to Ann-Margret and Marilyn Monroe—Lohan began showcasing her singing through her acting. For the Freaky Friday soundtrack, she sang the closing theme, "Ultimate," as well as recording four songs for the Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen soundtrack. Producer Emilio Estefan, Jr. signed Lohan to a five-album production deal in 2002. Two years later, Lohan signed a recording contract with Casablanca Records, headed by Tommy Mottola.
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In 2004, Lohan starred in two lead roles. The first, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen—Lohan's first role in a film that was not a remake. The teen comedy Mean Girls was Lohan's first movie independent of Disney. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Lohan received four awards at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards for Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, including Breakout Movie Star. Mean Girls also earned her two awards at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, Best Female Performance and Best On-Screen Team along with several other cast members.
Lohan, then 17, became the youngest-ever host of the MTV Movie Awards in 2004. Following Mean Girls, Lohan hosted the show three times between 2004 and 2006, as well as hosting the 2006 World Music Awards.
Speak, Lohan's debut album, was released in December 2004, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and earning Platinum certification by early 2005. Lohan cowrote six of the twelve songs on the album. The album was praised by Linda McGee of RTÉ, who awarded it 4 out of 5 stars and commented that "Speak opens with all the raw emotion and teenage angst that you'd expect from an artist of Lohan's age" and that, "while her vocals are not sensational, their gritty edge keeps Lohan more than afloat throughout this album."
Allmusic, however, awarded it 2 out of 5 stars and claimed the album "feels more like a byproduct of an overdriven, overamplified celebrity culture than an actual album." Though primarily a pop album, Speak was introduced with the single "Rumors." "Rumors" details Lohan's complaints with the paparazzi and eventually earned a Gold certification in the U.S.
Lohan's second album, A Little More Personal (Raw), was released in December 2005, debuting at number 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, falling under the top 100 within six weeks. Lohan cowrote six of the twelve songs on the album. Slant Magazine called the album "contrived ... for all the so-called weighty subject matter, there's not much meat on these bones." The album was certified Gold in early 2006.
The music video for the album's first single, "Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)," was directed by Lohan and featured the acting debut of her sister, Ali Lohan. The video was a dramatization of the pain Lohan says her family has suffered at the hands of her father. It was Lohan's first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 57.
Following a switch to Universal Motown, Lohan began working on a third album, tentatively titled Spirit in the Dark, in late 2007 and released "Bossy" in May 2008. In November 2008, Lohan stated that work on the new album had stalled and that she wanted to avoid the stress of working on movies and music at the same time.
In February 2010, Ne-Yo, with whom Lohan had been collaborating, stated in an interview, "We were doing some stuff and then it just fell off and hasn't got back on. I'm not gonna hold my breath."
Despite all her personal problems - well-documented (ad-nauseum) elsewhere - it was announced in April 2011 that Lohan has signed on to appear opposite John Travolta in the upcoming movie Gotti: Three Generations. She was cast to play Kim Gotti, wife of New York City mobster John Gotti Jr.. Production is planned to start in fall 2011. Lohan is also set to appear in Mob Street from the same production team, based on a screenplay by Chazz Palminteri.
Lohan stars as Elizabeth Taylor in the TV movie Liz & Dick, set to premiere on Lifetime in November 2012. She will also be starring in Paul Schrader's 2013 film The Canyons.