Jennifer Lopez is one of those stars who worked hard for years for her “overnight” success. The singer/dancer/actor began her career as a dancer in stage musicals, touring Europe (in Golden Musicals of Broadway) and Japan (in Synchronicity) as a teen. At age sixteen, she appeared in the movie, My Little Girl (1986).
In 1990, Lopez was hired as a fly girl (dancer) for the TV series, In Living Color, showcasing her natural energy and talent. During the next two years she took on acting roles in TV’s South Central, Second Chances and Malibu Road and, in 1993, completed her television career with the TV movie Nurses On The Line: The Crash Of Flight 7.
Her small screen career may have ended, but stardom was just beginning. Lopez was cast in Mi Familia (My Family) and Money Train in 1995, and Jack in 1996. It was in 1997 (during which year she was married to, and divorced from, Ojani Noa) that the big movies came her way -- Blood and Wine, Selena, Anaconda, and U Turn. That year she was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People and received a Golden Globe Best Actress Nomination for her uncannily accurate portrayal of singer Selena Quintanilla Perez in Selena. The acclaim brought her parts in Out Of Sight (1998), Antz (voice - 1998) and Thieves (1999).
Lopez showed herself to be a fine actor in the Selena role, but wasn’t acting when she paralleled the role of the popular singer in real life with her own music career. Her debut album, On The 6, went platinum within two months of its release. Lopez was nominated for four MTV music awards and won the Billboard Pop Clip Of The Year award for the music video If You Had My Love. Her single Waiting For Tonight from the album, and the album itself, have been nominated for Grammy awards. Lopez is nominated, as well, for Brit Awards 2000 Best International Newcomer and Best International Solo Artist titles.
The public and critical recognition of the last year was tempered, recently, with some sordid front-page news. Lopez was nabbed and jailed along with rap artist Sean “Puffy” Combs (she and Combs are the unofficial “first couple of hip-hop”) in an alleged gun possession incident. Although locked up for 14 hours, Lopez was released without being charged. Supportive followers gathered for her subsequent court appearance.
Already Lopez has four movies upcoming in 2000 -- The Wedding Planner, Pluto Nash, Angel Eyes and The Cell. This talented entertainer has a solid fan base and credits in the tough worlds of pop music and Hollywood hits. Her off-camera troubles pale beside both her accomplishments and her potential.