As a U.S. television mainstay for many years, the gifted and charismatic American actress Beverley Mitchell gained an enduring fan base with her portrayal of adolescent-turned-young woman Lucy Camden on the WB network's blockbuster series 7th Heaven. It may surprise Mitchell's fans, however, to discover that her gifts and accomplishments extend into broad and diverse reaches of the entertainment industry, particularly that of musical performance -- with dazzling talent and promise in each arena.
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Born on January 22, 1981, in Arcadia, CA, Mitchell launched her career in front of the cameras at age four, as an Oscar Mayer spokesgirl. Bit parts on the syndicated sitcom Big Brother Jake (as Cassie) and the (very) short-lived, sports-oriented situation comedy Phenom (starring Judith Light and Angela Goethals) followed, as did stints in such forgettable telemovies as Children of the Bride (1990), Baby of the Bride (1991), and Killing Obsession (1994). Yet Mitchell, as indicated, didn't break through to full-fledged celebrity until 7th Heaven. This weekly, family-friendly drama about a genial minister, his wife, and their seven children premiered in 1996 to sensational ratings, and in time set a record (near the end of its 11th season, in 2007) for the longest run of any family series drama in U.S. history (far exceeding Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons). Mitchell portrayed Lucy Camden, the middle (and third oldest) of the children -- notorious for her innumerable suitors and constant emotional tumult. Devotees of the program were quick to note the ironic fact that Mitchell plays the younger sister of Mary Camden (Jessica Biel), yet is reportedly over a year older than Biel in real life. Unlike series co-star Biel, Mitchell remained with the program throughout its run, and through many character changes that found Lucy marrying Kevin Kinkirk, working as an associate pastor, giving birth, and surviving both a miscarriage to twins and clinical depression.
Although Mitchell branched out from television into cinematic work as early as 1996, with a turn in the fantasy-action thriller The Crow: City of Angels, and continued intermittent film appearances (such as a supporting role in 2005's slasher movie Saw II), she made no secret of her real passion: performing country music as a guitarist and vocalist. As the 11th season of 7th Heaven wrapped, in early 2007, Mitchell delivered her first live set in Nashville before an enthusiastic audience. She issued her premier (self-titled) album, on the Daywind label, in January of that year; it featured songs penned by Greg Becker, Jim Weatherley, D. Scott Miller, and others. She later returned to television, playing the recurring role of a guidance counselor on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which was created by 7th Heaven's Brenda Hampton. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi