Shannon Elizabeth is a name that will be familiar to a very particular generation of teenagers growing up in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
To most, she will be best remembered as Nadia, the foreign exchange student and love interest of Jason Biggs’ Jim Levenstein in American Pie 1 and 2.
One scene, especially, will stand out in the minds of many fans when, as Nadia, Elizabeth performed a sexy striptease – accidentally captured on webcam much to the delight of Blink-182 – the likes of which we haven’t seen in a teen sex comedy since.
There was more to the actress and model than just Nadia though with Elizabeth given more of an opportunity to flex her comedy chops in Scary Movie and later Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
The years that followed saw Elizabeth’s career take a different route, with the Texas-born actress appearing in shows like That 70s Show and Punk’d alongside then-husband Joseph D. Reitman, whom she married in 2002.
Her voice and likeness even featured in the 2004 video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, which was technically Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as the world’s most famous secret agent.
Now divorced, Elizabeth appeared on Dancing with The Stars in 2008, where she became romantically involved with Cheryl Cole’s ex Derek Hough and even starred in the music video for Chris Brown hit Next to You.
Despite a cameo in 2012’s American Reunion and sporadic film and television roles, these days Elizabeth is focused more on her endeavours away from the camera.
An animal activist, she co-founded Animal Avengers in 2006 with the express aim of rescuing and finding new homes for homeless pets as well as promoting responsible care and raising awareness of animal cruelty.
She also fronted a campaign, from Farm Sanctuary, encouraging people to adopt a turkey, instead of eating one, at Thanksgiving.
The 43-year-old is also an avid poker player, competing against some of the best players in the US in Las Vegas on a regular basis, and at the annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
An environmentalist and vegan, Elizabeth has also reportedly been dating music producer Russell Simmons, who is some 16 years her senior, since early 2014.
Despite her success away from the big and small screen, however, Elizabeth knows that, to some people at least, she will always be Nadia.
“Yes, I still get called Nadia but it’s amazing and I’m honoured to be part of a movie that has become so iconic for so many people,” she said in the behind-the-scenes interview for American Reunion.
“To be a character that everybody remembers and it makes you feel that there is at least one thing out there that people will remember after you are gone and that is a good feeling.”
One thing is for sure: loaded will never forget Shannon Elizabeth, which is more than you can say about the MILF guy who isn’t John Cho. Remember him? Thought not.