At different points in her life, Tara Reid has been a promising young starlet, an accomplished actress, and (sadly) an easy punchline about the dangers of fleeting fame. Despite any mockery or scandals, however, Reid continues to pursue her acting career to this day, and nobody can deny that she’s prolific. So what happened to Tara Reid? Read on to find out.
1. Rocky Start
Reid’s film debut, like with so many other actors in Hollywood, was in a low-budget horror flick. Directed by B-movie figure Larry Cohen, A Return to Salem’s Lot was a sequel to the 1979 miniseries Salem’s Lot, itself an adaptation of a book by Stephen King. When she appeared, Reid was just 13 years old. Suffice to say, the movie didn’t do as well as King’s original book.
2. How’d You Spend Your Youth?
Before her movie career, Tara Reid was a child actress who appeared in over 100 different commercials. Among the various companies whose commercials featured her presence include Crayola, Milton Bradley, and McDonald’s.
3. Day One
Tara Donna Reid was born on November 8, 1975, in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She actually shares a birthday with her Josie and the Pussycats co-star Parker Posey, though Posey was born in 1968.
4. Daughter of Educators
Reid’s parents, Thomas and Donna Reid, both worked as teachers and co-owners of a daycare center. Thomas also spent part of his life working on Wall Street.
5. Welcome to Tinsel Town
In 1997, at the age of 22, Tara Reid moved to Hollywood to begin her film career. Given the ups and downs that she subsequently endured, you can decide for yourself how successful she became.
6. Good Work, Bro!
Reid isn’t the only person in her family to have pursued a career in the film industry. Her brother, Tommy, is a producer and director with his own production company. Arguably his best-known project is the historical gangster film Kill the Irishman, which follows the life of notorious gangster Danny Greene.
7. What a Small World!
During her childhood, Reid attended Manhattan's Professional Children’s School. Other alumni from the school include Sarah Michelle Gellar (her co-star in Urban Legend), Macauley Culkin, Jerry O’Connell, Christina Ricci, and Eddie Kaye Thomas, her co-star in American Pie.
8. It’s Still a First
Tara Reid is actually able to claim an interesting “first:” She was the first person to appear on multiple covers of Maxim magazine. However, we doubt that she’ll be entered into the Guinness World Records for that.
9. Starting Young
Reid’s first appearance on television was in the game show Child’s Play. She appeared on the show in 1982, when she was just six years old.
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10. See You at Work
During Reid’s youth, she was roommates with actress Danielle Harris. The two of them later appeared in the 1998 film Urban Legend together.
11. Something to be Proud of
No one can say Tara Reid hasn't won anything: She and her castmates won the 2000 Young Hollywood Award for Best Ensemble Cast for the film American Pie. Hey, it's more than most of us have got!
12. Days of Tara’s Life
One of Reid’s first credits was the long-running American soap opera Days of Our Lives. Despite the incredible amount of episodes that this series has had, Reid only appeared in five, all of them airing in 1995. Whether it was a good thing or bad thing that she didn’t get a longer run on Days of Our Lives depends on your view of soap operas.
Wait, is there an alternate timeline where Tara Reid is a soap star?
13. The Dude Abides
In the late 1990s, Tara Reid made her breakout film appearance in the Coen Brothers’ crime comedy The Big Lebowski. Reid portrayed Bunny Lebowski, the ditzy young trophy wife who is kidnapped for ransom, driving the plot of the film. At the time of its release, The Big Lebowski was a box office disappointment in the US (though it eked out profit by playing overseas). However, in the years since its release, the film has gone down as one of the most beloved cult classics of the 1990s.
With that in mind, one could say that it is arguably Reid’s most critically adored film.
14. It’s a Hit!
The same year that The Big Lebowski became a critical triumph but a financial bomb, the opposite was the case with another of Reid’s films. Urban Legend was a psychological slasher film that also starred Jared Leto and Alicia Witt. Noted for re-enacting a number of famous urban legends within its plot, the film was nevertheless torn apart by critics. However, it struck a chord with audiences, resulting in more than $70 million box office on a $14 million budget.
15. That’s What Friends Do Best
In 2007, Tara Reid acted in the sports comedy 7-10 Split alongside bestselling author and part-time actor/filmmaker Ross Patterson. Patterson later wrote and starred in Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story. Reid didn’t appear in this film, but she did get a special thanks credit for reasons that we at Factinate couldn’t uncover. Feel free to create conspiracy theories as to what Reid had to do with getting that film made, the wackier the better.
16. Teasing the Possibility
Ever since The Big Lebowski’s release, people have been constantly questioning whether they should make a sequel. It’s a conversation that has endured all the way up to the present day. For her part, Reid appeared as the Dude in a trailer for the sequel The Big Lebowski 2. We should point out that this was a spoof trailer made in 2011 produced by the comedy website Funny or Die.
17. Modest Musician
Aside from acting, Tara Reid has also participated in the soundtracks of two of her projects. These two were the film Josie and the Pussycats (performing the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It”) and the short documentary Backstage Pass (performing “I’m So Excited”). Reid went uncredited for both these soundtrack efforts.
In 1998, Tara Reid co-starred in the coming-of-age film Girl alongside Dominique Swain. Years later, Swain was promised the lead role in Devil’s Pond, but the role was given to Reid instead. Ouch!
19. Sticking with Them
Tara Reid is one of just two actors to appear in all of the Sharknado films. The other person is Ian Ziering, who portrays the main character of Fin Shepard and the love interest of Reid’s character, April. Whether appearing in all of the Sharknado films is an honor or a dishonor is entirely up to you.
20. Obvious Trap
Reid appeared in the first American Pie film, the sequel, and the fourth film, American Reunion. She did not appear in the third film, American Wedding, nor did she appear in any of the made-for-TV sequels which spawned from the films’ success. Sadly, Eugene Levy didn’t have Reid’s resolve when it came to staying away from those TV movies.
21. Playing the Dating Game
Some of the men with whom Reid has been romantically associated include Michael Axtmann, businessman Michael Lillelund, musician Erez Eisen, and financier Zachary Kehayov.
22. At Least I Didn’t Win!
Tara Reid has been nominated for three Razzie Awards thus far in her career. Two of them were for the film My Boss’s Daughter, where she was nominated for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst Screen Couple (that she shared with Ashton Kutcher). The third Razzie nomination was for her work in the infamous director Uwe Boll's film Alone in the Dark.
23. Unlikely Buddies
You might not expect Tara Reid to be close friends with one of the biggest names in show business, but she has consistently named Leonardo DiCaprio as someone constantly has her back, calling him “one of the nicest guys in Hollywood."
24. And Featuring…
One side effect of fame (or infamy) is that you’re sometimes asked to appear in films or fictional television series as yourself. Such has been the case with Reid. In 2019, she appeared as herself in an episode of the recent hit Amazon ultraviolent comic-based series The Boys.
25. Did We Learn Nothing from Whiplash?
To prepare for her part in the film Josie and the Pussycats, Reid joined her co-stars (Rachel Leigh Cook and Rosario Dawson) in a two-week-long “Band Camp.” This was done to make them proficient in the musical instruments that their characters play in the film. However, they didn’t progress fast enough for the production, so their music was dubbed over by studio musicians. Hm, it’s almost as if musical ability takes longer than two weeks to gain!
26. Professional Help
Despite what we said about Reid failing to become a musical prodigy in two weeks, one cannot deny that Reid tried to learn the drums while preparing for Josie and the Pussycats. She was trained for the task by Drew Thomas, best known as a member of such bands as Youth of Today, Bold, and Into Another.
27. Toxic Work Relationship
As some of you probably know, German director Uwe Boll has made a name for himself as being one of the worst filmmakers of all time. While the reality of that claim is debatable, what isn’t up for debate is the failure of his film Alone in the Dark. Loosely based on the video game series of the same name, the film has been named one of the worst ever made.
Reid co-starred in the film alongside Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff, and while it certainly wasn’t any of their finest hours, Boll himself seems to have really had it in for Reid. He has gone on record stating his regret for having cast her in the film. We can’t imagine that she has a lot of nice things to say about him either.
One bit of Reid’s performance in Alone in the Dark which gained considerable infamy was her mispronunciation of the word “Newfoundland,” a Canadian province. Her flub was so funny that it became a well-known catchphrase online. And keep in mind, this was back in 2005, so this was long before memes were easily created. In Reid's defense, she was in a room full of cast and crew and no one else thought to speak up and say it's not pronounced NewFOUNDland.
29. Win Some, Lose Some
Despite her stardom being secured with American Pie, Reid has developed mixed feelings about how her career trajectory turned out following that film’s surprising success. Up front about it, Reid has admitted that she felt her career took a serious “nosedive” in the years after American Pie. However, she remains optimistic over the fact that in 2019 alone, she was set to appear in 13 different films currently in development.
30. Living Vicariously Through a Celebrity
From 1997 until 2003, the television channel E! produced the travelogue series Wild On! and in 2005, the producers hired Reid to host a new season of the show. However, during production, a lot of changes were made to the format, purpose, and even the title of the show. What E! eventually released was a debut season of a reality television series known as Taradise.
Reid was portrayed visiting such diverse locations as Spain, Monaco, and France, being filmed while performing tasks that any tourist would.
31. An Obvious Flaw in the Plan
Sadly, for Reid, Taradise didn’t take off nearly as well as the Kardashian empire later did. Instead, the show was canceled after one season. The reason given was that it was very difficult to create the series because of Reid’s celebrity status. Make of that what you will.
32. I Am Who I Am
Reid has acquired a reputation as a partyer, which she brushed off once by asking, “Why is partying and having a good time bad?” Despite this attitude towards her public image, Reid has since reflected that her ultimate dreams are to have kids with someone she loves and to win an Academy Award.
33. Crossing the Pond
Tara Reid made an appearance on British television in 2011 when she became a housemate on the eighth series of the popular reality show Celebrity Big Brother. In case anyone’s confused by what that show is, Big Brother puts a group of people in a small living space where their wacky actions and words are filmed by hidden cameras for audiences to enjoy. While some might say that Reid would thrive in that particular situation, she was the third housemate to be voted out of the show.
34. You’ve Got Friends in Us
Despite her appearance on Big Brother being cut short, Reid was grateful for the opportunity to appear alongside the Irish celebrity twins known as Jedward (John and Edward Grimes). According to Reid, the three of them are very close even to this day.
35. Engaged in Haste?
In 2000, Reid began a relationship with Carson Daly, a radio DJ and television host working with MTV. They met on the set of MTV’s Total Request Live and spent more time together on the set of Josie and the Pussycats. Soon after they met, they moved into a New York apartment. The two became engaged in October of that same year, but broke up by the following June in 2001.
36. Curse of Fame
Reid has offered an explanation for the end of her engagement to Carson Daly: From her point of view, the media and the tabloids played a crucial role in ruining their relationship. For one thing, she would read that Daly was seen getting friendly with strippers, and even though it wasn’t true, the seed of doubt would be sown in her mind. On the other side of it, Daly was allegedly insecure about Reid kissing actors for films (even though that was part of her job as an actress).
The tabloids fuelled Daly’s suspicions when they gossiped about Reid getting too familiar with her co-stars (even though that wasn’t true either). We couldn’t find Daly’s comments on the breakup, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Reid was completely on point about those gossip mags.
37. This Seems Unfair
When Reid came back to the American Pie film series in 2012, she was paid $250,000 to reprise her role as Vicky Lathum in American Reunion. You might think that that’s a considerable amount of money, but keep in mind that most of her co-stars were paid between $500,000 and $700,000. Eugene Levy and Alyson Hannigan made $3 million each, but the big winners were Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott, who each received $5 million, plus a percentage of the profits.
38. Private Life Turned Public
In 2006, Reid did an interview for Us Weekly where she revealed she had undergone liposculpting. This plastic surgery involved adjusting her bosom, as well as abdomen, as Reid claimed she’d wanted a “six-pack” in order to pursue a particular film role. However, something went wrong during the procedure, resulting in a deformity that was noted by gossip magazines and paparazzi following Reid in her private life.
39. Because “Boring Name” was Already Taken
Reid has frequently attempted to branch out from acting and entertainment into more business-oriented projects. Specifically, 2007 saw Reid gaining shares in three different restaurants: The Shore, Bella, and Geisha House. On top of that, she opened a Los Angeles-based fast-food restaurant known as Ketchup.
In one of the more infamous celebrity wardrobe malfunctions of the 21st century. Reid was in attendance at a birthday party for Sean “P-Diddy” Combs in 2004 when her dress slipped and exposed her chest to the world. She wasn’t aware of the slip until someone hurried forward and adjusted it for her. Unfortunately for Reid, the incident was captured by the many, many cameras on her person at the time (which makes us wonder why the people taking the pictures didn’t have the decency to let her know instead of taking pictures of her).
Predictably, this incident sparked news reports, think pieces, and comments across the Internet.
41. For the Sake of Realism
In case you haven’t yet seen Urban Legend, there is an intense chase scene involving Reid’s character where she falls down a flight of stairs while fleeing from an ax-wielding pursuer. Not only did Reid do her own stunts during the production (with the aid of a harness), but the stuntman who was chasing her was wielding a real ax!
42. The Truth Shall Set You Free
Scandal found Reid once again in 2016 when she appeared on the program Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. For anyone unaware, this reality show puts couples into a house and has them confront their marital problems over and over for the audience’s entertainment, until they must decide whether to split up or keep trying.
As exploitative as this sounds, things went even further when Reid had to confess that she and actor Dean May (with whom she was appearing) weren’t actually in a relationship and had lied their way onto the series!
To be honest, that feels like a new low for Reid.