Who is A. J. Cook? Here are 5 Interesting Facts You Need To Know

A. J. Cook is a film and television actress of Canadian origin. To TV audiences, she is best known for portraying the character Special Agent Jennifer “JJ” Jareau in the long-running hit series Criminal Minds. Beyond her work on the small screen, the talented actress has also recorded some notable film credits, particularly in the horror genre. She’s had roles in The Virgin SuicidesRipper, Out Cold, Night Skies and Final Destination 2. We get to learn more about this beloved actress; her relationship status, family life and other juicy details about the Criminal Minds star.

Who is A. J. Cook?

This beloved actress was born Andrea Joy Cook on the 22nd day of July 1978. She was born in Oshawa, Ontario but was raised in Whitby, also in Ontario. She grew up alongside 3 siblings Nathan, Paul and Angela. Her parents are Sandra and Mike Cook. She had her high school education at Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute.

A. J. Cook had her first acting job in a McDonald’s commercial of 1997. Next, she got guest roles in the series Goosebumps (1997) and Psi Factor (1997-98). She also featured in the telefilms Elvis Meets Nixon (1997), In His Father’s Shoes (1997), Blue Moon (1999) and The Spiral Staircase (2000).

Cook got her first major TV role on the short-lived series Higher Ground (2000) in which she portrayed the character, Shelby Merrick. She was also on the main cast of the series Tru Calling (2003-04) and she had a starring role in the telefilm Bloodsuckers (2005). Also in 2005, the talented actress got the most defining role of her career as Jennifer Jareau in the crime series Criminal Minds (2005-2019). The talented actress remained part of the Criminal Minds cast throughout the 15-season duration of the series.

A. J. Cook is known to have also done very well for herself in terms of film credits. Back in 1997, she marked her feature film debut in the Sci-Fi flick Laserhawk and ever since, she has continued to deliver brilliant performances in movies of diverse genres. Some of her notable film credits include The Virgin Suicides (1999), Ripper (2001), Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001), Out Cold (2001), Final Destination 2 (2003), I’m Reed Fish (2006), Night Skies (2007), Mother’s Day (2010), Least Among Saints (2012) and Wer (2013).

Interesting Facts You Need To Know

A. J. Cook belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christian church. However, her religious beliefs do not limit the kind of acting roles she accepts.

  • She was legally blind as a child

Cook suffered a severe form of astigmatism as a result of which she was pronounced to be legally blind in the second grade. Consequently, she wore contacts and thick glasses to aid her vision. She ultimately underwent surgery in which she received a lens implant to correct the impairment.

  • She used to be a competitive dancer

A. J. Cook definitely loves her career as an actress. However, it is interesting to know that this talented Hollywood star had originally intended to be a professional dancer and dance teacher. As revealed by the actress herself, she began taking dance lessons as early as age 4. She was trained in jazz, tap and ballet and she was also a competitive dancer for many years. Despite her numerous successes as a dancer, Cook was inspired to give a shot at acting at the age of 16 and as they say, the rest is history.

  • Relationship and family life

The Hollywood actress has been married for several years to her college sweetheart Nathan Andersen. The duo met in a film class at Utah Valley University. They dated for a while and eventually got married on August 3, 2001. The couple has 2 children. Their first child was born in September 2008, a son named Mekhai. They welcomed their second child in July 2015, a son named Phoenix Sky.


  • Height and Other Body Stats

A. J. Cook stands at a height of 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm). Now in her 40s, the ageless actress maintains an enviably trim physique at a body weight of 54 kg (119 lb). She has a bust size of 34 inches (86 cm) while her waist and hips measure 23 inches (58.5 cm) and 33 inches (84 cm) respectively. Cook’s mane of gorgeous blonde hair is her most distinctive physical feature.

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