Vanessa Lee Chester

Vanessa Lee Chester (born July 2, 1984) is an American television and film actress[1] who rose to fame as a child actor for her roles in A Little Princess (1995) and Harriet the Spy (1996), before gaining wide-scale recognition for her role in Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).

Vanessa Lee Chester
Vanessa Lee Chester.jpg
BornJuly 2, 1984 (age 37 years)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Years active1992–present


Chester was born on July 2, 1984 at Brooklyn, New York City,[2] to Guyanese parents who immigrated to the United States. In her early childhood, she relocated with her mother to Los Angeles, California, where she began auditioning for and appearing in commercials.[2]

Chester made her film debut in the comedy CB4 (1993) starring Chris Rock. The following year, she appeared in a supporting role in Alfonso Cuarón's A Little Princess (1995).[1] In 1996, she appeared opposite Michelle Trachtenberg as Janie in the Nickelodeon film Harriet the Spy, which was a moderate box office success.[3] The following year, she was cast in a lead role as Kelly in Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997),[4] playing the daughter of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). The film was a box office hit, grossing over $600 million worldwide.[5] Chester later worked mostly in television, most notably appearing in Malcolm in the Middle and The West Wing. She was nominated for a Saturn Award (The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Image Award (The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Young Artist Award (A Little Princess) and took home the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress (Harriet The Spy).[6] In early 2012, Chester began work on an unnamed film by Ty Hodges.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 CB4 Talona
1995 A Little Princess Becky
1996 Harriet the Spy Janie Gibbs
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park Kelly Curtis
1999 She's All That Melissa's Friend
2000 Dreams in the Attic Angel
2000 Stepsister from Planet Weird Michelle Television film
2006 The Shift Daughter
2008 Extreme Movie Charlotte
2009 17 Again Cheerleader
2011 Reconstruction Eleanor Television film
2014 The Costume Shop Young Janie
2014 The Arrangement Emily Myers-Stanley Short film
2015 Fated Eliza Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Stephanie Episode: "Miracle in Oaktown"
1994 Me and the Boys Renee Episode: "Talent Show"
1995 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child School Child #3 1 episode
1997 Promised Land Emily Dixon Episode: "Stealing Home: Part 1"
1999 Get Real Rude Girl Episode: "Anatomy of a Rumor"
1999 Once and Again Annie 5 episodes (1999–2000)
2002 Family Law Girl #1 Episode: "Celano v. Foster"
2002 Malcolm in the Middle Student #3 Episode: "Humilithon"
2004 Crossing Jordan Andrea Episode: "Most Likely"
2005 Without a Trace Dori Episode: "Lost Time"
2006 The West Wing Youth Voter #2 Episode: "Duck and Cover"
2006 Veronica Mars Maureen Episode: "I Am God"
2006 Justice 2nd Mock Juror Episode: "Filicide"
2010 Lone Star Tamar Wilson Episode: "Small Time"
2011 Switched at Birth Lizzy Episode: "The Stag Hunt"
2011 9ine Candace Episode: "May"
2012 How I Met Your Mother Mia Episode: "The Autumn of Break-Ups"
2013 Welcome to Sanditon Letitia "Griff" Griffiths 4 episodes
2015 Scorpion Secretary Episode: "Cliffhanger"
2016 Ladies Like Us: The Rise of Neighborhood Watch Natalia Episode: "Quite the Garage Sale"


  1. ^ a b "Vanessa Lee Chester". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-06-20.
  2. ^ a b Chester, Vanessa Lee (June 19, 2018). "Crystals and Jeff Goldblum (with Vanessa Chester)" (Interview). Interviewed by Povitsky, Esther; Goldfarb, Caroline. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Box Office Mojo: Harriet the Spy
  4. ^ Holden, Stephen (May 23, 1997). "The Lost World Jurassic Park (1997) A Jurassic Romp of Parental Mayhem". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Natural Hair Talk with Vanessa Lee Chester". Mz Mahogany Chic. Retrieved 16 April 2012.

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