Mena Alexandra Suvari was born in Newport, Rhode Island. Her first name comes from her British aunt, named after the Mena House Oberoi (at the base of the pyramids in Egypt); her last name is Estonian. Mena started modeling for Wilhelmina at the age of 12 and her acting career began when she did a Rice-A-Roni commercial at the age of 13. Mena is perhaps best known for her breakout role in the Academy-Award winning film American Beauty (1999), for which she received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress by The British Academy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast. Suvari also won a Movieline Award for Breakthrough Performance for her genuine and confident portrayal of "Angela Hayes", the object of Kevin Spacey's desire in the iconic film directed by Sam Mendes. Mena followed that with a turn in the celebrated comedy American Pie (1999) (for which she won another Movieline Award for Best Ensemble Cast) with additional film credits that include Nicolas Cage's directorial debut, Sonny (2002), opposite James Franco, Jonas Åkerlund's Spun (2002), Amy Heckerling's Loser (2000), Sugar & Spice (2001), American Pie 2 (2001), The Musketeer (2001), Gregg Araki's Nowhere (1997), Factory Girl (2006), Rumor Has It... (2005), Domino (2005), Beauty Shop (2005) and the feature Trauma (2004/I), opposite Colin Firth. Mena re-teamed with American Beauty (1999) writer Alan Ball for a recurring role on the acclaimed "HBO" series "Six Feet Under" (2001). Having modeled in her teens, she was tapped to be the face of the global campaign for "Lancôme" and was shot by the late Richard Avedon for Harry Winston's 2005 winter advertising campaign. Most recently, Mena garnered some of the best reviews of her career in the independent films Stuck (2007), based on a true story, and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008), opposite Sienna Miller and Peter Sarsgaard. Suvari is a long-time supporter and activist for the esteemed African relief organization Amref, the African Medical Research Foundation.