Shiri Appleby

Shiri Freda Appleby (born December 7, 1978) is an American actress and television director. She is best known for her leading roles as Liz Parker in the WB/UPN science fiction drama series Roswell (1999–2002) and Rachel Goldberg in the Lifetime/Hulu drama series Unreal (2015–2018).[2]

Shiri Appleby
Appleby at ATX TV Festival in 2014
Shiri Freda Appleby

December 7, 1978 (age 44)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actress, director
Years active1985–present
Jon Shook
(m. 2013)

Her major film credits include A Time for Dancing (2000), Swimfan (2002), Havoc (2005), Charlie Wilson's War (2007), and The Devil's Candy (2015).

Appleby also starred as intern Daria Wade in the final season of the NBC medical drama series ER (2008–2009). She later starred as Cate Cassidy in The CW drama series Life Unexpected (2010–2011) and as Lucy Lambert in the web comedy series Dating Rules from My Future Self (2012). Appleby also had recurring roles on the NBC drama series Chicago Fire (2012–2013) and the HBO comedy-drama series Girls (2013–2014).[3]

Early life and education

Appleby's Israeli-born mother is of Moroccan Jewish descent, and her father is American and of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.[4][5][6] Appleby's mother was an actress in Israel.[7] She was raised in Calabasas in Los Angeles County and kept kosher in her home growing up.[6] She attended Hebrew school, and had a Bat Mitzvah.[1]

Appleby graduated from Calabasas High School in 1997.[5] She attended University of Southern California from 1998 to 1999, where she studied English.[8] After two years she got the starring role in Roswell and was working steadily, but while shooting Life Unexpected in 2010, Appleby started to work towards a psychology degree from the online University of Phoenix. It took her 14 months, while also working, to complete the degree in 2012.[9]


Appleby began her acting career at the age of four, starting with advertisements for various products such as Cheerios and M&M's. She started acting and taking acting classes because her parents were concerned that she was so shy and introverted.[7] Her first advertisement was for Raisin Bran, but it was never aired. She made guest appearances on many television programs, most notably thirtysomething (1987),[5] Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989), ER (1994), Baywatch (1989), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), 7th Heaven (1997), Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), before landing her break-out role in the series Roswell (1999–2002), where she tried out for the roles of Isabel and Maria before landing the leading role of Liz Parker.[10]

Appleby has been featured in a number of music videos, such as Bon Jovi's video for "It's My Life" with Will Estes, and the 2004 video for the song "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw, opposite Scott Mechlowicz. She also appeared in Sense Field's music video for "Save Yourself," which is part of the Roswell soundtrack and featured in the first season DVD box set.[11]

In 2006, she had a recurring role on the short-lived ABC drama Six Degrees as Anya, a young assistant in a relationship with a much older photographer. Later that year, she played Hildy Young in the new USA Network series To Love and Die, that began airing in late December 2008. She also participated in a short film called Carjacking directed by Dan Passman and co-starring Geoff Stults.

In 2007, she appeared in the movie What Love Is alongside Cuba Gooding Jr., Matthew Lillard, and Anne Heche. She also participated in another short film Love Like Wind from Shaolin Film Productions. At the end of the year, she appeared as Charlie Wilson's press secretary in the film Charlie Wilson's War, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. In 2008, Appleby had a recurring role on the 15th and final season of ER (her second time on the show), playing an intern named Daria Wade.

In 2010, Appleby starred in The CW network drama Life Unexpected as Cate Cassidy, a radio talk show host whose daughter whom she gave up for adoption becomes a part of her life.[12] The show was canceled after two seasons.

In 2012, Appleby starred as the main character of Dating Rules from My Future Self, which she also produced.[13]

In 2013, she had a role in the Lena Dunham HBO series, Girls, which was controversial.[3] She said the role allowed her to break out of a career where she was often typecast as being sweet.[14] Appleby said that she got the role because she was shadowing director Jesse Peretz (as she is interested in directing), and talked with Girls producer Jenni Konner, with whom she was friendly. Konner asked her if she would be interested in the part.[15]

In 2013, she was cast in the leading role in the Lifetime drama/dark comedy series Unreal, a show about the inner workings of a reality show (a show within a show), which premiered on June 1, 2015, and was produced by former The Bachelor producer, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and writer Marti Noxon.[16] To research her role as a reality show dating show producer, Appleby said that she spent time with a producer to quiz them about the work.[14] She said that one of the appeals of the show was that the central focus was not about her character being in a romantic relationship.[13] The show garnered strong reviews and had been picked up for four seasons.[17][18][19] In 2016, Appleby directed her first episode of Unreal, titled "Casualty". She went on to direct multiple episodes of the series. In July 2018, the series ended after four seasons.[20]

In 2017, Appleby starred in Janicza Bravo's first full length feature, Lemon, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival.[21]

In 2021, Appleby had a cameo role in the last scene of Season 3 Episode 13 of Roswell, New Mexico.

Personal life

In July 2012, Appleby got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, chef and restaurateur Jon Shook,[1] during a trip to Ventotene, Italy.[22] Shook is the co-owner with Vinny Dotolo of the Los Angeles restaurants Animal, Son of a Gun, Trois Mec, and Jon & Vinny's.[23][24][25] Shook said that he met Appleby through his business partner Dotolo's wife, who was friends with Appleby.[24] In December 2012, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child in early 2013.[26] Appleby gave birth to a girl in March 2013.[27] Shook and Appleby have since married.[28] Their second child, a son, was born in December 2015.[29]

In Hebrew, the word shiri means either "my song" or "my poem" or simply "sing" (second person female imperative). Appleby said her parents said that when she was born, she was like the song in their hearts.[7]

She has a scar above her left eyebrow that she got when a neighbor's dog bit her when she was young. To get over her fear of dogs, she went on the show Emergency Vets, accompanying staff veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (she also overcame another phobia in the same episode by holding a live snake, one of Fitzgerald's patients) and shortly after adopted a tabby cat, which she named Abby.[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Killing Time Annie Winslow
1989 Curse II: The Bite Grace Newman
1990 I Love You to Death Millie
1993 Family Prayers Nina
1999 The Other Sister Free sample girl
1999 The Thirteenth Floor Bridget Manilla
1999 Deal of a Lifetime Laurie Petler
2002 A Time for Dancing Samantha "Sam" Russell
2002 Swimfan Amy Miller
2003 The Battle of Shaker Heights Sarah
2003 The Skin Horse Carla
2004 Undertow Violet
2005 When Do We Eat? Nikki
2005 Havoc Amanda
2005 Love Surreal (also released as Everything You Want) Abagail (Abby)
2006 Thrill of the Kill Kelly
2006 I-See-You.Com Randi Sommers
2006 I'm Reed Fish Jill Cavanaugh
2006 Carjacking Az/Cary Short film
2007 The Killing Floor Rebecca Fay
2007 What Love Is Debbie
2007 Charlie Wilson's War Jailbait
2007 Love Like Wind The Ghost Short film
2012 The Happiest Person in America Susan Short film
2013 Seven Minutes to Save the World Caroline Short film
2015 The Devil's Candy Astrid Hellman
2016 The Meddler TV Daughter
2016 An Entanglement Violet Novak Short film
2017 Lemon Ruthie
2023 Your Place or Mine Vanessa [31]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Santa Barbara Little Girl Episode #359
1987 Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife Unknown Movie
1987 Thirtysomething Little Hope Episode: "The Parents Are Coming"
1988 Mystery Magical Special Shiri Special
1988 Go Toward the Light Jessica Movie
1988 The Bronx Zoo Nicole 2 episodes
1988 Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series Marsha at 10 Episode: "Freddy's Tricks and Treats"
1988 Dear John Girl Episode: "Hello/Goodbye"
1989 Knight & Daye Amy Escobar Main role (7 episodes)
1989 Who's the Boss? Kid #1 Episode: "To Tony, with Love" (season 6)
1990 Knots Landing Mary Frances – age 10 2 episodes
1990 The New Adam-12 Debbie Lavender Episode: "Teach the Children"
1991 Sunday Dinner Rachel Main role (6 episodes)
1992 Perfect Family Steff Movie
1993 Doogie Howser, M.D. Molly Harris Episode: "Love Makes the World Go 'Round... or Is It Money?"
1993 Raven Jess Episode: "The Guardians of the Night"
1993 Against the Grain Claire Episode: "Pilot"
1994 ER Ms. Murphy Episode: "24 Hours"
1995 Brotherly Love Fairy #1 Episode: "A Midsummer's Nightmare"
1997 Baywatch Jennie Episode: "Hot Water"
1997 7th Heaven Karen Episode: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
1997 City Guys Cindy Episode: "Bye Mom"
1998 Xena: Warrior Princess Tara 2 episodes
1999 Beverly Hills, 90210 René Episode: "Local Hero"
1999 Movie Stars Lori Episode: "Pilot" (scenes deleted)
1999–2002 Roswell Liz Parker Lead role (61 episodes)
2000 The Amanda Show Nerd 2 episodes
2000 Batman Beyond Cynthia (voice) Episode: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot"
2004 Darklight Lilith/Elle Movie
2005 Everything You Want Abby Morrison Movie; a.k.a. Love Surreal
2005 Pizza My Heart Gina Prestolani Movie
2006 Thrill of the Kill Kelly Holden Movie
2006–2007 Six Degrees Anya Recurring role (6 episodes)
2008 Welcome to The Captain Heather Episode: "The Wrecking Crew"
2008 Fear Itself Tracy Episode: "Community"
2008 To Love and Die Hildy Young Movie
2009 Unstable Megan Walker Movie
2008–2009 ER Dr. Daria Wade Recurring role (9 episodes)
2010–2011 Life Unexpected Cate Cassidy Main role (26 episodes)
2011 Royal Pains Stella Episode: "Rash Talk"
2012 Franklin & Bash Emily Adams 2 episodes
2012–2013 Chicago Fire Clarice Carthage Recurring role (6 episodes)
2013 Kristin's Christmas Past Kristin Cartwell Movie
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Amelia Albers Episode: "Military Justice"
2013–2014 Girls Natalia Recurring role (4 episodes)
2014 Elementary Dalit Zirin Episode: "The Hound of the Cancer Cells"
2015–2018 Unreal Rachel Goldberg Main role (38 episodes)
2015 Code Black Carla Niven Recurring role (3 episodes)
2019 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kitty Bennett Episode: "Dearly Beloved"
2021-2022 Roswell, New Mexico Dr. Allie Meyers Recurring role (3 episodes)


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Quarterlife Debra Unknown episodes
2011 Whole Day Down Moon Episode: "Genesis"
2012 Dating Rules from My Future Self Lucy Lambert 10 episodes, also producer (seasons 1 & 2)


Year Title Episode(s) Notes
2012 Dating Rules from My Future Self "The Last Shrimp"
2012 Sketchy "Got the Check"
2016–2018 Unreal 4 episodes
2019–2020 Roswell, New Mexico 2 episodes
2019 Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists "Lost and Found"
2019 Light as a Feather 2 episodes
2020 Mixed-ish Episode: "Doctor! Doctor!"
2021-2022 New Amsterdam 2 episodes
2021-2022 Grown-ish 3 episodes
2021-2022 The Wonder Years 2 episodes
2021 Queens Episode: "Who You Calling a Bitch?"
2022 Black-ish Episode: "My Work Friend's Wedding"
2022-2023 Young Sheldon 4 episodes
2022 Maggie Episode: "A Mysterious Invitation Awaits You"
2023 Unprisoned (Hulu) 2 episodes


Year Association Category Work Result
1993 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actress in a Cable Movie Perfect Family Nominated
2000 Teen Choice Awards TV – Choice Actress Roswell Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Television Awards Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series Unreal Nominated


  1. "Actress Shiri Appleby chats about Jewish influences and life on the small screen". August 12, 2015.
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  8. Baxter, Kevin (October 7, 1999). "My Favorite Weekend: Shiri Appleby". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  9. Appleby, Shiri (May 23, 2012). "My Road To Receiving A College Degree". Hello Giggles. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  10. Elias, Justine (October 31, 1999). "Spotlight; Hey, Everyone's Cool, Teen-Age Aliens Too". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  11. Kenna (May 2, 2004). "DVD Review: Roswell: The Complete First Season". Crashdown. Retrieved September 23, 2006.
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  17. Otterson, Joe (July 28, 2017). "'UnREAL' Renewed for Season 4 at Lifetime, 'Mary Kills People' Renewed for Season 2". Variety. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
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  20. Evans, Benedict Shiri Appleby: The Comeback Kid Vulture. June 22, 2016
  21. D'Arcy, David (January 23, 2017). "'Lemon': Review". Screen Daily.
  22. UsWeekly Staff (August 16, 2012). "Shiri Appleby Is Engaged to Jon Shook!". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
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  24. Rodbard, Matt (April 3, 2013). "Shook, Won: How A Chef Made It All Work Spectacularly Well In Los Angeles". Food Republic. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
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  27. Michaud, Sarah (March 29, 2013). "Shiri Appleby Welcomes Daughter Natalie Bouader". People. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  28. Braun Davison, Candace (July 15, 2015). "Watch Shiri Appleby and Her Chef Husband Make The Sickest Nachos Ever". Delish. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
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  30. "Shiri as a Vet". Teen. May 1, 2000. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  31. Lewis, Hilary (January 12, 2023). "Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher Play Longtime Friends Who Swap Homes in 'Your Place or Mine' Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
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