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MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD (Gwen Grayson) is fast becoming one of today's most sought-after young actresses. On her first professional trip to Los Angeles at age 14, Winstead landed a lead role as the scheming Jessica Bennett on NBC's daytime drama "Passions” and has been working steadily since. Winstead is currently in Vancouver filming New Line's "Final Destination 3.”

Winstead's previous film credits include this year's box-office smash "The Ring Two” and "Checking Out” with Peter Falk and David Paymer. Her television credits include MTV Network's original film "Monster Island,” the Fox pilot "Father Can't Cope” with Scott Bakula, the ABC pilot "Then Came Jones” with Melissa Gilbert and Sean Patrick Flannery and the CBS drama "Wolf Lake” with Lou Diamond Phillips and Sharon Lawrence, which aired later on UPN. She has also guest starred on "Tru Calling,” "Touched by an Angel” and "Promised Land.”

Winstead received a Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award nomination for her role on "Passions” and was nominated for a Young Artist Awards in 2001.

Originally from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Winstead is a distant cousin of the legendary Ava Gardner. Winstead and her family have lived in various places across the country over the last 15 years because of her father's work. Throughout her childhood Winstead had a fondness for the performing arts and studied several types of formal dance including ballet, tap and jazz followed by voice and acting lessons. Her theatre credits include "The Nutcracker” and the Broadway production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Donny Osmond. Since graduating from high school, Winstead has been taking college courses electronically.

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