Birthplace: Bedford, New York
Best known as: The American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Name at birth: Patricia Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara is the American actress who appeared in 2010's The Social Network, and then won the lead role for the Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Mara grew up in New York, where she was raised in a football family: her mother's grandfather, Art Rooney, Sr., founded the Pittsburg Steelers, and her father's grandfather, Tim Mara, founded the New York Giants. Rooney Mara began acting after leaving high school in 2003, first as a student at New York University, then in New York-based television shows. She relocated to Los Angeles in 2007 and began getting small roles on TV and in feature films. Mara was a standout in the 2009 films Youth in Revolt and Tanner Hall, and in 2010 she starred as the protagonist in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Although her role is small in David Fincher's The Social Network, Mara's brief scenes are key to the story of the founding of Facebook -- she plays Mark Zuckerberg's almost-girlfriend. Fincher then named her for the role of Lisbeth Salander, the tough-as-nails heroine from Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Mara was chosen to be in three films, American re-makes of the Swedish films starring Noomi Rapace: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
Extra credit: Rooney Mara's sister is actress Kate Mara... After working in an orphanage in Kenya, Rooney Mara founded the charity Faces of Kibera... Mara is a 2010 graduate of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.
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