Jennifer Love Hewitt (born February 21, 1979) is an American actress, producer and singer.
Hewitt began her career as a child actress and singer, appearing in national television commercials before joining the cast of the Disney Channel series Kids Incorporated (1989–1991) as well as performing as a backup singer. She received her breakthrough role as Sarah Reeves Merrin on the Fox teen drama Party of Five (1995–1999) and rose to fame as a teen star for her role as Julie James in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and its 1998 sequel, as well as Amanda Beckett in the teen comedy film Can’t Hardly Wait (1998).
Hewitt starred alongside Sigourney Weaver in the romantic comedy film Heartbreakers (2001) and alongside Jackie Chan in the action comedy film The Tuxedo (2002). From 2005 to 2010, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon on the CBS supernatural drama Ghost Whisperer, for which she received two Saturn Awards in 2007 and 2008. She later starred on the Lifetime drama series The Client List from 2012 to 2013, and was previously nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the pilot film. From 2014 to 2015, she starred as Special Agent Kate Callahan on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. Since 2018, Hewitt has starred as Maddie Buckley on the Fox police procedural 9-1-1.
In music, Hewitt released her debut studio album Love Songs (1992) at age 12 exclusively in Japan. Thereafter, she signed with Atlantic Records for her second and third studio albums, Let’s Go Bang (1995) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (1996), both of which were commercially unsuccessful. Hewitt’s fourth and most recent studio album to date BareNaked (2002) was released by Jive Records and became her first album to chart in the United States, peaking at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was the 1999 release “How Do I Deal”, which peaked at number 59. In addition to music and acting, Hewitt has served as a producer on some of her film and television projects. Hewitt was identified as the “number one reader choice” on the November 1999 and May 2009 covers of Maxim magazine. TV Guide named her the sexiest woman on television in 2008.
She starred alongside Sigourney Weaver in the romantic comedy Heartbreakers (2001) and did voiceover work in the animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) as Madellaine, the main protagonist’s love interest. Hewitt wrote and performed “I’m Gonna Love You” for the film; the song won “Best Original Song” at the DVD Premiere Awards. She starred alongside Jackie Chan in The Tuxedo (2002), which received negative reviews from critics but was a box office success. Hewitt appeared in If Only (2004) and co-wrote and performed “Love Will Show You Everything” and “Take My Heart Back” for the film’s soundtrack. She starred in Garfield (2004), which became her highest-grossing film to date (US$200,804,534). She reprised her role for the sequel, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006), which, though it did not perform as well as its predecessor, achieved a strong box office gross.
Hewitt starred in the television series Ghost Whisperer (2005–2010), which ran on CBS for five seasons before being canceled by the network in May 2010. She reunited with her I Know What You Did Last Summer co-star, Freddie Prinze Jr., in Delgo, but when released in 2008, the film was a massive box office bomb, taking in only US$694,782 domestically.
Hewitt’s next feature film was the independent drama Café (2010) with her then-boyfriend Jamie Kennedy. She starred in the Lifetime film The Client List (2010),for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. The next year, Hewitt starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film The Lost Valentine (2011).
In 2011, Hewitt was announced to direct the film Wait Till Helen Comes (based on the novel by Mary Downing Hahn). She had previously directed three episodes of Ghost Whisperer, and this would be her feature film directorial debut. Production on the film was slated to begin in the summer of 2011, but no further announcements about the film have been made as of January 2015. She also starred alongside Ivan Sergei and Joel David Moore in the independent comedy Jewtopia (2012).
Hewitt was a guest star on TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland in 2011 and 2012. She starred in the television series The Client List (2012–13) until its cancellation in late 2013.
In July 2014, CBS announced that Hewitt had joined the cast of Criminal Minds as Agent Kate Callahan in the series’ 10th season. However, Hewitt became pregnant with her second child during the production of season 10 of Criminal Minds, and left the cast of the show at the end of the season, with the possibility of further appearances left open.