Nicole Evangeline Lilly was born the 3rd of August in 1979, in Fort Saskatchewan, Canada. She was raised by by her two parents in a devoutly Evangelical Christian family, where she was the middle child of three girls. Her youngest sister, Andrea, has been described by Evangeline Lilly as “the actor in the family.” Her upbringing was very realigious and grounded. Her father was a home economics teacher, and worked as a produce manager at the Safeway. Her mother was a cler at Estée Lauder, and ran a daycare center out of the family home for some time, to support the family.
As a child, Evangeline was athletic and tomboyish in both nature and looks. That changed overnight, when she turned 16. From a gawky, freckle-faced, buck-toothed tomboy, she evolved into a beautiful, curvy woman. Before leaving the town of Fort Saskatchewan for Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, Evangeline Lilly briefly attended three elementary schools, Fort Elementary, Rudolph Hennig and James Mowat Elementary. She founded and ran a world development and human rights committee while studying international relations at the University of British Columbia. Evangeline Lilly recalled, “When I was a kid, the Fort was tiny. I could ride my bike at five years old from one end of town to the other…. To me Fort Saskatchewan holds a lot of really great memories. I just consider it a little happy hideaway.”
In Abbotsford, Evangeline Lilly completed her high school years at W. J. Mouat Secondary School, and went on to study international relations at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She recalled a favorite memory from her hometown saying, “I remember that there was a drunk driver who was wheeling through town. I remember literally the men sending the women and children into the homes. Then they gathered themselves and ran after this truck. They actually jumped into the cab and jumped onto the window and forced the guy to pull over and go to the cop shop.”
Born in a low income group family, she supported herself financially from the age of 15. She taught in the local Sunday school for eight years, and also served as a foreign missionary in the Philippines where she lived in a grass hut. She was offered permanent missionary work there for two years, an offer she nearly accepted but eventually declined because of her parents’ wishes. After her time in the Philippines, she worked briefly as a flight attendant with Air Canada, which is the reason for why she is fluent in the French language. She also worked at Green Bay Bible Camp near Kelowna and at the Earls Restaurant in Abbotsford. To fund her university education, Evangeline also did TV commercials (e.g. “LiveLinks Chatline”) and modeling although she never considered herself a model.
Evangeline was discovered by a Ford talent agent on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia, in South-west Canada. She was offered a contract, but declined the offer to sign with the agency. While acting has been a dream of hers since she was a teenager, she left the idea for the more aesthetic dream of working in international relations. Six months later, Evangeline moved to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia and decided to sign with Ford to help pay for tuition. After appearing in a few commercials, she chose to give up acting and focus on studying.
A couple of years later, a friend urged her to give acting another shot and soon thereafter she landed non-speaking roles in both an episode of Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital and the film, The Long Weekend.
Evangeline started off her acting career by starring as an extra in various films during the period of 2002-2004. Among others, she starred as an extra in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (where she portrayed a police officer), as background girls in three different episodes of Smallville and as a school student in the 2003 film “Freddy VS. Jason”.
2004 saw a change in her fortune where she made a guest appearance on the ABC supernatural horror series Kingdom Hospital. Lost series producer J.J. Abrams saw Lilly’s audition tape just two weeks before shooting was set to begin, and was selected for the lead role of beautiful and goofy Kate Austen. She was selected among countless women who had auditioned for the role.
Her role in Lost, won her 13th place in the FHM “100 Sexiest Women in the World” of 2006. Lilly was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress-Drama, for Lost, on 14th December, 2006. After the end of Season One of the series, Lily moved to Rwanda, to help a friend with some missionary work. This sudden move was attributed to her Christian morals being rankled by what she saw around her in Hollywood. She returned to continue filming Season Two of Lost. She was nominated for a 2007 Saturn Award for Best Actress on a Television Series, Lost.
“I was fortunate enough to be one of those stories where I was scouted on the street by somebody and actually refused to go to the agency, and was approached on different occasions and finally kind of caved and said, ‘OK, I’ll try it and see what happens.’ A month and a half after my first audition I won the role on Lost .”
She was originally auditioning for one of the supporting roles, but unexpectedly won the lead role of Kate. The series has led her to be nominated as the Best Actress in a Series by Golden Satellite Awards and Best Actress on Television by Saturn Awards. As a result of her outstanding act, the Entertainment Weekly has voted Evangeline Lilly as one of the Breakout Stars of 2004.
When Evangeline was cast as Kate in Lost, her main concern was acquiring a work visa to enter the United States (U.S.). With production literally days away and no news about the visa, casting directors were forced to grudgingly begin re-casting the role of Kate. After nearly 20 auditions, Evangeline Lilly’s work visa was approved/cleared but she arrived on set a day late.
By 2008, she has added another big screen role into her resume, a slot in thriller flick “Afterwards” alongside the likes of John Malkovich, Romain Duris, and Reece Thompson. She later went on to receive a role in the anitcipated “The Hurt Locker”.
Lily never speaks about her personal life and is known to guard it zealously. British tabloids have reported that she was once married to Canadian hockey player Murray Hone and has divorced him around the time she left Canada for the Hawaiian set of Lost. She was also rumored to be dating her Lost co-star and Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan. Lilly’s house in Kailua, Hawaii was completely destroyed by fire, caused due to an electric problem, while she was on the Lost’s set, on 20th December, 2006.
She does not appear in a nude scene or perform in sexual scenes, which she feels would do no justice to the character she is playing. She fights hard to maintain her balance and avoid the trappings of her celebrity status. She finds her image, as a sex symbol, very disturbing.
Fluent in French, Evangeline loves reading, writing, painting, music, nature, staying active, learning, tea and travel.Between acting and modeling, Lilly spends her spare time ice-skating, canoeing, kayaking, snowboarding and rock climbing.
Evangeline welcomed her first child with boyfriend Norman Kali in May 2011.
Endorsement & Philanthropy
When not in Hawaii filming the show, Evangeline is wholeheartedly devoted to philanthropy, travelling and gaining a higher knowledge of various cultures around the world. She has been a volunteer for children’s projects since the age of 14.
Evangeline Lily is one of the new faces of the L’oreal brand. She also endorses a fragrance line for cosmetics giant Coty Prestige, promoting the fragrance Davidoff Cool Water Woman. She has joined Baume & Mercier & Me campaign, which belongs to the Swiss Watch brand, recognized internationally for its humanitarian values.
Lily is involved in a video Just Yell Fire, aimed at teaching teenage girls, different ways to defend themselves against rapists. She travels a lot between her shoots to understand and work towards the betterment of mankind. She participates in many missionary programs. She has teamed up with eBay Giving Works and a charity Task Brazil, to auction lingerie, to support Brazilian kids living in the slums from its proceeds.
Where is she now?
Evangeline Lilly’s combination of irresistible, playful charm and natural talent is earning her a reputation as one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood. Before Evangeline had finished filming Lost, she repetedly said she planned to stop acting and pursue a career as a humanitarian worker after the show; however she has not ruled out returning to TV at some point in the future.
On May 11, 2010 stated on The View, when Whoopi Goldberg asked her if she really is quitting acting, by saying that she places writing and being a mother as top priorities, but she likes acting as a day job and she will continue acting when possible.
Evi is set to starr in the highly anticipated “The Hobbit” series, which she will start filming in 2012. The first two films will be released in 2012 and 2013. And what’s up for our girl afterwards? Nothing but the future can tell, but we are sure she will be doing something great. With her unique talented, amazing work-ethic and down-to-earth persona, we are sure Evangeline will continue to glow for many more years to com.
This biography has been put togheter and written by the staff members at I heart Evangeline. We update the bio regulary, to make sure it’s always up-to-date on Evangeline and her career. Please do not republish this anywhere else without our permission.