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From Teen Pop to Her Iconic This Is Us Role: Everything to Know About Mandy Moore’s Career
She may be best known as matriarch Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s This is Us, but Moore has juggled a host of gigs, including her upcoming role in Peacock’s second season of Dr. Death.
Depending on what generation you're from, your first impression of Mandy Moore could have been from her bubblegum pop star days, or one of her acting roles.
Those who were fans of late ‘90s/early ‘00s pop music know that Moore — like her contemporaries Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Jessica Simpson — became famous for peppy, boppy hits and some ballads.
Moore then began focusing more on her acting career, landing film and TV roles, including the one she's perhaps most famous for, that of matriarch Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s This is Us. The drama series, which debuted in 2016, ended its emotional run in 2022 — but not to worry, Moore will return to the small screen in December, when she takes on the role of award-winning journalist Benita Alexander on Peacock’s second season of Dr. Death.
Here's a closer look at Moore’s career, from teen pop star to queen of the screen.
Where did Mandy Moore grow up?
Moore was born Amanda Leigh Moore in 1984, and grew up in the Orlando, Florida area, according to CBS News. After seeing a young girl sing the national anthem at an Orlando Magic game, she was inspired to follow suit, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“I didn’t know you could do that!” recalled to the outlet in 2020. “So I begged my mom to record me singing a cappella with my little pitch pipe. My mom then hand-delivered it [to the arena], and I think she brought cookies.”
It wasn't long before Moore was performing at sporting events and, at the age of just 13, was invited by local music producers to record at their studio.
How did Mandy Moore's music career start?
Moore was discovered when a FedEx driver overheard her singing and recommended her to someone at Epic Records, The Washington Post reported. The record company signed Moore — who was only 15 at the time — and she released her first hit, “Candy,” in 1999.
From there, Moore was busy, releasing three albums in 18 months. Her early hits like “Candy,” and “I Want to Be With You,” weren’t overwhelming successes, but did well, which kept her from the perils of extreme fame that some of the other young stars of that time period experienced.
Mandy Moore’s most popular movies
Acting jobs have been Moore’s bread and butter in more recent years, and she’s starred or appeared in a number of big projects. Moore’s first big role was in 2001’s The Princess Diaries, in which she not only played popular mean girl Lana, but also sang. Her big breakout role, however, came the following year when she starred as Jamie, a teenager with cancer, in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, A Walk to Remember, alongside Shane West.
Moore went on to appear in films like How to Deal, Chasing Liberty, Saved!, and Because I Said So, and she guest-starred on the medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy before being cast as Milo Ventimiglia’s wife Rebecca on This is Us.
Beyond music, TV and film, Moore has also juggled other projects over the years. In 2005, she announced her fashion line focusing on knit T-shirts, called Mblem, according to TODAY. The line shut down in 2009 so that Moore could focus more on her music career, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Why did Mandy Moore take a break from music?
After releasing a steady stream of studio albums in the decade after her 1999 debut, Moore took a multi-year break in between the release of her Amanda Leigh album in 2009 and her Silver Landings record in 2020. In 2019, she gave an interview to The New York Times about her singer-songwriter ex-husband Ryan Adams, who she was married to from 2009 to 2016, in which she said that he was controlling over her career, wouldn’t work with her and wouldn’t let her collaborate with anyone else, among other allegations. Adams has denied all of the accusations.
Moore's most recent album, In Real Life, was released in May 2022 and she and her singer-songwriter husband Taylor Goldsmith, whom she married in 2018, embarked on a short tour. Moore canceled part of the tour after announcing she was pregnant with her second child, according Pitchfork, noting that she was taking time to put her health and family first.
Goldsmith is the lead singer of the folk rock band Dawes. Together, the couple welcomed sons Gus in 2021 and Ozzie in 2022.
Mandy Moore’s This is Us role
This is Us premiered on NBC in 2016 and became a smash hit. Moore played family matriarch Rebecca Pearson, alongside Milo Ventimiglia as her on-screen husband, and Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley, who portrayed the adult versions of her character's children.
Over six seasons, audiences fell in love with the Pearsons, tuning in week after week to see how the family-centric drama would play out. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moore said that while figuring out what would come next was exciting, it was also really sad.
“Clearly, nothing will ever hold the same place in my heart as [This Is Us]. And, quite frankly, nothing will probably mean the same thing to the world in the way that that job did,” Moore said.
Mandy Moore’s upcoming work
Moore will play journalist Benita Alexander in the second season of Peacock’s anthology series, Dr. Death, opposite Edgar Ramirez. This season’s story follows Alexander and Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon famous for his alleged breakthroughs and innovations in restorative medicine before both his personal and professional lives unravel.
Season 2 of Dr. Death premieres on Peacock on December 21.