Shannon Elizabeth was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of a Syrian/Lebanese father and a mother who is English, Irish and German. When Shannon was in 3rd grade, her family moved to Waco, Texas, where most of her relatives already lived. As a girl, Shannon took dance lessons, including tap, ballet, and jazz. While attending high school, however, she was very interested in tennis. She even considered going pro, and making tennis her life. Also during high school, she was active in cheerleading, dance team, and the student council. As a senior, Shannon was in a music video shot in Waco. The music artists were local ones named “Hi-5”, and the director of that video just happened to be Antoine Fuqua. After graduating, Shannon moved to New York City to model. She then traveled all over the world with her newfound career to places that included Japan, Italy, France, and Australia. After moving to Los Angeles years later, she signed on with Ford Models and, eventually, Elite. Shannon had always wanted to start her acting career and had just modeled in hopes that it could help lead her into the acting. About a year after moving to Los Angeles, she started taking acting classes with several different coaches. She got an agent eventually, and in 1999, she landed the iconic role of “Nadia” in the movie American Pie (1999).
(2016) Shannon is still acting in projects she loves and is enjoying wearing more hats these days. She directed and produced the music video, “More Than Friends”, by the rapper Wil Fuller and British sensation Kele Le Roc, and she also started her production company called “Ganesha Productions”. The company is currently (2016) focused on financing and shooting a film called Hazard, based on the Richard Marx song of the same name.
Shannon’s other love, and what she refers to as her purpose in life, is her non-profit, Animal Avengers. Started in 2001 as a Los Angeles animal rescue, the charity became international in 2015 and moved into doing conservation work in Africa.