Hometown: Redwood, Calif.

Big break: Recurring guest spot on “Boy Meets World,” starring role on TV’s “Bone Chillers”

You might remember her from: Linda won a fireplace on “The Price Is Right.” Has also appeared on the sitcoms “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “Clueless,” and the films “Good Burger” and “Dead Man on Campus”

What she likes about her life today: “I used to live in a friend’s dining room, but I recently moved to my own one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood.”

What she dislikes about her life today: Not being able to spend as much time with her family; Having to worry about what clothes to wear at parties and premieres.

She’s not a freak and certainly no geek, but since September, those are two words with which Linda Cardellini has been most associated. The 24-year-old actress’ co-starring role in NBC’s critically acclaimed series “Freaks and Geeks,” a dead-on look at the life of a group of high school misfits, already has viewers buzzing.

“What I really like about my character is that although she’s trying to be independent, she often ends up having these crises of fate and conflicts with herself,” says Cardellini about her TV alter ego, 10th-grader Lindsay Weir. “She just wants to be accepted for who she is.”

The youngest of four kids, Cardellini knew she was interested in being an actress ever since she sang a song in a school play when she was 10. “I was always putting on shows for my family in the living room,” she recalls, “and I used to love watching ‘Sesame Street’ even when I was way too old for that show. Then I got hooked on ‘China Beach’ and ‘The Days of Our Lives.’”

After appearing on “Boy Meets World” and “3rd Rock From the Sun,” Cardellini nabbed one of the lead roles in the short-lived children’s horror series “Bone Chillers.” Parts in two 1998 movies, “Strangeland” and “Dead Man on Campus,” and the AMC Hollywood backlot mini-series “The Lot” (1999) preceded her career-making role in “Freaks.”

“I read the script for the show’s pilot, and found it endearing and heartbreaking at the same time,” Cardellini says. “The producers weren’t sure whether they wanted to see me, but I was determined to show them my colors.”

Whether or not “Freaks” comes back next season, Cardellini says they’ve already shot the show’s season finale, adding, “Lindsay has to make some tough choices in the finale, but I’m definitely not finished with that character.”

In the next stage of her career, Cardellini is hoping to pursue some theater work. “I know it might sound like a cliche, but I would love to do a Chekov or Arthur Miller play in New York,” she says. “I’d do anything as long as the role sparks my imagination, even if it’s a smaller supporting part.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more