Back in the 1990s, Jennifer Love Hewitt was one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood. Highly sought after for both movies and TV shows, she starred in big-time box office hits and appeared on one of the most popular teen dramas of the decade. Now in her 40s, the former teen queen keeps a much lower profile than she did in her youth, though she’s continued to work steadily ever since. So where is Jennifer Love Hewitt now? Here’s a look at what this veteran actress is up to today.
The Famous 90’s Sweetheart
Jennifer Love Hewitt was born in Waco, Texas, on February 21st, 1979. She started working at a young age, moving to Los Angeles with her mom when she ten-years-old to pursue a career in acting. While the eager performer immediately started booking commercials and landing roles in various TV pilots and short-lived shows, success did not come overnight—which is something Hewitt says she is grateful for today.
“I learned at a really young age you don’t get anything necessarily easy,” she said in a 2013 interview. “For some people, you do just wake up one day and you get one part and you’re a big star. For me, it wasn’t that way. I really worked … I’m happy that I didn’t just come out and do one movie and then I was a massive superstar and people were throwing money and deals at me. I think at a young age it would’ve made me a complete disaster. And I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
But Hewitt did eventually achieve teen idol success in 1995 when she was cast as the sweet and sensitive Sarah Reeves Merrin on the hit Fox family drama, Party of Five. Originally hired to appear in only a handful of episodes during the show’s second season, the actress became so popular she was brought on as a full-time cast member and remained on the show until it left the airwaves in 1999.
Hewitt’s movie career also took off thanks to her starring role in the 1997 horror film, I Know What You Did Last Summer. The movie, which also starred popular teen actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr., was a massive box office hit and instantly became a cult classic. It also spawned the 1998 sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
Hewitt then went on to appear in a slew of big-time projects, including Can’t Hardly Wait, Heartbreakers (opposite veteran actress Sigourney Weaver), The Tuxedo (opposite action star Jackie Chan), and the made-for-TV movie, The Audrey Hepburn Story, in which she played the legendary Hollywood actress.
She Took A Break For Her Family
Hewitt continued to work steadily through the early 2000s. In 2005, she landed the lead role of Melinda in the supernatural CBS series, The Ghost Whisperer. The show garnered a loyal fan base and earned Hewitt a number of accolades, including two Saturn Awards for Best Actress in a Television Program and multiple Teen Choice and Kids’ Choice award nominations.
But while the show ran for five seasons, it was abruptly canceled in 2010 without the chance to film a proper series finale. Hewitt says she’d love the opportunity to return to the role and wrap up the storyline—so long as her character remains the focus of the show. “If they’re going to redo it, then I have to go back and be the ghost whisperer because I am not giving up my ‘Ghost Whisperer’ throne,” she admitted in a 2018 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “That part just meant too much to me, and it was so much of who I was, I worked really hard to make Melinda who she is. So if they wanted to do a 10-episode revival on Netflix, like finishing the series or something, I’m happy to do that. But giving it over to somebody would crush me.”
After The Ghost Whisper’s cancellation, Hewitt appeared on a number of TV shows, including the short-lived Lifetime series, The Client List. While the series only ran for a season, it made a major impact on Hewitt’s life because it’s where she met her husband, fellow actor Brian Hallisay. The couple married in 2013 and now have three children together—Autumn James, born in November of 2013; Atticus James, born in June of 2015; and Aidan James, born in September of 2021.
In addition to taking time off from acting to focus on family, Hewitt also needed time to process the death of her mother, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer. “I had needed to take some time for myself and needed to grieve my mother,” the Can’t Hardly Wait star told the Los Angeles Times. “I needed to become a new mom; I needed to learn how to be a wife. There was a lot going on in my own life that just felt like I needed some space and some time to kind of be. I’ve really enjoyed the break.”
What Is Jennifer Love Hewitt Up To Now?
Fortunately for her fans, Hewitt is now back in front of the cameras full-time. Since 2018, she’s been playing 911 operator Maddie Buckley on the Fox procedural drama, 9-1-1. The show, which also stars Angela Bassett and Peter Krause, has become a mainstay for the network and has even spawned a successful spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star.
But that’s not all the former teen star has been busy with. According to Working Mother magazine, she’s writing a children’s book inspired by the death of her mother and how it has affected her own kids. “There are not a lot of books out there that in a childlike way teach children about deceased grandparents,” she told Working Magazine. “I think that’s an important book because people are having children later in life.”
Hewitt has also teamed up with her wine connoisseur husband and Hilliard Bruce Vineyards to release JLH wines, which include a Chardonnay and Roussanne bottled in 2018.