Jessica Biel was born on March 3, 1982, in Ely, Minnesota, to Kimberly (née Conroe), a homemaker and spiritual healer, and Jonathan Biel, a business consultant and General Electric worker.
She is of German, French, English, Irish, and some Choctaw ancestry. Her younger brother, Justin, (born 1985), launched and runs the eco-accessory line BARE. Biel's family moved frequently during her childhood, living in Texas, Connecticut, and Woodstock, Illinois, before finally settling in Boulder, Colorado, where she attended Fairview High School. While growing up, Biel played soccer and also trained as a gymnast.
Her film career blossomed when she played a turn-of-the-Century duchess in the period mystery drama, The Illusionist, co-starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti.
Jessica's paternal great-grandfather, Edward Biel, was the son of Moritz Biel and Otillie Morskovitz, who were Jewish immigrants from Zilina (then in the Kingdom of Hungary, now in Slovakia). Edward's wife, Jessica's great-grandmother Carrie Rasmussen, was the daughter of Danish parents. Jessica's other ancestry includes English, German, Swiss-German, and remote Swedish and French, roots.