Thora Birch is an American actress. She got her first role at the age of 6 in the short-lived sitcom Day by Day; that role was followed by an appearance in the motion picture Purple People Eater, for which she received a Young Artist Award for "Best Young Actress Under Nine Years of Age". Birch's profile was raised significantly with major parts in films such as All I Want for Christmas, Patriot Games, Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble, Now and Then, and Alaska.
Her breakthrough role came in 1999 with the Academy Award winning film, American Beauty. Her performance was well received by both critics and audiences and brought Birch to international recognition. She later played the lead role in Ghost World for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She has since appeared in independent films such as Dark Corners, Train and Winter of Frozen Dreams.