Rooney Mara: NFL Royalty Destined To Be Next Big Hollywood Star?

Bailey BrautiganFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2010

Rooney Mara: NFL Royalty Destined To Be Next Big Hollywood Star?

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    So you say you've never heard of Rooney Mara?

    You will.

    Mara is set to become Hollywood's next "it girl" after breakout performances in Youth in Revolt and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

    So what does this have to do with sports?

    Rooney Mara is a member of one of the biggest sports families of all time, and she is making a name for herself as a serious actress.

    Read on to learn more about this up-and-coming Hollywood hottie!


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    Rooney Mara was born in 1985 in Bedford, New York, and she is the daughter of Timothy Christopher Mara, the vice president of player evaluation for the New York Giants.

    But her ties to sports don't end there. Her mother is Kathleen McNulty (born Kathleen Rooney).

    That's right. Rooney Mara is the great-granddaughter of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney and New York Giants founder Tim Mara. 

What's With The Name?

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    Rooney Mara was born "Patricia Mara," but she decided to go by her middle name "Rooney" when she started acting.

    She said, "I never really liked my first name. I never felt like a Tricia. And Rooney is more memorable."

Where Have You Seen Her?

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    Rooney's acting career started with a role in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, but it went straight to video.

    She continued pursuing acting with small roles on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and ER.

    She got her big break when she starred in the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street, playing Nancy Holbrook (even though we didn't know she was the main character until Katie Cassidy was killed off after the first 30 minutes).

What's Next?

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    Rooney beat out more well-known starlets such as Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman to play Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

    Many were shocked that Rooney was picked for such an edgy role, but we think she'll do just fine.

The Social Network

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    Rooney's career doesn't stop there.

    She also has a role in the highly anticipated The Social Network as the girl who breaks up with Mark Zuckerberg and inspires him to start Facebook.

She Has a Sister!

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    Rooney has two brothers, and you might recognize her sister Kate Mara from her roles on HBO's Entourage and Brokeback Mountain

What About Football?

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    Even though Rooney's true passion is acting, she is still a "Pigskin Princess."

    She has described football as "the glue that holds her family together."

Faces of Kibera

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    Rooney has a big heart and an extremely charitable nature.

    She oversees the charity "Faces of Kibera," which was established to care for orphans in Kibera.

    Kibera is a slum in Kenya where over one million people live in awful conditions. Rooney's goal is to build an orphanage in the area.


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    Among all of the actresses that have inspired Rooney Mara to choose a career in acting is Rowlands.

    Rooney admired Rowlands' performances in A Woman Under the Influence and Opening Night.

The Sky Is The Limit

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    Rooney Mara is on the right track to become a staple in the Hollywood community, but she will never forget her football roots.

    We wish you luck, Rooney!