Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 was performing in Shakespearean productions in summer theater camp; she went on to graduate with honors with a BFA degree in Theater from York University. After her debut in an episode of Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson (1998), she co-starred in the Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows (2003), a comedy-drama about the trials and travails of a Shakespearean theater group, and won a Gemini award for her performance in 2003.
Her breakout role as Regina George in the hit comedy Mean Girls (2004) instantly catapulted her onto the short list of Hollywood's hottest young actresses. She followed that film with a star turn opposite Ryan Gosling in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller The Notebook (2004), which was a surprise box office success and became the predominant romantic drama for a new, young generation of moviegoers. After filming, McAdams and Gosling became romantically involved and dated through mid-2007. McAdams next showcased her versatility onscreen with the manic comedy Wedding Crashers (2005), the thriller Red Eye (2005), and the holiday drama The Family Stone (2005).
McAdams then explored the independent film world with Married Life (2007), which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and also starred Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson. Starring roles in the military drama The Lucky Ones (2008), the newspaper thriller State of Play (2009), and the romance The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) followed before she starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's international blockbuster Sherlock Holmes (2009). McAdams played the plucky producer of a failing morning TV show in Morning Glory (2010), the materialistic fiancée of Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011), and returned to romantic drama territory with the hit film The Vow (2012) opposite Channing Tatum. The actress also stars with Ben Affleck in Terrence Malick's To the Wonder (2012) and alongside Noomi Rapace in Brian De Palma's thriller Passion (2012).
In 2005, McAdams received ShoWest's "Supporting Actress of the Year" Award as well as the "Breakthrough Actress of the Year" at the Hollywood Film Awards. In 2009, she was awarded with ShoWest's "Female Star of the Year." As of 2011, she has been romantically linked with her Midnight in Paris (2011) co-star Michael Sheen.More