Real name: Michelle Christine Trachtenberg
Birthdate: October 11, 1985
Trachtenberg was born in New York City. Her father, Michael, is an AT&T field engineer, and her Russian-born mother, Lana, is a former actress turned puppeteer. Trachtenberg can speak Russian fluently. She is of Jewish heritage and celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah; her grandparents live in Israel. Trachtenberg was raised, along with older sister Irene, in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and attended P.S. 254 Elementary School and Bay Academy Junior High School.
She made her first television appearance in 1988 in a commercial for Wisk Detergent. She went on to feature in over 100 more commercials. She appeared in her first credited role as Nona F. Mecklenberg in The Adventures of Pete & Pete from 1994 until 1996. During the same period she played Lily Montgomery in All My Children. It was on All My Children that Trachtenberg first worked with future Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Trachtenberg's film career began in 1996 with the lead role in Harriet the Spy. She then returned to television for Meego, for which she won a Young Artist Award. She returned to film in 1999 for Inspector Gadget, as the gadget-master's niece, Penny. She also starred in the film Can't Be Heaven.
In March 2005, she played the title character in Walt Disney Pictures' family comedy/drama Ice Princess with Kim Cattrall. In this film, Trachtenberg plays a science whiz named Casey Carlyle who gives up her future academic life in order to chase her newfound dream of being a professional figure skater.
In November 2006, Trachtenberg guest starred in the sixth season of the Emmy-nominated crime drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In the episode "Weeping Willow", she played the role of Willow, a kidnapped video blogger based on lonelygirl15. Trachtenberg also made a cameo in the Fall Out Boy music video for "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" and the Joaquin Phoenix-directed video "Tired of Being Sorry" for Balthazar Getty's band Ringside. She was recently cast as the female lead in an ABC comedy pilot called The Hill, set in Washington, D.C.
Trachtenberg will provide the voice of Tika Waylan for Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, a direct-to-video animated movie based on the novel of the same name. The movie is scheduled for release in 3rd quarter 2007.