Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born on March 23, 1976, in Winthrop, Iowa. She is the youngest of three children and the only daughter of Sharon and Robert John Monaghan. After graduating from high school in Iowa, she studied journalism for three years at Chicago's Columbia College. In order to pay for college, she took a job as a model. In 1999, she quit college and moved to New York to work full-time as a fashion model. She traveled the world doing stints on the runways in Milan, Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and also enjoyed appearances in a number magazines and catalogs.
1976 to Bob and Sharon Monaghan in a small town of Winthrop. Raised along with her two older brothers, John and Bob, she decided to leave her hometown shortly after her high school graduation to pursue a degree in journalism at Chicago's Columbia College. In order to pay the tuition, the youngster afterwards took a side job as a model for catalogs which surprisingly went quite well.
Monaghan's big acting break came late in 2002, when she was added to the cast of David E. Kelley's "Boston Public" (FOX, 2000-04). Hand-picked by executive producer Kelley for the role of idealistic, young high school teacher Kimberly Woods, Monaghan garnered positive attention from critics and viewers alike during her two-year run on the show. Following the show's cancellation, Monaghan returned to the silver screen in a series of high profile features, starting with "It Runs in the Family" (2003) opposite Michael Douglas, "Winter Solstice" (2004), and the blockbuster smash "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004). Monaghan was quickly spotted by Hollywood directors who cast her in high-profile films like the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie action-comedy, "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" (2005) and "North Country" (2005),