Isla Fisher is born to Scottish parents – a banker father and novelist mother – in the Middle Eastern country of Oman. Soon after, the family settles in Perth, Australia, where Fisher lands her first job – a lottery commercial – at age 12. "When you watch it I'm so small, I'm just a blur," she tells EW. "But I was so excited."
Fisher's television career really takes off with a lead role on Home and Away, a long-running Australian soap opera which once featured Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger. "That show was like an apprenticeship," Fisher tells Elle. "Some of the lines were so laughable, you'd really have to work harder than you ever will again to make them even seem realistic."
At 21, Fisher moves to Europe, making a stop in Paris to study at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Theatre, before crossing paths with comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen in London. Together, the couple moves to Los Angeles in 2002. "I was auditioning and getting many less than enthusiastic responses," she tells Elle. "Then Sacha said, 'You're the funniest girl I know. You should be doing comedies.' And I thought, Wow, that's inspiring coming from the funniest man in the world."
Donning a blonde wig, Fisher lands a small part – as Shaggy's allergy-laden girlfriend – opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar in Scooby-Doo, which grosses more than $150 million at the U.S. box office.
Fisher lands the riotous role of sex-crazed Gloria Cleary – Vince Vaughn's slightly stalkerish love interest – in Wedding Crashers. The film makes over $200 million and earns Fisher an MTV Movie Award. "After Wedding Crashers," she tells Esquire, "I just got so many more opportunities."
It's a girl! Fisher and Cohen welcome their first child, a daughter named Olive. Though the couple never confirmed her pregnancy, Fisher later reveals to Allure she gained 60 lbs. while expecting. "Häagen-Dazs and I had a great time together," she jokes.
Valentine's Day moviegoers fall in love with Fisher and Ryan Reynolds in the adorable romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe. "The biggest problem shooting [the movie] was getting thru scenes with Isla and not laughing," Reynolds tells Moviefone. Later that year, Fisher voices her first animated character, Dr. Mary Lou Larue, in Horton Hears a Who.
Headlining her first film, Fisher earns the envy of girls everywhere as Rebecca Bloomwood in the fashion-forward Confessions of a Shopaholic. "Somebody saw an early cut and told me, 'God, I haven’t been so excited about an actress since I saw Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman,'" producer Jerry Bruckheimer tells Elle.
In Paris, Fisher and Cohen marry in a super-secret ceremony – with just six guests! "They brighten everything up a bit, but you can see that they're not just there to entertain," pal Naomi Watts gushes to Harper's Bazaar. "They're really connected to each other and are taking care of each other the entire time. It's beautiful."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Patrick Riviere/Getty; Getty; Dave Benett/Getty; Everett; Everett; Pacific Coast News; Universal Pictures; Robert Zuckerman/Touchstone Pictures; Splash News Online; Pacific Coast News