Rachel Emily Nichols (born January 8, 1980) is an American actress and model. Nichols began modeling while attending Columbia University in New York City in the late 1990s. She transitioned into television and film acting in the early 2000s; she had a bit part in the romantic drama film Autumn in New York (2000) and a one-episode role in the fourth season of the hit show Sex and the City (2002).
Her first major role was in the comedy film Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003). She had the main role in the crime drama television series The Inside (2005), though it was cancelled after one season. Nichols gained recognition playing Rachel Gibson in the final season of the serial action television series Alias (2005–2006) and for her role in the horror film The Amityville Horror (2005).
Nichols' first starring film role was in the horror–thriller P2 (2007). She had a supporting role in the coming-of-age film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008) and appeared in Star Trek (2009). She starred in the action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and will star in the upcoming sword and sorcery film Conan the Barbarian (2011).
After G.I. Joe, Nichols' next project was the direct-to-video horror film For Sale by Owner in which her character was Anna Farrier. Variety reported in October 2009 that Nichols had been cast to star in The Loop, in which she would play "a librarian who joins a highway patrolman to uncover the mysteries behind the cryptic sayings spoken by an ancient parrot." She starred as Leslie Spencer in the 2010 independent crime drama film Meskada, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and had no domestic distributor as of April 2010. However, the film received a limited release on December 3, 2010 in the United States. Nichols was cast in the upcoming 3-D sword and sorcery film Conan the Barbarian by March 2010. She portrays the character of Tamara, who is a master of martial arts and has been trained to be the queen's servant, and she is also the potential Conan's love interest. The film is set to be released on August 19, 2011. Deadline reported that Nichols has been promoted to a series regular on CBS's Criminal Minds. On May 28, 2011 Deadline reported Rachel Nichols had been let go from Criminal Minds.
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Rachel Nichols at 'Conan The Barbarian' Los Angeles premiere