Amanda Righetti was born on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada. The youngest of eight children, she has six sisters (one of whom is now a dealer in a Vegas casino) and one brother. Growing up in Sin City, Amanda had some unusual experiences: "One time I was walking down Paradise Road," she recalls, "and this guy pulls up and says, 'How much?' I was like, 'I'm not a hooker!'... It was one of those 'only in Vegas' things."
Amanda was outgoing as a child, and a bit of a tomboy. "I used to get into fights with boys all the time," she admits. Once she hit her teen years, Amanda grew up fast, partying and having some tumultuous, almost soap-operatic relationships with boyfriends.
Soon Amanda was eager to strike out on her own, so she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Ironically, her first gig was on the Las Vegas-set CSI in late 2001, which she followed up with an appearance in the movie Angel Blade (2002).
From there, Amanda was cast in the lead role in a FOX TV pilot called No Place Like Home, produced by Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman. The pilot was not picked up to be made into a series, but Amanda received crucial exposure, and FOX executives remembered her when they were casting a role that would prove to be Amanda's ticket to stardom.
That role was Hailey Nichol on the hit series The O.C. After her first appearance midway through the show's first season in late 2003, Amanda made a dozen more in the months that followed, winning over fans as the rebellious daughter of Caleb Nichol. But her success, ironically, would take her away from The O.C. during its second season.
Amanda's rising stardom and popularity convinced FOX executives to cast her in their new O.C.-esque summer series, North Shore. She replaced fellow O.C. actress Navi Rawat as Tessa Lewis before North Shore aired, with an understanding that if the new show, set in Hawaii, didn't pan out, she could return to The O.C.
Sure enough, despite its pricey sets and exotic locale, North Shore looked to be in trouble as FOX cut back the number of episodes to air in late 2004. Since then, there have been rumors circulating that the show would be canceled (despite regular appearances by Shannen Doherty), but they haven't yet been confirmed. Meanwhile, Amanda reprised her Hailey Nichol role on one episode of The O.C. in November 2004.
Amanda's most recent project is Romy and Michelle: In the Beginning (2005), a made-for-TV movie in which she took a supporting role. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Hawaii, Amanda is engaged to Jordan Alan.