'00s TV icon emerges on red carpet for first time in four years (2024)

If you turned on a TV in the early 2000s, chances are you would have seen a pair of very blue eyes looking back at you.

They would have belonged to Alexis Bledel, who was indisputably one of the teen queens of the noughties thanks to her role in one of the most popular shows of the era, Gilmore Girls.

The mother-daughter dramedy aired from 2000 to 2007, making Bledel a global star.

Since her debut role as top-of-her-class bookworm Rory Gilmore, Bledel went on to build an impressive career in the limelight, with plenty of TV and movie credits to her name.

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'00s TV icon emerges on red carpet for first time in four years (1)

In recent years, however, Bledel has been keeping a low profile, so it was a surprise to many when she made an appearance at the AIDS Foundation Oscars 2024 party.

The star attended the esteemed Oscars viewing party, hosted by Elton John, in West Hollywood on Sunday.

E News reports this is the first time Bledel has been photographed on a red carpet since she attended the 2020 SAG Awards.

So what has been keeping Bledel busy? Read on to learn more about her life and career.

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Becoming Rory Gilmore

Bledel only had one on-screen appearance – a brief, uncredited role in the 1998 film Rushmore – under her belt when she landed the role of fast-talking bookworm Rory Gilmore.

This being so, Gilmore Girls was her first official screen credit.

The then-19-year-old Bledel became a household name and the show ran for a highly successful seven seasons.

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Gilmore Girls was wildly popular, and catapulted its teen lead to icon status.

Bledel was soon gracing the covers of magazines – perhaps most famously Vanity Fair's 2003 'It's Totally Raining Teens' spread, also featuring Hilary Duff, the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan, Mandy Moore and other Y2K It girls.

Her career on screen

Her TV fame also undoubtedly helped Bledel land roles in some high-profile movies.

These included her film debut Tuck Everlasting (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Sin City (2005).

And, of course, she was part of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

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The movies, released in 2005 and 2008, were adaptations of the popular books – a staple of many a 2000s girl's bookshelf – by Ann Brashares.

Bledel co-starred with Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn; the quartet remain close friends to this day.

The actress continued clocking up acting credits in movies including The Good Guy, Post Grad and Jenny's Wedding, in which she plays the fiancée of Katherine Heigl's titular character.

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She also appeared in TV series including ER and Mad Men.

She once again became a small-screen lady with her major role in The Handmaid's Tale.

What is Alexis Bledel's first language?

Bledel's first language is Spanish, and she didn't start learning English until she was school-aged.

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A high-profile love life

Bledel's love life has also attracted no shortage of attention over the years. This is mainly because she's dated two of her co-stars.

Bledel dated her Gilmore Girls love interest Milo Ventimiglia, who played 'bad boy' Jess, from 2002 to 2006.

Things had been serious, with the two actors reportedly discussing marriage.

She is also rumoured to have had a brief romance with Jared Padalecki, who played her first on screen boyfriend, Dean.

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In 2012, when she guest-starred in Mad Men, she struck up a romance with Vincent Kartheiser, also a love interest (of sorts) in the show.

The pair married in 2014 and welcomed a son the following year, but largely kept their relationship out of the public eye, only rarely attending events together.

After eight years of marriage, Kartheiser filed for divorce in 2022; it was finalised weeks later.

These days, Bledel is seemingly single and raising her now nine-year-old son.

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Why Alexis Bledel left The Handmaid's Tale

A year after her appearance in the Gilmore Girls reboot series A Year in the Life in 2016, Bledel enjoyed a triumphant renaissance with her role in The Handmaid's Tale.

The actress' harrowing performance as Emily, or Ofglen, in the dystopian drama won her the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama series in 2017.

She was subsequently nominated for Emmys for the next three years.

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So, it came as a shock to fans when Bledel abruptly announced in May 2022 that she would not be returning for the show's fifth season.

"After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time," she said in a statement to EW.

"I am forever grateful to [showrunner] Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support."

No further information was provided, and the reasoning for Bledel's departure remains a mystery.

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There has, of course, been plenty of speculation among fans as to what prompted the move.

Some suspect Bledel was unsettled by her character's increasingly bleak scenes and experience.

However, given the actress' famously private and taciturn nature, we're not likely to get the full explanation from her anytime soon.

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A potential return to the sisterhood

Bledel hasn't returned to screens since announcing her departure from The Handmaid's Tale.

However, rumours have been circulating about a third installment of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants franchise.

Amber Tamblyn, who played Tibby, spoke to Entertainment Tonight in 2022 about the potential film.

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"There's a lot going on with the project," Tamblyn told Entertainment Tonight.

"We've been working on it for, I don't know, it feels like a decade at this point. My hope is that it'll get made at some point."

Bledel also addressed questions about a third film speaking to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

"I really hope [we can do it]. I would love it. It would be the best thing," she said.

Despite the whispers, a third film has not yet been confirmed.

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Bledel reunites with her onscreen sisters

While there has been no news on another film from the franchise, the women from The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants franchise had a wholesome reunion at the end of last year.

It came as they attended the SAG-AFTRA Foundation panel event for the Barbie movie to support their costar and friend America Ferrera.

Ferrera shared the reunion on Instagram posting a video of the four women, herself, Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn, posing for photos at the Barbie event.

"The sisterhood came through all in pink to celebrate my performance in Barbie last night," Ferrera captioned the post.

"I love these women with all my heart #sisterhood forever.

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First red carpet appearance in years

Bledel's most recent public appearance was also in support of her Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants costar.

She attended Elton John's famed Oscars viewing party in support of America Ferrera, who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in Barbie.

Bledel is keeping out of the spotlight

Bledel is keeping a very low profile these days, with her recent outing for the Oscars being her first red carpet appearance in years.

The star has always been known to be a very private person, and that seems to have become even more so since departing The Handmaids Tale two years ago.

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While Bledel does have an Instagram account, she hasn't posted anything since October 2014. She also hasn't posted to her Twitter account since 2015.

As she is laying low these days, it is hard to know what the star's next move will be – but with her most recent appearances being in support of Ferrera, it is clear she is committed to spending time with her nearest and dearest.

'00s TV icon emerges on red carpet for first time in four years (2024)
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