Kimberly J Brown
By the time Kimberly J Brown earned attention and acclaim for her co-starring role as the pre-teen daughter of a Southern woman who has difficulty putting down roots in the highly-regarded indie "Tumbleweeds" (1999) she was already a veteran performer with three Broadway shows and an Emmy-nominated stint on a daytime serial on her resume. As Ava Walker, the petite brunette shone as the 12-year-old looking to finally settle in one place and enjoy some semblance of a normal life, yet equally understanding of her free-spirited mother. With British actress Janet McTeer (who managed the appropriate North Carolinian accent), Brown crafted a believable familial relationship which lent an aura of authenticity to the film.
Born in Virginia in 1984, Brown began her career as a child model with the Ford Agency as age five. Two years later, she was among the pack of nine children onstage in John Guare's Tony-nominated Broadway play "Four Baboons Adoring the Sun". That part in turn led to Brown's stint as the young Cosette in the long-running musical "Les Miserables". Brown later appeared as young Kim and in the ensemble of the 1994 highly-praised, award-winning revival of "Show Boat", staged by Harold Prince. By this time, the youngster was displaying her prodigious talent and winning a legion of fans as Marah Lewis on the popular CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light". During her five years (1993-98) on the soap, Brown literally grew up in front of viewers and her emotional and touching work during the 1995-96 season brought her a Daytime Emmy nomination and higher visibility. She went on to portray the spoiled cousin of Jena Malone's titular "Ellen Foster" (CBS, 1997) and a teenage witch in the Disney Channel comedy-drama "Halloweentown" (1998) before her star-making turn in "Tumbleweeds".