Date of Birth: December 14th 1975
In 2005, Strickland garnered positive critical comment for the romantic comedy Fever Pitch, and in 2007, she was a cast regular in the television shows The Wedding Bells and Private Practice. Strickland has spoken against the emphasis placed on beauty in the Los Angeles acting community, in which she says her Southern U.S. background has helped to distinguish her from other blonde-haired actors. She has spoken of an affinity for her strong female characters and a desire to avoid sexualizing or sensationalizing her presentation of herself as a woman.
After graduating from high school, Strickland wanted to study drama at college in New York City, but her parents did not want her to live in such a large city so soon. Consequently, she applied instead to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. During her studies there, she joined the Screen Actors Guild and considered using her given name, Katherine, as the first part of her stage name, before deciding she was "much too tomboy" for it. Strickland took a part-time waitressing job at a local restaurant and interned at a casting agency, where one of her tasks was to read lines at auditions for small roles in local film and television projects; the job landed Strickland her first film role. After graduating from university with a Fine Arts degree, she was schooled in New York City, and in late 2003, she moved to Los Angeles, California. In 2006, Strickland received the University of the Arts's Silver Star Alumni Award.
Strickland appeared in two romantic comedy films in 2003. Anything Else, written and directed by Woody Allen, featured her as the girlfriend of Jason Biggs (whom he snubs for Christina Ricci); she said it was a "dream come true" to work with Allen, of whom she is an "obsessive diehard" fan. The film was greeted with lukewarm reviews and dismal ticket sales, though Strickland later referred to it as her "big break". The second, Something's Gotta Give (starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton), was a major critical and commercial success, though Strickland's part in the film was brief. She played the girlfriend of Keaton's character's ex-husband (played by Paul Michael Glaser), a relationship involving age disparity that raised the eyebrows of Keaton and her daughter (Amanda Peet). The following year, she made brief appearances in the direct-to-cable independent film Knots and the poorly received satirical comedy The Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman, playing a partygoer and a game show contestant, respectively.
Strickland has cited Jessica Lange, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton (in Annie Hall), Ione Skye (her Fever Pitch co-star) and Jane Fonda as her inspirations and/or influences; for The Grudge, she mimicked Fonda's performance in Klute (1971) and her "brilliant way in that film of creating tension and fear for the audience just by walking down a hallway and looking over her shoulder." She noted the input of her acting coach, Maggie Flanagan, who instructed Strickland to watch films with the sound turned off to gauge the quality and comprehensibility of a performance, and who Strickland credits as her "Jedi Knight".
Strickland is an advocate of the arts. In 2004, before the release of Anacondas, she hosted the art debut of fellow actress Heidi Jayne Netzley at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, California.