Claudia Wells

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Claudia Wells
Claudia Grace Wells

(1966-07-05) July 5, 1966 (age 57)
Occupation(s)Actress, businesswomen
Years active1979–present
Known forJennifer Parker in Back to the Future

Claudia Grace Wells (born July 5, 1966) is an American actress and businesswoman, best known for her role as Jennifer Parker in the 1985 film Back to the Future.

Life and career[edit]

Wells was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to American parents of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Germany, Russia and Czechia). Her family moved to San Francisco when she was seven weeks old. She went to Marin Country Day School and French-American Bilingual School. Her father, a parasitologist, and sister, Jennifer, still live in San Francisco,[1] but Wells moved to Los Angeles at the age of 14, later graduating from Beverly Hills High School. Wells also has a brother.[2]

She started acting with appearances in TV shows. When she was 15, she became a born-again Christian at the urging of Dean Jones on the set of Herbie, the Love Bug.[3]

Wells played Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly's girlfriend, in the 1985 film Back to the Future. She almost did not end up in the first film of the successful franchise. According to Wells, she had been cast, but a pilot she had done for ABC had been picked up, and she was contractually forced to drop out of Back to the Future. During that time, Eric Stoltz had been shooting for five weeks in the role of Marty McFly. Melora Hardin was slated for the role of Jennifer though she never actually filmed any scenes. The producers halted filming and replaced Stoltz with Michael J. Fox. By then, Wells's pilot had been finished and she was recast as Jennifer, now shooting alongside Fox, having never filmed a frame with Stoltz.[4]

That same year (1985), Wells co-starred in Stop the Madness, an anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration, featuring several famous musicians, actors and athletes. The following year, she appeared in the TV movie Babies Having Babies, and the short-lived series Fast Times, a TV adaptation of the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Wells played Linda Barrett, portrayed by Phoebe Cates in the film). Following Fast Times, she did not appear again on-screen until the 1996 independent film, Still Waters Burn (released on DVD February 12, 2008).

Leaving acting[edit]

After her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Wells put her career on hold for family reasons, and told the studio she would be unavailable to reprise her Back to the Future role for the two sequels.[5] Actress Elisabeth Shue replaced her.

On December 19, 1991, Wells started a clothing store, Armani Wells, which she still manages as of 2023.[6][7]

Return to acting[edit]

After a lengthy absence, Wells returned to acting in 2011 with a small role in the independent science-fiction film, Alien Armageddon.[8]

The same year, Wells had the opportunity to reprise her role from Back to the Future 26 years after her last appearance in the series. She provided the voice of Jennifer Parker for Back to the Future: The Game.[9] Wells announced that her next project would be a horror film titled Room & Board.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Back to the Future Jennifer Parker
2008 Still Waters Burn Laura Harper
2011 Alien Armageddon Eileen Daly
2013 You Are Not Alone Cristina's Mom Short film
2013 Max Mom Short film
2014 Starship: Rising Captain Savage
2015 EP/Executive Protection Pam Travis
2015 Back in Time Herself Back to the Future documentary[11]
2015 Back to the 2015 Future Jennifer Parker Short film
2018 Groove Street Julie
2018 System Failure Mrs Henderson Short film
2019 Vitals Margaret Parks


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Family Denise / Barbara Collins 2 episodes
1981 Rise and Shine Patsy D'Allisandro 1 episode
1981 Strike Force Patty Episode: "Magic Man"
1982 Herbie, the Love Bug Julie MacLane 5 episodes
1982 Lovers and Other Strangers Mary Claire Delvecchio Television film
1984 Fame Marya Episode: "Appearances"
1984 Anatomy of an Illness Sarakit Television film
1984–1985 Off the Rack Shannon Halloran 7 episodes
1984–1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special Lisa / Wendy 2 episodes
1985 Trapper John, M.D. Candy Episode: "Long Ago and Far Away"
1985 Simon & Simon Phoebe Glass Episode: "Slither"
1985 Able to Do
1986 Fast Times Linda Barrett 7 episodes
1986 Brothers Sarah Episode: "Joe Leaves This Old World Behind"
2011 The Mentalist Chief Marnie Green Episode: "Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien?"
2014 Zero Impact Home Future Petal Short series
2015 The Comeback Kids Herself Episode: "Re-United and It Feels So Good"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Back to the Future: The Game Jennifer Parker Episode 3: "Citizen Brown"
Episode 4: "Double Visions"


  1. ^ "Claudia Wells, the Original 'Jennifer' from 'Back to the Future' Appears at Wondercon 2014". April 22, 2014.
  2. ^ "Videos". November 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "How 'Back to the Future' actress Claudia Wells became a Christian". October 19, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "What Marty McFly's Girlfriend Is Up To In The Future". Yahoo!. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Back to the Future's Claudia Wells: Shining Brighter Than Ever Before". The Huffington Post. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  6. ^ "Actress Claudia Wells talks about her high-end men's resale shop, Armani Wells".
  7. ^ "Welcome to Armani Wells".
  8. ^ Clint, Caffeinated. "Claudia Wells in Alien Armageddon". Moviehole. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Back To The Future Episode 1: It's About Time Video Game, Exclusive Behind The Scenes Part IV: How We Got Jennifer HD". Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Wells, Claudia. "Announcing My Next Project..." Twitter. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  11. ^ "Back in Time Film". Retrieved March 19, 2015.

External links[edit]