Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, to Nanette (Dozier) and Martin Bledel. Her parents are both Spanish-speakers (her mother was born in Arizona and raised in Mexico, and her father was born in Argentina), and Alexis's ancestry includes Danish, German, English, Scottish, Irish, and French.
Bledel's parents encouraged her to try community theater in Houston when she was 8 years old, hoping it would help their daughter overcome her shyness. After graduating, she enrolled at NYU as a film major. In the spring of 2000, Bledel landed a manager through her modeling agency and headed to Los Angeles for her first pilot season, where she quickly landed the coveted role of Rory on Gilmore Girls (2000).