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Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd

Birth Name: Ashley Tyler Ciminella

Birth Date: April 19, 1968

Birth Place: Granada Hills, California, USA

Height: 5' 7"

Measurements: 34B-24-35

Quote: "I was always told I was special. And I was also assured that I had a gift and a purpose."

 


Ashley Judd Biography

Described by her own mother as "an intellectual pinup", Ashley Judd has portrayed a wide array of characters that possess a fierce determination coupled with an alluring sensuality. Whether she is playing a Southerner starting over (her breakthrough role in "Ruby in Paradise" 1993), a pre-fame Marilyn Monroe (HBO's "Norma Jean & Marilyn" 1996) or a kidnap victim who managed to elude her captor ("Kiss the Girls" 1997), this actress delivers strong, beautiful, delicate and forthright performances that have impressed critics and audiences alike.

When her parents divorced, Judd was shuttled between California, Kentucky and Tennessee, attending 12 schools in 13 years. A bookish child, she developed an early interest in performing and, goaded by her older sister, opted to try her luck in Hollywood after completing college. Working as a hostess at the popular restaurant The Ivy, Judd made industry connections and within a year had begun to land stage and screen roles, perhaps most notably as Swoosie Kurtz's troubled daughter Reed on the NBC drama "Sisters". Judd, however, found the small screen role frustrating and negotiated an early release from her contract. The ambitious actress auditioned for the pivotal role of Christian Slater's girlfriend in the comedy "Kuffs" (1992) but as she told Lawrence Grobel in Movieline (October 1997): she "thought they were boiling it down to a booby factor--choosing a pair of breasts." Her agent suggested she pass and accept instead the smaller role of a woman in a paint store and her career began to take shape.

After her award-winning turn as the Tennessee heiress who sets out to find herself in Florida in "Ruby in Paradise", Judd was cast as the sole survivor of a massacre who describes the traumatic event in detail in "Natural Born Killers" (1994). Because her emoting was accompanied by graphic flashbacks, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) requested that director Oliver Stone cut the scene, deeming it too violent and disturbing. (Stone restored it for the 1996 "director's cut" video release.) Judd continued to add to her gallery of supporting roles with a dramatic turn as Harvey Keitel's junkie daughter in "Smoke" and Val Kilmer's unfaithful wife in "Heat" (both 1995) and she brought what she could to the underwritten part of a lawyer's spouse in "A Time to Kill" (1996). Faring better on the small screen, Judd displayed her intelligence and skill (as well as a considerable amount of flesh) as the younger incarnation of Marilyn Monroe in "Norma Jean and Marilyn", which brought her an Emmy nomination. While "Normal Life" (1996) was originally intended for theatrical release, it was relegated to HBO. Nevertheless, it contained her disturbing, impassioned portrayal of an unhinged woman who drives her caring husband to a life of crime in order to satisfy her acquisitive nature.

In her first Hollywood lead, Judd was cast as a capable doctor who, having escaped from a kidnapper, agrees to help the police track down the criminal in "Kiss the Girls" (1997). Again, her native intelligence and striking beauty were used to good effect, even if the surrounding efforts were not top-drawer. The actress exhibited her sexy side as the local girl who falls for a drifter in "The Locusts" (also 1997) and offered a memorable, if relatively brief, turn as a single mother in the sentimental period drama "Simon Birch" (1998). Judd returned to thrillers as an innocent woman who, after serving time for murdering her abusive husband, discovers he was still alive in "Double Jeopardy" (1999) and a suspected serial killer tracked by Ewan McGregor in "Eye of the Beholder" (2000).

In 2001, Judd starred opposite Hugh Jackman as a betrayed woman who becomes obsessed with studying male behavior in the romantic-comedy feature "Someone Like You," which did not ignite any special box office sparks. A return to form in the middlebrow thriller "High Crimes" (2002) as a high powered laywer stunned by her husband's shocking past--opposite her "Kiss the Girls" co-star Morgan Freenan (though not a sequel)--also did little to advance the actress craft or audience pull, though she did provide some fire and flavor to her softer follow-up, the seriocomic "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002), playing the flashback version of Vivi, the highly strung Ellen Burstyn character. She was then cast as in a small but crucial supporting role as Tina Modotti in the story based on the life of Frida Kahlo, "Frida" (2002), as a favor to Judd's longtime friend Salma Hayek. After a stint on Broadway in the role of Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and a never-realized flirtation with the role of "Catwoman" (later played by Halle Berry), Judd returned to the big screen in 2004 as Linda Lee Porter, the devoted wife and muse to the great American composer/songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) in the elegant and sophisticated biopic "De-Lovely."

Ashley Judd Filmography

Bug (2006) .... Agnes
Come Early Morning (2006) .... Lucy Fowler
De-Lovely (2004) .... Linda Porter
Twisted (2004) .... Jessica Shepard
Frida (2002) .... Tina Modotti
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) .... Younger Vivi Abbott Walker
High Crimes (2002) .... Claire Kubik
Someone Like You... (2001) .... Jane Goodale
... aka Animal Attraction (UK)
The Ryan Interview (2000) (TV) .... Fredericka Rose
Where the Heart Is (2000) .... Lexie Coop
Double Jeopardy (1999) .... Elizabeth 'Libby' Parsons
... aka Doppelmord (Germany)
... aka Double condamnation (Canada: French title)
Eye of the Beholder (1999) .... Joanna Eris
... aka Voyeur (Canada: French title)
Our Friend, Martin (1999) (V) (voice) .... Mrs. Dale
Simon Birch (1998) .... Rebecca Wenteworth
... aka Angels and Armadillos
Kiss the Girls (1997) .... Dr. Kate McTiernan
The Locusts (1997) .... Kitty
... aka A Secret Sin (UK)
Normal Life (1996) .... Pam Anderson
Dick Richards (1996) .... Julie
A Time to Kill (1996) .... Carla Brigance
Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) (TV) .... Norma Jean Dougherty
... aka Norma Jean and Marilyn (USA: video box title)
Heat (1995) .... Charlene Shiherlis
Smoke (1995) .... Felicity
... aka Smoke - Raucher unter sich (Germany)
The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995) .... Callie
... aka Darkly Noon
... aka Passion des Darkly Noon, Die (Germany)
Natural Born Killers (1994) (scenes deleted) .... Grace Mulberry
Ruby in Paradise (1993) .... Ruby Lee Gissing
Till Death Us Do Part (1992) (TV) .... Gwen Fox
... aka Married for Murder
Kuffs (1992) .... Wife of Paint Store Owner
"Sisters" .... Reed Halsey (1991-1994)
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" .... Ensign Lefler (2 episodes, 1991)
... aka Star Trek: TNG (USA: promotional abbreviation)

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