"I try to stay focused on my life and do try not to be brought into the Hollywood fantasy." Jennifer Connelly
Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actress Jennifer Connelly received critical acclaim for her dazzling portrayal of the wife of mathematical genius John Nash in Ron Howard's book-based film, A Beautiful Mind (2001, opposite Russell Crowe). The actress, who debuted with the film Once Upon a Time in America (1984), was also recognized for acting in such films as Labyrinth (1986, costarring David Bowie), The Rocketeer (1991, with Timothy Dalton), the book-based Pollock (2000, starring Ed Harris) and the novel-based Requiem for a Dream (2000, alongside Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto). Additionally, she starred in more recent films like the comic book based Hulk (opposite Eric Bana) and the novel-based House of Sand and Fog (with Ben Kingsley, both in 2003).
5' 8 inches tall Jennifer Connelly, whose measurements are 34C/D-22-34, was listed as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002. On a more personal note, the beautiful actress was romantically linked to such names as actor Josh Charles (born on September 15, 1971; dating in 2000), The Rocketeer costar Billy Campbell (born on July 7, 1959; together 1990-1995; engaged in 1991) and photographer David Dugan (gave her one son). She is currently the wife of Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind costar) and the mother of two sons.
"Surgery? Never considered it. That's not even part of the equation for me. But in terms of looks, how you walk, how much you exercise and how much you eat - all that stuff was really overwhelming for me for a long time, and it made me really self-conscious and kind of twisted for a while. I didn't quite get it." Jennifer Connelly
Yale to Stanford
Childhood and Family:
Of Irish, Polish, Norwegian and Russian descent, Jennifer Lynn Connelly was born on December 12, 1970, to parents Gerad Connelly (clothing manufacturer) and Eileen Connelly (antique dealer). Born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan and stayed for four years with her family in Woodstock, New York.
After relocating to Brooklyn Heights, Jennifer, who is fluent in Italian and French, attended a local school named Saint Ann School. She then enrolled at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and majored in Theater and English. She transferred two years later to Stanford University in Stanford, California. Jennifer also trained in classical theater and improvisation, studying with the late drama tutor Roy London, Howard Fine and Harold Guskin.
On the film set of A Beautiful Mind (2001), Jennifer met actor Paul Bettany (born on May 27, 1971). The couple decided to exchange wedding vows in a private ceremony in Scotland on January 1, 2003, and welcomed their first son, Stellan Bettany, on August 5, 2003. Jennifer also has another son, Kai Dugan (born in July 1997), from her previous relationship with photographer David Dugan.
"I don't think I would be doing this quality of work if it hadn't been for my son. He's changed me. He's helped me to understand myself and find my place in the world." Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer resides in New York and enjoys sports like swimming, gymnastics and bike riding as well as outdoor activities like camping, hiking and walking.
House of Sand and Fog
"You don't want to get rid of your experiences, because they're your experiences - good or bad - and you need them, but it would be great if they weren't on the video shelf!" Jennifer Connelly
10-year-old Jennifer Connelly started her entertainment career as a model with Ford, appearing in newspaper and magazine ads, and TV commercials. She eventually landed her first role as a guest star in an episode of the long-lived British horror anthology Tales of the Unexpected, in May 1982, and appeared in the Duran Duran music video "Union of the Snake."
The portrayal of Elizabeth McGovern's character as a child in Sergio Leone's adaptation of Harry Grey's novel (The Hoods), the mobster epic Once Upon a Time in America (1984, starring Robert De Niro) was Connelly's debut big screen work. She followed it up with her first starring role of a Swiss boarding school girl who is able to communicate telepathically with insects, in Dario Argento's suspense horror Phenomena. She also starred as Natalie Becker, a beautiful A-student, in Linda Feferman's teen comedy Seven Minutes in Heaven, and won a Special Recognition award in the genre of Youth Comedy at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 1986, Connelly was widely remembered as a 15-year-old girl who must solve a giant labyrinth to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King in Jim Henson's dark fantasy Labyrinth (1986, opposite David Bowie). Afterward, she flew to Italy to star as ballerina Claire Hamilton/Natalie Horvath in Peter Del Monte's Étoile (a.k.a. Ballet, 1988), then returned to Hollywood to portray Patrick Dempsey's college sweetheart, Gabriella, in Michael Hoffman's romantic comedy Some Girls (1988).
Entering the 1990s, Connelly costarred with Jerry Hardin in Dennis Hopper's romantic drama, based on Charles Williams' book (Hell Hath No Fury), The Hot Spot (also starring Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen). She also portrayed the daughter of the town's wealthiest family, Josie McClellan, in Bryan Gordon's romantic comedy Career Opportunities (opposite Frank Whaley) and joined with then boyfriend Billy Campbell to star as Jenny Blake in Joe Johnston's fantasy movie The Rocketeer.
Meanwhile, Connelly appeared in a video for Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night" with Jason Priestly, and in television commercials in Japan. She also tried her hand in singing, releasing a single in Japan titled, "Monologue of Love," in which she sings in Japanese. As for modeling, Jennifer also modeled for Miller Beer commercials.
After being seen in the TNT movie The Heart of Justice (1993), Connelly went back to the silver screen to play Irene, a sheltered, well-to-do magazine editor living under the shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, in Betty Kaplan's romantic thriller, based on the novel by Isabel Allende, Of Love and Shadows (1994, alongside Antonio Banderas). In the next years, she became a lesbian college student in John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995), teamed with Nick Nolte and Melanie Griffith in Lee Tamahori's Mulholland Falls (as Allison Pond) and played one of eight friends who spend a weekend of emotional discovery in John Huddles' Far Harbor (both in 1996). The rest of the 1990s saw Connelly play Liv Tyler's sister in Pat O'Connor's romantic drama Inventing the Abbotts (1997) and saw her teamed with Rufus Sewell and Kiefer Sutherland in Alex Proyas' sci-fi thriller Dark City (1998).
Connelly welcomed the new millennium with the role of Billy Crudup's supposedly deceased girlfriend, Sarah Williams, in Keith Gordon's mysterious psychological drama, inspired by Scott Spencer's novel, Waking the Dead. She also received applause at the Independent Spirit Award (nominated for a Best Supporting Female) for portraying Marion Silver, Jared Leto's girlfriend and a heroine addicted fashion designer, in Darren Aronofsky's film adopted from the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., the haunting Requiem for a Dream. Meanwhile, she costarred in Ed Harris' Pollock, a film based on the biography of the artist and leader of abstract expressionist painting, Jackson Pollock, and appeared in the Fox brief-running drama series, The $treet.
"Alicia is the person who's trying to ground John Nash in reality and bring him home, literally, and back to what he was. In A Beautiful Mind, there are scenes that were painful and scary and sad. I didn't have to go through degradation as I did in Requiem for a Dream, but there is a lot of emotional terrain in this movie. There's a tragedy in the family, and it takes a toll on each of them as they try to live with each other." Jennifer Connelly (on her acclaimed role in A Beautiful Mind)
2001 was Connelly's golden year. She took home both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress after dazzlingly portraying Alicia Nash, the wife of a brilliant but asocial mathematician-turned-paranoid-schizophrenic (John Forbes Nash Jr., played by Russell Crowe) in A Beautiful Mind (2001). Ron Howard's brilliant film of schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash Jr, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar, stunned audiences. Two years later, Jennifer became Hulk's (Eric Bana) love interest, Betty Ross, in Ang Lee's screen version of the long-running Marvel comic (The Incredible Hulk), Hulk.
She also received rave reviews for portraying Kathy, an abandoned wife who is evicted from her house, in Vadim Perelman's House of Sand and Fog (2003, costarring Ben Kingsley). The role handed Connelly a Best Actress at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle awards.
Connelly will soon be seen starring as Dahlia Williams, a single mother wounded from a bitter custody dispute, in Walter Salles' thriller movie, adopted from Kôji Suzuki's novel, Dark Water. She is also scheduled to play lead roles in the upcoming films: Todd Field's romantic drama Little Children (with Patrick Wilson and Kate Winslet) and Michael Corrente's drama The Berkeley Connection (alongside Robert Duvall and Dustin Hoffman). Additionally, she reportedly has landed a leading role in a new adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic tragedy Macbeth, along with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
"I so much enjoy being able to completely allow myself to be consumed by a role, and really grow in the process. Once you've done that, it's hard to go back working on things you don't care about." Jennifer Connelly
Kansas City Film Critics Circle: Best Actress, House of Sand and Fog, 2004
BAFTA: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2002
Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2002
British Academy: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, A Beautiful Mind, 2002
Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind (tied with Maggie Smith, Gosford Park; Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom, 2001
Online Film Critics Society: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001
American Film Institute: Featured Actor of the Year, Female, Movies: A Beautiful Mind, 2001
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001
Golden Satellite: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001
Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001