Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Lynn Connelly

Full Name: Jennifer Lynn Connelly
Date of Birth:
December 12, 1970
Place of Birth: Catskill Mountains, New York, USA
Height: 5' 8"
Hair color: Brunette
Eye color: Green

Nationality: American
Raised in:
Brooklyn Heights
Education: Saint Ann school
Claim To Fame:
The Rocketeer(1991), Requiem for a Dream(2000), A Beautiful Mind(2001)


"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 was born December 12th 1970, at Catskill Mountains, New York. The daughter of Gerard, a clothing retailer, and Eileen Connelly, an antiques dealer, she spent four years in Woodstock, New York, but grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan. She attended Saint Ann school in Brooklyn Heights, and when she was ten, family friends suggested to her parents that they should take her to a modelling audition. article continued below...

Continued Biography

This led Jennifer to a modelling career and she soon began appearing in magazine ads, and then later in commercials. Her acting debut came in an episode of the British horror-anthology series "Tales of the Unexpected" (1979). Her first movie experience came when a casting director introduced her to legendary filmmaker Sergio Leone, who was seeking an actress who could fill the role of a young girl to dance in his dramatic epic, _Once Upon A Time In America (1984)_ . Although having little screen time, the few minutes she was on-screen were enough to reveal her talent.

After Leone's movie, horror master Dario Argento signed her to play her first starring role in his thriller Phenomena (1985). The film made a lot of money in Europe, but unfortunately was heavily cut for American distribution. The late eighties saw her appearing in a smash hit and three lesser seen films. Amongst the latter was her roles in Étoile (1988), as a ballerina, and in Some Girls (1988), where she played a self absorbed college freshman. The smash hit was Labyrinth (1986), released in 1986. Jennifer got the job after a nation-wide talent search for the lead in this fantasy directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas. Her career entered in a terribly calm phase after those films, until Dennis Hopper, who was impressed after having seen her in 'Some Girls', cast Jennifer as an ingénue small-town girl in Hot Spot, The (1990/I), based on the fifties crime novel 'Hell Hath No Fury'.

It received mixed critical reviews, but it was not a box office success. Rocketeer, The (1991), an ambitious Touchstone super-production, came to the rescue. The film was an old-fashioned adventure flick about a man capable of flying with rockets on his back. Critics saw in 'Rocketeer' a top-quality movie, a homage to those old films of the 30s in which the likes of Errol Flynn starred. After Rocketeer, Jennifer made Career Opportunities (1991), _Heart of Justice, The (1992) (TV)_ , Mulholland Falls (1996) and _Inventing the Abbots (1997)_ . In 1998 she was invited by director Alex Proyas to make Dark City (1998), a strange, visually stunning science fiction extravaganza.

In this movie, Jennifer played the main character's wife, and she delivered an acclaimed performance. The film itself didn't break any box-office record but received positive reviews. This led Jennifer to a contract with Fox for the TV series "$treet, The" (2000) , a main part in the memorable and dramatic love-story Waking the Dead (2000/I), and more important, a breakthrough part in the polemic and applauded independent Requiem for a Dream (2000), a tale about the haunting lives of drug addicts and the subsequent process of decadence and destruction. In Requiem, Jennifer had her career's most courageous, difficult part, a performance that earned her a Spirit Award Nomination.

She followed this role with Pollock (2000), in which she played Pollock's mistress, Ruth Klingman. Most recently, Ron Howard chose her to co-star with Russell Crowe in Beautiful Mind, A (2001), the film that tells the true story of John Forbes Nash Jr., a man who suffered from mental illness but eventually beats this and wins the Nobel Prize in 1994. Jennifer plays Forbes' wife and won a Golden Globe, BAFTA, AFI and Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

  • Son Kai born. Father is photographer David Dugan. [July 1997]
  • Cut a single in Japan, which she sang in phonetic Japanese.
  • She says her agent made up the idea that she is semi-fluent in the language.
  • Speaks fluent Italian and French.
  • Was born in Catskills Mountains and raised in Brooklyn Heights.
  • Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002. Engaged to Beautiful Mind, A (2001) co-star Paul Bettany [2002].
  • The character "Veronica" in "Heathers" was originally written with her in mind, but she turned the role down.
  • Expecting first child with husband Paul Bettany sometime in late 2003.
  • Daughter-in-law of actor Thane Bettany.

Personal Quotes
  • "Acting is great. When it works it is so fulfilling. You do the research and work with other talented people who are creative and compassionate and use all your faculties. The ability to express yourself completely is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Each film is a chapter in my life wherein I learn so much more about myself."
  • "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."
  • [talking about the films she did in the beginning of her career]: "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!"
  • [talking about her character in A Beautiful Mind]: "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."
  • [talking about her son Kai]: "We've already done plays together. Very short plays. He dictates them to me. Sometimes he casts me, sometimes he doesn't. And when I'm in the play, he'll sometimes say to me, 'No Mom, you didn't say that right!'"
  • "I wore a beautiful silver ballgown, which was a refreshing change from the blue jeans I wore in almost every other scene. It was really a gorgeous set, with masses of huge chandeliers and thousands of flickering candles, hundreds of silken cushions and curtains, and masses of people in strange masks and ornate dresses. There was the thrill of dancing with David Bowie to one of the songs he composed especially for the film. There wasn't enough room, for technical reasons, to really dance around properly, but we just drifted slowly and gracefully (I hope!) to David's music, and he looked fabulous! It's all a sort of magical fantasy sequence inside a huge bubble." -- Jennifer on "The Ball Room Dance" scene, her favorite from "Labyrinth".
  • [about her son]: "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."
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