Ashley Judd Biography
Ashley Judd was born on April 19
Ashley Judd was born on April 19, 1968 in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of country-music star Naomi Judd and the younger half-sister of singer Wynnona Judd. A single parent, her mother supported Ashley and her sister by taking odd jobs in California and Kentucky.
Ashley spent her first 13 years shuttling between the two states and attended 12 different schools, often living in poverty in remote areas of Kentucky. With no external sources of entertainment, Ashley read books and amused herself by pretending to be various characters while her sister and mother whiled away the time singing.
Their singing paid off, and the family was finally able to leave their financial hardship in the past. Ashley went on to attend the University of Kentucky, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1990 with a degree in French.
At her sister's encouragement, Ashley was able to secure an agent on her first try and in 1987 won a part on the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation". She went on to do more TV, landing a recurring role as Swoosie Kurtz's daughter on "Sisters" in 1991. The following year, she made her film debut with a small part in "Kuffs" (1992).
Ashley was originally meant to have a larger part, but rejected it when she learned of a nude scene. Ashley's first major film role was in the hit independent drama "Ruby In Paradise" (1993).
She garnered considerable acclaim for her subtle, realistic portrayal of a spoiled Tennessee heiress who runs away to sell tourist trinkets in a ramshackle resort, winning an Independent Spirit Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.
After filming Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers", only to have her scenes end up on the cutting room floor, Ashley next found acclaim with her turn in "Smoke" (1995), in which she played the pregnant, drug-addicted daughter of Harvey Keitel and Stockard Channing. The same year, she appeared in the much-lauded "Heat", and then went on to star with Mira Sorvino in the 1996 made-for-TV Marilyn Monroe biopic, "Norma Jean and Marilyn".
Following a substantial role as Matthew McConaughey's wife in "A Time to Kill" (1996) and a lead in the crime flop "A Normal Life" (1996), Ashley starred in the 1997 thriller "Kiss the Girls". The film received mixed reviews but did decent business at the box office, further increasing Ashley's now glowing star wattage.
She landed another lead role the following year in the well-received drama "Simon Birch", and in 1999 could be seen starring in Bruce Beresford's "Double Jeopardy" as an ex-convict planning revenge on those who framed her for a crime she did not commit. Ashley Judd switched gears in 2000, starring as a friend and mentor to a pregnant 17 year-old in "Where the Heart Is".
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