Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly

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Full Name: Jennifer Lynn Connelly

Date of Birth: December 12, 1970

Place of Birth: Catskill Mountains, New York, USA

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 8"

Best Known For: Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind

Jennifer Connelly Biography

This fresh-faced former child model made her film debut at age 12, seen in flashbacks as the young incarnation of Elizabeth McGovern's character in Sergio Leone's gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Horror cultists may remember her as the girl who has a peculiar relationship with the insect world in Dario Argento's Italian fear opus Creepers (1985).

Jennifer Connelly subsequently was featured in mostly forgettable teen fare, with the possible exception of Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986), in which she was overshadowed by David Bowie and a cast of Henson creatures. That same year she was the bright one among a trio of friends--Byron Thomas, Maddie Corman--in the lightweight Seven Minutes in Heaven. Connelly traded on her attractive looks as the only innocent among Southern schemers in Dennis Hopper's thriller, The Hot Spot and as the voluptuous town beauty in the teen comedy Career Opportunities (both 1990). She was perfectly cast as a 1940s Hollywood starlet who got the guy in The Rocketeer (1991; Connelly and co-star Bill Campbell also enjoyed an off-screen relationship as well).

Although she was seemingly on the verge of a major career, Connelly had difficulty finding that one role to catapult her into the public eye. She stopped performing for a while to pursue an Ivy League education and when she decided to resume her career, it was because she had rediscovered a passion for acting. The actress made a rare foray into TV with the 1993 TNT movie The Heart of Justice, in which she essayed a femme fatale. John Singleton cast her as an earth mother lesbian in Higher Learning (1995) while she opted to play another woman of questionable virtues as Nick Nolte's doomed mistress in Mulholland Falls (1996).

Connelly delivered a fine turn as Eleanor, the self-styled bad girl middle sister of a trio of beauties who all succumb to the charms of the town's bad boy (Billy Crudup) in Inventing the Abbotts (1997). She next undertook the challenging role of a woman who may or may not be real in the sci-fi thriller Dark City (1998). After a brief hiatus for motherhood, Connelly returned to the big screen in force with three high profile art-house films in 2000. She was again a woman of mystery, this time a former radical haunting her old lover (Crudup) in Waking the Dead. In Darren Aronofsky's harrowing Requiem for a Dream, Connelly played a wannabe fashion designer with a nasty coke habit who willingly submits to debasement in order to score drugs. She also was the other woman in the life of the abstract artist in Ed Harris' biopic Pollock. In addition to her busy film career, Connelly made her debut as a series regular in the short-lived NYC-set serial The $treet (2000), which purported to be a behind-the-scenes look at a brokerage firm.

The actress had one of her best-reviewed roles as the patient and loving wife of an eccentric math genius diagnosed with schizophrenia (portrayed by Russell Crowe) in A Beautiful Mind (2001), loosely based on the real-life relationship between Alicia Nash and her husband, Nobel laureate John Forbes Nash Jr. Connelly racked up numerous end-of-the-year accolades and garnered a well-deserved Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.

The following year, after a stint out of the spotlight, Connelly portrayed Betty Ross, the tortured love interest in The Hulk, an Universal Pictures project based on the Marvel comic book creature the Incredible Hulk in which Ang Lee attempted to graft serious pathos to the rampaging monster--not quite successfully. In a role more suited to her talents, Connelly turned in a riveting performance in House of Sand and Fog (2003), playing a troubled, substance abusing woman whose family beach home is wrongfully auctioned off by the government, pitting her in a heated battle of wills against the new owner (Ben Kingsley) with haunting results. Connelly's complex portrayal resulted in another flurry of critical acclaim and awards buzz. Next was the high class entry into the horror genre Dark Water (2005) in which she played a protective single mother who moves into a dilapidated and disturbing house and finds herself tormented by inexplicable events involving dark, shadowy water.
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