Ashley Judd (born Ashley Tyler Ciminella; April 19, 1968) is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists. She is the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the half-sister of Wynonna Judd. While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades, she has increasingly become involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism.
Judd has had leading roles in films including Ruby in Paradise (1993), Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996), Kiss the Girls (1997), Double Jeopardy (1999), Where the Heart Is (2000), High Crimes (2002), De-Lovely (2004), Bug (2006), Dolphin Tale (2011), Divergent (2014), Dolphin Tale 2 (2014), and The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015). She starred as Rebecca Winstone in the 2012 television series Missing, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. In 2010, she earned a one-year mid-career master's degree in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She is a well-known Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball fan, being present at most games.
Judd was born in Granada Hills, Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry.Ashley's elder sister, Wynonna, is also a country music singer. Her paternal grandfather was of Sicilian descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster. At the time of her birth, her mother was unemployed; she did not become well known as a singer until the early 1980s. Judd's parents divorced in 1972. The following year, her mother took Ashley back to Naomi's native Kentucky, where Judd spent the majority of her childhood.
Judd attended 13 schools before college, including the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky), Paul G. Blazer High School (Ashland, Kentucky) and Franklin High School in Tennessee. She briefly tried modeling in Japan during a school break. An alumna of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky, she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater, and women's studies. She spent a semester studying in France as part of her major. She graduated from the UK Honors Program and was nominated to Phi Beta Kappa but did not graduate with her class. Forgoing her commitment to join the Peace Corps, after college she drove to Hollywood, where she studied with acting teacher Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. During this time, she worked as a hostess at The Ivy restaurant and lived in a Malibu rental house, which burned down in 1993. Around that time, her half-sister Wynonna Judd leased her a historic farmhouse and 10 acres of land in Williamson County, Tennessee. She moved to Tennessee and lived near her mother Naomi and sister Wynonna.Judd at an ABC Missing event at The Paley Center in April 2012
Judd appeared as Ensign Robin Lefler, a Starfleet officer, in two 1991 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Darmok" and "The Game". From 1991 to 1994, she had a recurring role as Reed, the daughter of Alex (Swoosie Kurtz), on the NBC drama Sisters. She made her feature film debut with a small role in 1992's Kuffs. In 1993, Judd fought for and was cast in her first starring role playing the title character in Victor Nuñez's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize dramatic winner Ruby in Paradise. Convinced that this role would shape the rest of her career, Judd was extremely nervous for the audition, nearly getting into a car accident en route. "From the first three sentences, I knew it was written for me", she told the San Jose Mercury News. She received rave reviews playing Ruby Lee Gissing, a young woman trying to make a new life for herself, and it was this performance that would launch her career as an actress. Nuñez told author James L. Dickerson that the resonance of the character was Judd's creation: "The resonance, those moments, was not contrived. It was just a matter of creating the scene and trusting that it was worth telling."
Oliver Stone, who had seen her in Nuñez's film, cast Judd in Natural Born Killers, but her scenes were later cut from the version of the film released theatrically. The following year, she gained further critical acclaim for her role as Harvey Keitel's estranged daughter in Wayne Wang's Smoke and also as Val Kilmer's wife in Michael Mann's Heat. That same year she also played the role of Callie in Philip Ridley's dark, adult fairy tale, The Passion of Darkly Noon. In 1996, she co-starred with Mira Sorvino as Marilyn Monroe in Norma Jean and Marilyn, where she recreated the photo shoot for the centerfold for the first issue of Playboy. By the end of the 1990s, Judd had managed to achieve significant fame and success as a leading actress, after leading roles in several thrillers that performed well at the box office, including Kiss the Girls in 1997 and 1999's Double Jeopardy.
Several of her early 2000s films, including 2001's Someone Like You and 2002's High Crimes, received only mixed reviews and moderate box office success; although she did receive positive recognition, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, for her performance in the 2004 biography of Cole Porter, De-Lovely, opposite Kevin Kline. In the same year, however, she starred in Twisted, the worst-reviewed movie of 2004 with 131 of 133 critics panning it. To date, Twisted is the last major Hollywood film in which she received top billing.
In June 2007, Goody's Family Clothing announced they were going to be releasing three fashion clothing lines with Judd in the fall to be called "AJ", "Love Ashley" and "Ashley Judd". Goody's declared bankruptcy a year later due to slow sales and its last store closed in February 2009.
Judd is currently the magazine advertising "face" of American Beauty, an Estée Lauder cosmetic brand sold exclusively at Kohl's department stores, and H. Stern jewelers. In early 2012, however, her image suddenly disappeared from American Beauty's website.
In 2011, Judd co-starred with Patrick Dempsey in the film Flypaper. It grossed only ,100 total in its very limited theatrical release and received a 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating (15 of 18 critics panned it). That April, Judd released her memoir All That is Bitter and Sweet, where she talks about her trials and tribulations from adolescence to adulthood. In 2012, Judd starred as Rebecca Winstone on the ABC series Missing. The series was not renewed for a second season.
In 2014, Judd appeared as Natalie Prior in Divergent, which she reprised in the 2015 sequel Insurgent.
In 2014, Judd was the narrator of the documentary film about Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, Love is a Verb, directed by Terry Spencer Hesser.
In 2015, Judd became the first woman to narrate the opening for the telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
In December 1999, Judd became engaged to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti, who was driving in the Champ Car World Series. Since the demise of the Champ Car World Series, Franchitti has raced in IndyCar and NASCAR. They married in December 2001 at Skibo Castle. They had no children together, with Judd telling the Sunday Mail that "it's unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries". They divorced in 2013.
Judd attends University of Kentucky basketball games regularly (frequently sitting in the student section), and has also attended several Kentucky football games.
In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas, and stayed for 47 days. She was there for treatment of depression, insomnia, and codependency.
A disagreement between Judd and Indy race car driver Milka Duno took place during the 2007 IndyCar season. After the final race, she stated to the media: "I know this is not very sportsmanlike, but they've got to get the 23 car (Duno) off the track. It's very dangerous. I'm tired of holding my tongue. She shouldn't be out there. When a car is 10 miles [an hour] off the pace, it's not appropriate to be racing. People's lives are at stake."
By May 2007, Judd had completed a bachelor's degree in French at the University of Kentucky. She said that she had completed her degree requirements in 1990 with 27 more credit hours taken than the required 120 hours, but had mistakenly thought she was one class short of the necessary requirements. At this time, she realized that she only needed to "sign a piece of paper" to graduate and receive her diploma.
Judd was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, on May 9, 2009. She subsequently earned a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree (MC/MPA) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010.
In August 2016, Judd enrolled at UC Berkeley to pursue a PhD in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Six weeks later she took a medical leave of absence citing siege headaches. As of March 2018 she had not returned to the program.
In October 2015, Judd told Variety that she had been sexually harassed by a studio mogul, but did not name the person. In October 2017, she said the person was Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax, and said that the sexual harassment occurred during the filming of Kiss the Girls.
On April 30, 2018, a defamation and sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by Judd against Harvey Weinstein stating that he hurt her career by spreading lies about her after she rejected his sexual advances.
For more than a decade, Judd's humanitarian work has focused on gender equality and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls. In 2016, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency. As of May 2018, she had so far visited UNFPA’s projects for women and girls affected by humanitarian crises in Jordan, Turkey, Ukraine and Bangladesh, and its development work in India and Sri Lanka.
Judd has also travelled with YouthAIDS to places affected by illness and poverty such as Cambodia, Kenya, and Rwanda. She has since become an advocate for preventing poverty and promoting awareness internationally. She has met with political and religious leaders on behalf of the deprived about political and social change.Judd has also narrated three documentaries for YouthAIDS that aired on the Discovery Channel, in National Geographic, and on VH1.
In 2011, she joined the Leadership Council of the International Center for Research on Women. Other organizations Judd has been involved with include Women for Women International and Equality Now.
Judd is active on the speakers' circuit, giving speeches about gender equality, abuse and humanitarian topics.
Other workJudd (upper left) on the cover of Ms. magazine's "This is what a feminist looks like" 2003 issue
Judd has supported the following charities and foundations:
In 2008, Judd supported Barack Obama's presidential campaign. In 2009, she appeared in a one-minute video advertisement for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, in which Judd condemned Alaska governor Sarah Palin for supporting aerial wolf hunting. In response, Palin stated the reason these wolves are killed is to protect the caribou population in Alaska. Palin called the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund an "extreme fringe group". In 2010, Judd signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund's petition to urge Governor Steve Beshear to protect Kentucky's homeless animals through tough enforcement of the state's Humane Shelter Law.Judd meeting with Senator Richard Lugar in 2005
Judd is active in humanitarian and political causes. She was appointed Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, an education and prevention program of the international NGO Population Services International (PSI), promoting AIDS prevention and treatment. Judd was honored November 10, 2009, as the recipient of the fourth annual USA Today Hollywood Hero, awarded for her work with PSI. On October 29, 2006, Judd appeared at a "Women for Ford" event for Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. She has also campaigned extensively locally and nationally for a variety of Democratic candidates, including President Barack Obama in critical swing states.
On September 8, 2010, CNN interviewed Judd about her second humanitarian mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.Judd traveled with the Enough Project, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. In the interview, Judd discussed her efforts to raise awareness about how conflict minerals fuel sexual violence in Congo. During her trip, Judd visited hospitals for victims of sexual violence, camps for displaced persons, mines, and civil society organizations. On September 30, 2010, cnn.com published an op-ed titled "Ashley Judd: Electronics fuel unspeakable violence" by Judd and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast regarding the continued violence in Congo. Her op-ed discussed the recent provision in the Dodd-Frank Reform bill that requires companies to prove where their minerals originated. On November 26, 2010, The Huffington Post published an op-ed by Judd, "Costs of Convenience". The op-ed is excerpted from Ashley Judd's trip diary from her trip to eastern Congo. Judd describes the link between her cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and e-reader and the continued rape and sexual violence in Congo. Judd also explains the immediate need for electronics companies to commit to tracing, auditing, and certifying the minerals in their products to guarantee a clean supply chain.
Judd again supported Democrats in the 2012 elections, endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election although she did not contribute financially to his campaign. She represented Tennessee as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She also considered returning to Kentucky and challenging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. In response, the Conservative Super PAC "American Crossroads" released an attack ad against Judd in Kentucky.
In February 2013, she invited her Twitter followers to join a mailing list, hinting that she might ultimately announce a run for the Senate to those on the list. However, she announced on her Twitter feed on March 27, 2013, that she would not run, citing her "need to be focused on my family".Judd endorsed Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State of Kentucky after she announced her candidacy.
Judd took part in the 2017 Women's March. She performed a poem written by Nashville-area poet Nina Donovan, "Nasty Woman", to applause from the crowd.
Awards and nominations
- Kentucky Colonel
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Union College, Barbourville, Kentucky
- ^ a b "Ashley Judd Biography (1968-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- ^ Judd, Ashley (May 3, 2004). "Wild Cats Fan The actress's love for UK basketball epitomizes a statewide passion". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- ^ MICHAEL CIMINELLA, 83, JUDD GRANDFATHER, DIES, Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) – May 9, 1997
- ^ "Ashley Judd details 'bitter and sweet' in memoir". Newsvine. April 4, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-06-02. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- ^ which also makes her a distant cousin of Elisabeth and Andrew Shue as seen on Who Do You Think You Are?
- ^ Judd's Ancestors are found on Who Do You Think You Are?|Entertainment.gather.com Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. (November 9, 2010). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- ^ Actress of the Week AskMen.com (2006)
- ^ Newman, Judith. "We are Family" Ladies' Home Journal (March 1998, pp. 152–55, 213–14)
- ^ "Ashley Judd voting record shows not a property owner in Williamson County" (PDF). nationalreview.com. Retrieved April 21, 2013. [dead link]
- ^ Lovell, Glenn. San Jose Mercury News, November 8, 1993
- ^ Dickerson, James L. Ashley Judd:Crying on the Inside, Schirmer Trade Books, 2002, p. 75
- ^ Susman, Gary. (February 27, 2004) You Be the Judd | Movies. EW.com. Retrieved on April 11, 2011. Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ Giles, Jeff (August 7, 2008). "Moldy Tomatoes: The 10 Worst Movies of the Last 10 Years – Page 7". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- ^ "American Beauty | Home". Americanbeautycosmetics.com. June 18, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- ^ "Flypaper". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- ^ "Coming soon: Ashley Judd's memoir, All That is Bitter and Sweet". Ballantine Books. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- ^ "Missing TV show cancelled; no season two". TV Series Finale. May 12, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- ^ Uranli, Arzu Kaya (June 13, 2014). "Yes, Love Is a Verb!". The Huffington Post.
- ^ Don Doxsie. "Eye Openers: Bears needed defense, but did the White thing". Qctimes.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- ^ "Ashley Judd to be first woman to narrate opening of Kentucky Derby". Fox News. 2015-04-25. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- ^ Young, C. (December 14, 2001). "Week in Review: Winona Busted; Ashley Gets Married". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- ^ a b McDonald, Toby (January 29, 2006). "ASHLEY: I REFUSE TO HAVE A BABY; Star says 'breeding' is out while kids starve". Sunday Mail. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- ^ "At Home with Dario Franchitti". May 9, 2014. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- ^ Ashley Judd | Judd Lashes Out At Eating Disorder Claims. Contactmusic. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- ^ The Star Online eCentral – Movies – Malaysia Entertainment. Star-ecentral.com (July 7, 2006). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- ^ "Actress Judd praises husband, rips other driver--Franchitti's wife says rookie should be taken off track". Motor Sports. NBC Sports. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- ^ "NewsLibrary.com – newspaper archive, clipping service – newspapers and other news sources". NewsLibrary.com. Associated Press. September 10, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- ^ Blackford, Linda (May 10, 2007). "Ashley Judd is finally a UK graduate". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
- ^ Oldenburg, Ann (May 28, 2010), "Ashley Judd gets her Harvard degree", USA Today, retrieved April 16, 2011
- ^ "Ashley Judd to earn Ph.D. at UC Berkeley beginning this fall". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
- ^ Niemietz, Brian (October 5, 2017). "Harvey Weinstein admits his behavior has caused women pain after Ashley Judd, others accuse him of harassment". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- ^ Serjeant, Jill. "American actress Ashley Judd sues Harvey Weinstein for defamation,..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- ^ a b c "Ashley Judd's Faces of Philanthropy profile page". Faces of Philanthropy. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
- ^ Gaynair, Gillian (January 21, 2011). "Actor Ashley Judd Joins ICRW Leadership Council". ICRW. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- ^ "Ashley Judd". All American Speakers. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- ^ "Ashley Judd's Charity Work, Events and Causes". Looktothestars.org. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
- ^ David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster (February 3, 2009). "Actress Judd goes after Palin over aerial wolf killing". The Raw Story.
- ^ Hamby, Peter (February 4, 2009). "Palin takes on Ashley Judd's 'extreme fringe group'". CNN.
- ^ Animal Legal Defense Fund: Ashley Judd Petitions Kentucky Governor to Help Homeless Animals. Aldf.org (May 11, 2010). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- ^ Hero Award honors Ashley Judd for her work with Global Health Organization PSI September 16, 2009. USA Today. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- ^ "Ashley Judd confronts Africa's deadly mineral issue". CNN. September 8, 2009.
- ^ Ashley Judd and John Prendergast (September 30, 2010). "Ashley Judd: Electronics fuel unspeakable violence". CNN.
- ^ Ashley Judd (November 26, 2010). "Ashley Judd: "Costs of Convenience"". The Huffington Post.
- ^ "FEC.gov individual campaign contribution lookup". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- ^ "Ashley Judd doesn't rule out challenge to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell". Courier-Journal. November 8, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- ^ "Ashley Judd Takes Jabs From Conservative Super PAC". ABC News. February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- ^ Gabriel, Trip (February 15, 2013). "Kentuckians don't rule out a star as a potential senator". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- ^ "Ashley Judd won't run for Senate in Kentucky". The Hill. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- ^ "Ashley Judd 'Ready to Fight' Beside Alison Lundergan Grimes in Race Against Mitch McConnell – 89.3 WFPL". Wfpl.org. Associated Press. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- ^ Blay, Zeba (2017-01-21). "Ashley Judd Fires Up Women's March With Stirring 'Nasty Woman' Performance". The Huffington Post.
- ^ "Ashley Judd Joins Epix's 'Berlin Station' Season 2". March 21, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- ^ Kentucky Colonels, Honorable Order of. "Colonels website". Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
- ^ Union College News Release 02–25–09: Ashley Judd Announced as 2009 Commencement Speaker. Unionky.edu (February 25, 2009). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.