skip navigation
Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Moonlight & Valentino ... Moonlight and Valentino, directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy) from a screenplay by... more info $14.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Contagion ... Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills... more info $8.95was $9.98 Buy Now

A Perfect Murder ... To Manhattans elite Wall Street wheeler-dealer Steven Taylor seems like a... more info $15.95was $19.98 Buy Now

Iron Man 2 ... Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow. more info $20.95was $33.99 Buy Now

Seven ... Repackaged. more info $7.46was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Gwyneth Kate Paltrow Died:
Born: September 27, 1972 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: actor, singer


Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow distinguished herself from the pack of rising young stars in the 1990s with surprisingly mature performances in "Se7en" (1995) and "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), for which she received well-deserved critical praise. With her sharp intelligence and her fair, patrician looks, Paltrow earned comparisons to Grace Kelly as she carved out a steady niche in British period dramas like "Emma" (1996), but kept audiences guessing with occasional comedies like "Shallow Hal" (2001) and richly drawn portraits of complex women, including the fur-wearing eccentric sister in Wes Anderson's "Royal Tenenbaums" (2001). Though she excelled in films like "Proof" (2005), in which she reprised her acclaimed West End role as the troubled daughter of a late mathematics genius, Paltrow also made time for big budget studio films, including the comic book-based "Iron Man" (2008). The graceful and poised New York-bred actress also emerged as an admired style icon and portrait of the cool, modern woman who had it all, including a family with Chris Martin of Coldplay fame (prior to their 2014 separation) - but not before several high-profile relationships with the likes of Ben...

Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow distinguished herself from the pack of rising young stars in the 1990s with surprisingly mature performances in "Se7en" (1995) and "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), for which she received well-deserved critical praise. With her sharp intelligence and her fair, patrician looks, Paltrow earned comparisons to Grace Kelly as she carved out a steady niche in British period dramas like "Emma" (1996), but kept audiences guessing with occasional comedies like "Shallow Hal" (2001) and richly drawn portraits of complex women, including the fur-wearing eccentric sister in Wes Anderson's "Royal Tenenbaums" (2001). Though she excelled in films like "Proof" (2005), in which she reprised her acclaimed West End role as the troubled daughter of a late mathematics genius, Paltrow also made time for big budget studio films, including the comic book-based "Iron Man" (2008). The graceful and poised New York-bred actress also emerged as an admired style icon and portrait of the cool, modern woman who had it all, including a family with Chris Martin of Coldplay fame (prior to their 2014 separation) - but not before several high-profile relationships with the likes of Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt made her the perfect tabloid fodder. Though sometimes criticized for being a bit too urbane, particularly after she launched, which touted high-end products out of reach for the average person, this daughter of Hollywood nonetheless remained one of the more compelling actresses of her generation.

Gwyneth Paltrow was born in Los Angeles on Sept. 27, 1972, the daughter of TV producer Bruce Paltrow and Tony-winning stage and screen actress Blythe Danner. Her arts-loving parents moved the family to New York City when she was 11 years old, resulting in Paltrow and her younger brother Jake being towed (sometimes against their will) to downtown experimental theater productions and uptown operas. After spending countless summers watching her mother perform at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, Paltrow made her own professional stage debut there in 1990; the same year she graduated from the exclusive Spence School. From her Upper East Side townhouse, Paltrow headed back to California and a semester at the University of California in Santa Barbara before deciding that she really preferred to be down in her hometown pursuing an acting career.

Paltrow landed her first screen role in the forgettable "Shout" (1991), and family friend Steven Spielberg cast her as the young Wendy in his slightly overblown family favorite "Hook" (1991). That summer, Paltrow also shared the stage with her mother in a Williamstown production of "Picnic" (1991). She was cast first in the 1992 true crime NBC miniseries "Cruel Doubt" before her mother was tapped to play her on-screen parent. With a supporting role in 1993's "Flesh and Bone" as a Texas con woman traveling with the much older James Caan, Paltrow first displayed her uncanny knack for accents, bringing a much needed vitality to the otherwise dreary film and earning the lion's share of critical kudos. She followed up with a series of finely-tuned supporting turns, first as a bitchy actress in the ensemble of Alan Rudolph's "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" (1994) and next as the ambassador's knowing daughter in the Merchant-Ivory production "Jefferson in Paris" (1995). It was that same year that the young actress stepped out from under her look-a-like mother's considerable shadow. David Fincher cast Paltrow as the loving wife of a homicide detective in the hit thriller "Seven" (1995), which not only gave the actress her first high-profile role, but also introduced her to co-star Brad Pitt - at that time, the hottest actor in the business. The pair's well-publicized romance arguably introduced her to a wider audience than her acting work had done thus far - thanks in large part to tabloid exposure and nude photos of the couple lounging on a beach - as well as grouped her with the exclusive club of gorgeous up-and-comers of the late 1990s.

Paltrow made her first foray into comedy with the disappointing David Schwimmer vehicle "The Pallbearer" (1996), before solidifying her reputation as a star-in- the-making with a superb turn as Jane Austen's meddling heroine in "Emma" (1996). Her dead-on English accent even left the uninitiated convinced that she was British and put to rest any preexisting thoughts of nepotism or famous boyfriends playing a role in her success. In an about-face from genteel to gritty, she next played a Reno cocktail waitress and part-time hooker in Paul Thomas Anderson's directorial debut "Hard Eight" (1996). Paltrow celebrated a year well done by cementing her super couple status and becoming engaged to marry Pitt, but by spring of the following year the couple announced their split. Despite rumors of infidelity or professional jealousy playing into the split, it was obvious that the break-up affected both actors tremendously.

By 1998, the actress who had often been compared to Grace Kelly for her fluid movements, pale beauty and elegant fashion style, easily slipped into Kelly's role in a loose remake of Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder" (1954), "A Perfect Murder." Paltrow was alluring as a wealthy philandering wife, though much of the film's ink was devoted to her questionable May-December pairing with Michael Douglas, who was actually a family friend Paltrow had known since she was young. The misstep was soon forgotten in the face of her triumph as a 16th-century woman who yearns for romance and poetry rather than arranged marriage in the frothily delightful "Shakespeare in Love." Her spirited outing as the Bard's muse garnered her Best Actress Oscar and SAG wins, as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. Creating almost as much buzz was the timeless pink gown she wore to the Academy Awards, designed specifically for her by Ralph Lauren. Walking the red carpet with her father, Paltrow dazzled fans and solidified the Grace Kelly comparisons by wearing a similar dress the late actress wore when she won her Oscar for "The Country Girl" (1954).

At the same time every chic ensemble she donned made fashion news, she also embarked on a short-lived romance with "Shakespeare" co-star Ben Affleck, which set the tabloids on fire. After their break-up, it was rumored that the couple were just in two different head spaces, maturity-wise, with Affleck gambling and hitting the clubs and Paltrow more settled. Apart from her high-wattage relationship, all eyes remained planted squarely on the actress of the year, as she catapulted to the top of many best-dressed lists for a personal flair that reflected her modern, casual sophistication. She would only take one notable fashion misstep, but it was a doozie - the gothic, Alexander McQueen gown she wore to the 2002 Academy Awards, in which she appeared to be braless in the scrunched, sheer top. Fashionistas had a field day, but it was a testament to Paltrow's style status that she was raked over the coals to the extent that she was.

In Paltrow's first post-Oscar performance, she was cool and conniving in a murderous Italian-set love triangle with Matt Damon and Jude Law in Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel. A first-time collaboration with her director father, "Duets" (2000), offered the popular actress a chance to show off her considerable singing talents in the thin tale of a father-daughter team of karaoke hustlers. Paltrow found herself an unwitting pop star when a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" performed by her and screen dad Huey Lewis made its way onto the music charts. Later that year, she co-starred with former flame Affleck in Don Roos' "Bounce," turning in a charming and convincing performance in a rare blue-collar role. It was in large part to Paltrow's influence that Affleck was cast in the dramatic lead role of a man riddled with guilt after giving up his seat on a doomed plane to Paltrow's husband. The exes remained close friends off-screen, with Affleck giving Paltrow all the credit for helping him develop into a deeper, more accomplished actor than he had been in years past. Paltrow, herself, stepped outside her comfort zone by following up the somber "Bounce" with the lead role in the Farrelly Brothers comedy "Shallow Hal" (2001), donning a fat suit to teach Jack Black's character a lesson about inner beauty. Paltrow came under fire by some for her role in the surprisingly gentle romance, which required her to wear prosthetics as the 300-pound character her suitor Hal cannot see.

After a pair of pandering mainstream films, Paltrow made a refreshing return to more challenging indie fare in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001). The actress was a seamless fit in Anderson's quirky world, with her appropriately reined in performance as the enigmatic and uncommunicative playwright Margot. She likewise gave a rich performance in Jennifer Jason Leigh's and Alan Cummings' ensemble piece "The Anniversary Party" (2001), sending up her image as Hollywood's "golden girl" in her portrayal of an up-and-coming starlet and uninvited party guest of aging (and jealous) actress Leigh. In 2002, Paltrow made her West End debut in David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a young woman who has sacrificed much of her life caring for her father, a brilliant but schizophrenic mathematician (Anthony Hopkins), whose death leaves her wondering whether she has inherited his genius or his madness.

Tapped again for her believability in an academic setting, Paltrow co-starred with Aaron Eckhart as competing scholars investigating the possible romance between the 18th-century writers in Neil LaBute's adaptation of A.S. Byatt's novel, "Possession" (2002). Sadly, at year's end Paltrow lost her father - with whom she was extremely close - to complications of pneumonia and recurring throat cancer; in fact, the pair had been on a father/daughter vacation in Italy to celebrate her 30th birthday only days before. Paltrow was devastated by the loss in her uncommonly close family, but banded together with mom Danner in mother-daughter roles as renowned poet Sylvia Plath and her mother Aurelia in the British-produced biopic of the ill-fated literary icon, "Sylvia" (2003). During Paltrow's emotionally trying year, the actress met Chris Martin, frontman of the British rock band Coldplay, backstage at a concert. Perhaps due to the process of reassessing life after a tragic loss, the pair formed an intense romance that led to marriage only a year later.

A pregnant Paltrow managed to complete filming of the retro-styled action adventure "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (2004), before the couple's daughter Apple was born in May of 2004. The new mom and her co-star Jude Law earned good reviews and sizeable box office receipts for the tale of Sky Captain (Law) and intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Paltrow) fending off giant robots in 1930s-era New York. However after "Sky Captain," relocated London resident Paltrow began to limit her film work, only surfacing in 2005 to revise her acclaimed London stage role in the film adaptation "Proof" (2005). She gave an outstanding performance and carried the weight of the film on her shoulders, proving that her earlier award-winning performances were no fluke - lest her commercial outings since that time suggest otherwise. In 2006, Paltrow enjoyed a supporting role in "Infamous," that year's second biopic about Truman Capote, and another supporting role in the unsuccessful adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' memoir, "Running with Scissors."

Paltrow gave birth to a son, Moses, in the spring of 2006 and returned to star billing in 2008 with the heavily marketed comic book adaptation of "Iron Man," in which she sparkled as Pepper Potts, the woman behind Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who leads a double life as an ironclad crime fighter. Also that year, she launched a weekly online newsletter called GOOP, which focused on her upscale lifestyle and encouraged readers to "nourish the inner aspect," while they "Make, Go, Get, Do, Be and See." The website featured everything from recipes for holiday leftovers and her travels to Europe, to advice on how to invest money and what to expect while undergoing a three-week cleansing program. The site was widely ridiculed by several media outlets, which slammed the actress for preening about having a high-flying lifestyle most others could never even dream of. Meanwhile, she went back to what she did best, starring in the romantic drama "Two Lovers" (2009), playing the neighbor of a suicidal man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with her despite her romance with a married man (Elias Koteas). Paltrow's performance earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. She next reprised Pepper Potts for the highly anticipated sequel, "Iron Man 2" (2010), which earned an astounding $130 million overseas prior to its American release. She repeated the role in both "The Avengers" (2012) and "Iron Man 3" (2013). On the small screen, she joined the cavalcade of guest stars on the pop phenomenon, "Glee" (Fox, 2009-15), playing a substitute teacher who fills in for glee club leader Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison). She later reprised the high-profile role and earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Meanwhile, back in features, she joined a cast that included Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet and Jude Law for Steven Soderbergh's disease thriller "Contagion" (2011). She next appeared on the big screen in the romantic comedy "Thanks For Sharing" (2012) opposite Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins. On March 25, 2014, Paltrow and Chris Martin announced their separation via Paltrow's website, following months of speculation about the state of their marriage. Keeping a low public profile amidst the ongoing gossip-column notoriety, Paltrow's next film appearance came in the critically-assailed Johnny Depp comedy/mystery "Mortdecai" (2015).


Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

 Spider-Man (2017)
 Mortdecai (2015)
 Iron Man 3 (2013)
 Desperados (2012)
 Avengers, The (2012)
 Contagion (2011)
 Iron Man 2 (2010)

Milestones close milestones

Appeared in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
Made feature acting debut with supporting role in "Shout"
Cast by family friend Steven Spielberg as the young Wendy in "Hook"
Appeared in "Picnic" with her mother at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Made TV miniseries debut in "Cruel Doubt" (NBC); portrayed daughter of character played by Blythe Danner
Gained first substantial film role in "Flesh and Bone"; cast as the young girlfriend of an unpredictable James Caan
Starred opposite David Schwimmer in the romantic comedy "The Pallbearer"
Displayed a cool reserve as Estrella in Alfonso Cuaron's contemporary updating of Dickens' "Great Expectations"
Portrayed the Grace Kelly role in "A Perfect Murder"; a loose remake of Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder"
Starred opposite Matt Damon in "The Talented Mr. Ripley"
Teamed on screen with former off-screen beau Ben Affleck in "Bounce"
Played both a 300-pound woman and an altered version of her seen by her boyfriend in the Farrelly brothers' comedy "Shallow Hal"
Teamed with Aaron Eckhart for Neil LaBute's "Possession"
Made London stage debut in "Proof" at the Donmar Warehouse under the direction of John Madden
Played a flight attendant in the romantic comedy "A View From The Top"
Starred as the American poet Sylvia Plath in "Sylvia"; also featured her mother Blythe Danner
Cast as reporter Polly Perkins opposite Jude Law in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"
Reunited with director John Madden to reprise her role in "Proof," based on the David Auburn play
Made her directing debut, co-directing a 10-minute short called ''Dealbreakers,'' a comic montage about a woman's series of bad first dates; also penned the script
Reunited with director Doug McGrath for the Truman Capote biopic "Infamous"
Co-starred in the film based on Augusten Burroughs' memoir, "Running with Scissors"
Cast in the Sundance screened, "The Good Night"; the directorial debut of her brother Jake Paltrow
Joined Mario Batali for the PBS television series, "Spain... on the road Again," which showcased the food and culture of Spain
Earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word for the children's album <i>Brown Bear And Friends</i>
Teamed with director James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix for "Two Lovers"; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead
Re-teamed with Robert Downey Jr. to reprise the role of Pepper Potts for "Iron Man 2"
Portrayed a fallen country music star in "Country Strong"
Played a recurring role on Fox's "Glee" as Holly Holliday, the sexy substitute teacher
Reprised Pepper Potts role in the Marvel superhero ensemble feature "The Avengers"
Co-starred in ensemble romantic comedy "Thanks for Sharing"
Returned as Pepper Potts in "Iron Man 3"
Starred opposite Johnny Depp in comedy mystery "Mortdecai"


University of California, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara , California -
Crossroads School: Santa Monica , California -
Spence School: New York , New York - 1990


In April 2000, Paltrow was sued for damages by siblings allegedly injured in an April 1999 automobile accident.

"I don't absorb anything about my career and take it to heart. I listen, but I certainly don't expect [fame] to happen. I'm very young, and I'm learning how to go about things."---Paltrow quoted in Daily News, November 9, 1993.

"I don't really understand the concept of having a career, or what an agent means when they say they're building one for you. I just do things I think will be interesting and that have integrity. I hate those tacky, pointless, big, fluffy, unimportant movies."---Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Beals in Interview, September 1995.

"Gwyneth isn't afraid to do anything ... She is totally not afraid to be unglamorous or despicable or sad or funny or stupid."---"Hard Eight" director Paul Thomas Anderson quoted in The New York Times, July 28, 1996.

"She's strong. If you cast her, you're really making a choice. There's nothing generic about Gwynny."---Steve Kloves, who directed Paltrow in "Flesh and Bone" told the Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1996.

"What are you gonna do? It's life. I can think of worse things that can happen. I would take lots of nude photos if I could change certain things about the world. I'd rather my cousin Keith still be alive [he died of cancer eight years ago this month]. And if I could bring back Harrison Kravis [a close friend who died in a car accident], I'd do my own Tommy Lee-Pamela Anderson video, you know? It's a matter of perspective. It's all about how you weigh what's really important."---Paltrow on the infamous nude photos of her taken by paparazzi, to Time Out New York, April 23-30, 1998.

"There was a palpable difference in energy when I was a boy. The guys on the set treated me more as an equal than when I was this pale, frail blonde girl. There was a lot of back-slapping as a boy."---Paltrow on posing as a male for scenes in "Shakespeare in Love" to Chicago Sun-Times, December 21, 1998.

"There is something about the British psyche that appeals to me. I feel comfortable playing British. Maybe it's the British reserve that I like. They've got fire underneath, but on the outside, they're reserved. I like that."---Paltrow to Dallas Morning News, December 26, 1998.

"It was really important to my mother that we have an East Coast education and sensibility. She took us to the opera, which I hated at the time but appreciate now. She was always dragging us to see underground dance troupes and to bizarre theater performances in converted churches in the Village. She wanted to show us the world and its possibilities. She wanted us enriched, and I love her for it."---Paltrow to Dotson Rader in Parade, January 17, 1999.

"My father was the center of my life. As a kid, I could go to him with any question, whether it was the square root of something or who was king in what year. He can change tires or build a treehouse or do algebra. He knows all the words in the dictionary. I love him so much."

"When I was 10, we went to England. My mother was shooting a miniseries there... My dad took me to Paris for the weekend. We had the most amazing time. On the plane back to London, he asked me, 'Do you know why I took you to Paris, only you and me?' And I said, 'Why?' And he said, 'Because I wanted you to see Paris for the first time with a man who would always love you."---Paltrow quoted in Parade, January 17, 1998.

"Fame sucks. I know that might sound negative. People will say 'Well, why does she want to be in movies and date famous guys if she doesn't like it?' The truth is that I'm just this young girl trying to do good work and have some fun. That girl in those stories seems like another person. I know two things about myself: I have a good work ethic and I love my family. That's about all I need to know."---Paltrow to the Daily News, January 31, 1999.

"I always hear that people's perception of me is that I'm cool or aloof or standoffish and I always think, 'Who are they talking about?' That's totally opposite to me. I used to be far more open, but obviously the life that I live and the level of scrutiny make me kind of slower to really open myself up. But I still don't think I'm a chilly person at all."---Paltrow to The Daily Telegraph, November 10, 2000.

"In this day and age, if you sit up straight, chew with your mouth closed and have good manners, you're a snob."---Gwyneth Paltrow quoted in Harper's Bazaar, November 2001.

"Gwyneth really has a gift for understanding the quiet, unblinking nature of the camera. Furthermore, she's respectful of that gift. Despite how big she is she never rests on her laurels, and she continues to pick interesting, challenging work. God, I should be her publicist!"---"Possession" director Neil LaBute on Paltrow to Talk, December 2001-January 2002.

"I didn't think I was going to live," she says. "It was the weirdest feeling. I was just really surprised that I kept waking up."---Paltrow talking about the passing of her father Entertainment Weekly November 28, 2003.

"I've never placed too much stock in Hollywood or in what people think of me because it's all so fleeting. If I just stay the way I am, the way my parents raised me to be, then I'll be able to sail through. I guess they showed me by example."---Paltrow to Biography, Spring 2004.

"All the movies I've done have been so wildly eclectic," she says, "even if they've been failures. I'm not a box office star. I'm not drawn to the kind of movies that turn you into a person who gets $20 million a picture. I don't think there's pressure on me that way to deliver. I just feel like directors put me in films because they want what I can give them as an artist."---Paltrow to Entertainment Weekly, September 17, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

Robert Sean Leonard. Actor. No longer together.
Donovan Leitch. Actor, model, musician. Briefly engaged in the early 1990s; no longer together.
Brad Pitt. Actor. Met in 1994 on set of "Seven" in which they played a married couple; became engaged in November 1996; separated in June 1997.
Ben Affleck. Actor. Began dating as of December 1997; both appeared in "Shakespeare in Love"; reportedly separated in December 1998; co-starred together in "Bounce" (2000), fueling speculation they had reconciled.
Luke Wilson. Actor. Began dating as of spring 2001; met during filming of "The Royal Tenenbaums"; no longer together.
Aaron Eckhart. Actor. B. 1968; met while filming "Possesion"; dated briefly in 2002.
James Purefoy. Actor. B. 1964; dated briefly in 2002.
Chris Martin. Singer. <A TITLE="Click for more information about dating" STYLE="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;" HREF="|1||||dating|AA1VDw">dating</A> as of November 2002; engaged as of Fall 2003; married in a very small, private ceremony in a California <A TITLE="Click for more information about hotel" STYLE="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;" HREF="|1||||hotels|AA1VDw">hotel</A> suite on December 5, 2003.

Family close complete family listing

Bruce Paltrow. Producer, director. Died while vacationing with his daughter during her 30th birthday.
Blythe Danner. Actor. Appeared in a number of productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival with her daughter; has appeared in productions at the festival since the 70s.
Jake Paltrow. Director. Born on September 26, 1975.
Hillary Danner. Actor.
Katherine Moennig. Actor. Born on December 19, 1976.
Apple Blythe Alison Martin. Born May 14, 2004 in London, England; father is Chris Martin.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute