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Robin Wright

Robin Wright

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Also Known As: Robin Wright-Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Robin Gayle Wright Died:
Born: April 8, 1966 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas, USA Profession: actress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actress Robin Wrightâ¿¿s sunny California girl appearance belied a fierce, discerning talent, displayed in her impressive array of film roles, including starring in two of the most beloved movies of all time. After receiving her start on the daytime soap opera "Santa Barbara" (NBC, 1983-1994) as fan favorite Kelly Capwell, Wright broke out in the role of the defiant Princess Buttercup in director Rob Reinerâ¿¿s instant family classic "The Princess Bride" (1987). She began a rocky two-decade relationship with Sean Penn after co-starring with the tempestuous actor in the crime drama "State of Grace" (1990). Only four years later, Wright lit up the screen in what could have been an unforgiving role as Tom Hanksâ¿¿ one true love, Jenny, in the cultural phenomenon "Forrest Gump" (1994). After working under the direction of Penn for the first time in the harrowing drama "The Crossing Guard" (1995), she married the actor-director in 1996, thus beginning one of the more tumultuous on-and-off relationships in Hollywood. Wright appeared in a steady stream of mainstream and independent films, both with and without her talented husband, including "Sheâ¿¿s So Lovely" (1997), "Message in a Bottle" (1999), "The...

Actress Robin Wrightâ¿¿s sunny California girl appearance belied a fierce, discerning talent, displayed in her impressive array of film roles, including starring in two of the most beloved movies of all time. After receiving her start on the daytime soap opera "Santa Barbara" (NBC, 1983-1994) as fan favorite Kelly Capwell, Wright broke out in the role of the defiant Princess Buttercup in director Rob Reinerâ¿¿s instant family classic "The Princess Bride" (1987). She began a rocky two-decade relationship with Sean Penn after co-starring with the tempestuous actor in the crime drama "State of Grace" (1990). Only four years later, Wright lit up the screen in what could have been an unforgiving role as Tom Hanksâ¿¿ one true love, Jenny, in the cultural phenomenon "Forrest Gump" (1994). After working under the direction of Penn for the first time in the harrowing drama "The Crossing Guard" (1995), she married the actor-director in 1996, thus beginning one of the more tumultuous on-and-off relationships in Hollywood. Wright appeared in a steady stream of mainstream and independent films, both with and without her talented husband, including "Sheâ¿¿s So Lovely" (1997), "Message in a Bottle" (1999), "The Pledge" (2001), "A Home at the End of the World" (2004) and "Breaking and Entering" (2006). After divorcing Penn in 2010, she reinvigorated her career with significant work in films like "The Conspirator" (2010), "Moneyball" (2011) and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2011) and drama series like "House of Cards" (Netflix, 2013- ). Undeniably authentic in any role she tackled, Wright remained one of the more respected actresses working in film.

The daughter of a pharmaceutical executive and a sales director for the Mary Kay cosmetics firm, Wright was born Robin Gayle Wright in Dallas, TX on April 8, 1966. Her parents divorced when she was only two, leading the family to relocate to San Diego, CA with her mother Gayle and brother Richard. Tall, willowy, and blonde, she was a natural for teen modeling, and began working abroad while only 14. After graduating high school, Wright's manager encouraged her to explore acting, and she made her debut on the primetime drama, "The Yellow Rose" (NBC, 1983-84). She was soon snapped up for the role of Kelly Capwell, the lead ingénue on "Santa Barbara," where she was nominated for three Daytime Emmys and won a 1986 Soap Opera Digest award. While on the soap, she made her film debut in the low-budget thriller "Hollywood Vice Squad" (1986), where she began a relationship with her co-star, Dane Witherspoon, which led to a 1986 marriage.

In 1987, Wright was tapped by director Rob Reiner to play Princess Buttercup in "The Princess Bride," a charming romantic comedy-fantasy which developed a considerable fan base on home video and DVD. The film's release coincided with the end of her contract on "Santa Barbara," so she departed the show to explore her options in film and television. A role in experimental film director Peter Greenaway's "A TV Dante" (1989), based on Dante's "Inferno" preceded her third film, "Denial" (1990) with Jason Patric. Wright and Patric were a brief off-screen item before she met actor Sean Penn on Phil Joanou's Irish mobster drama, "State of Grace" (1990). Though the film was overwrought in terms of direction and script, it showed off the grittier side of Wright's talent, and foreshadowed many of her future film roles. The picture also marked the beginning of her relationship with Penn. She was thankfully forced to turn down the role of Maid Marian in Kevin Costner's ill-fated "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) due to the birth of her daughter with Penn, Dylan Francis, but she returned to movies the following year with a spirited supporting role as the object of both Aidan Quinn and Albert Finney's affections in "The Playboys" (1992). She then returned to the Hollywood side of filmmaking for Barry Levinson's comedy "Toys" (1992), but the end result was muddled and obscured her abilities behind a flurry of special effects and mugging by star Robin Williams. Wright was pregnant with her second child following the Levinson film, and gave birth to a son, Jack Hopper (so named for Penn's friend, actor Dennis Hopper) in 1993.

Wright returned to acting in a major way as Jenny, the object of Tom Hanks' unrequited affections in Robert Zemeckis' blockbuster "Forrest Gump" (1994). The massive project gave Wright a substantial role which required her to age several decades over the course of the film. For her efforts, she was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award. Wright later offset the massive pop culture crush that surrounded "Gump" by her first role as an actress in a film directed by her significant other; "The Crossing Guard" (1995), in which she played an artist who becomes entangled with Jack Nicholson's revenge-seeking main character. Wright followed this with the title role in Pen Densham's unconventional take on Daniel Defoe's "Moll Flanders" (1996) opposite Morgan Freeman and Stockard Channing. That same year, after a brief separation from Penn, she married him and added his surname to her professional name for a number of years. The year 1997 saw Wright shift her focus to a string of independent features, starting with the largely unseen "Loved," about a woman traumatized by an abusive relationship, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nod. It marked the first of three onscreen pairings with her husband, and was soon followed by "She's So Lovely," a character study of a headstrong woman (Wright) and the men who vie for her hand (Penn and John Travolta). The film, directed by Nick Cassavetes and penned by his late father, indie film saint John Cassavetes, earned the actress Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Actress. The couple followed this with the disappointing film version of David Rabe's "Hurlyburly" (1998).

Wright returned to the Hollywood fold for three lackluster features: the romantic fantasy "Message in a Bottle" (1998) with Kevin Costner; the prison drama "The Last Castle" (2001), with an uncredited turn as Robert Redford's daughter; and "Unbreakable" (2001, as Bruce Willis' wife, in M. Night Shymalan's offbeat take on the superhero movie. Her indie effort during this period, including the black comedy "How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" (2000), went largely unseen by moviegoers. She took the female lead in her husband's crime drama "The Pledge" (2001), starring as Jack Nicholson's love interest, before teaming with a trio of heavyweight actresses â¿¿ Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellwegger, and Alison Lohman â¿¿ for the ponderous film adaptation of Janet Fitch's bestseller, "White Oleander" (2002). Wright played Ingrid, a born-again, alcoholic stripper who takes in the film's narrator (Lohman), only to shuttle her off to another foster mother after her boyfriend (Cole Hauser) becomes romantically intrigued by her. It was followed by several hit-or-miss indies, including the film version of "The Singing Detective" (2003), with Wright in three roles, including that of lead Robert Downey, Jr.'s estranged wife and a shadowy femme fatale; the little-seen "Virgin" (2003), with Wright as the mother who believes her daughter has experienced immaculate conception; and "A Home at the End of the World" (2004), with Wright as Colin Farrell's love interest. "Virgin" also marked Wright's debut as executive producer.

From 2005, Wright was a staple in independent, character-driven fare. She was top-billed in a cast of powerful actresses ⿿ including Glenn Close, Sissy Spacek, and Holly Hunter ⿿ in Rodrigo Garcia's anthology feature "Nine Lives" (2005), and shared nominations with them from the Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and other organizations. She followed this with "Sorry, Haters" (2005), an eclectic drama about a divorceé (Wright) who turns the life of a Syrian cab driver upside down. Wright's intense performance netted her another Independent Spirit nomination. She also enjoyed a choice role as Ed Harris' lovelorn mother (in flashbacks) in the HBO miniseries "Empire Falls," which brought her a Screen Actors Guild nomination. In 2006, she co-starred as Jude Law's girlfriend, as well as the mother of an emotionally unstable child in Anthony Minghella's unusual mystery-drama "Breaking and Entering," which yielded a British Independent Film Award nomination for her.

Wright's onscreen efforts in 2007 could not have been further apart in regard to subject matter or substance. She was the mysterious Strange Lady, who dallies with Dakota Fanning's father in the controversial "Hounddog" (which reunited her with "Virgin" director Deborah Kampmeier), and she provided the voice and physical movements (as well as two songs) for Danish Queen Wealthow in Robert Zemeckis' CGI-animated take on "Beowulf." The latter proved a box office (if not a critical) hit, but it was largely overshadowed by the news at year's end that Wright was ending her long relationship with Sean Penn, citing "irreconcilable differences." Considering their roller-coaster relationship, Wright surprised no one when she withdrew her petition to divorce in April 2008. Meanwhile, she appeared in the same film with her husband, "What Just Happened?" (2008), Barry Levinson's Hollywood satire about an aging producer struggling to maintain his career while battling his ex-wife (Wright) and his suddenly grown-up daughter (Kristen Stewart).

Wright took on the title role in the indie drama "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (2009), as a woman whose outwardly perfect marriage to a much older man (Alan Arkin) reveals itself to be anything but. In an exceptionally busy year, she also played the wife of a U.S. congressman (Ben Affleck) involved in a deadly cover up in the political thriller "State of Play" (2009), then lent her voice to a computer-animated interpretation of Dickensâ¿¿ holiday staple, "A Christmas Carol" (2009), with Jim Carrey voicing Scrooge. After years of frequent separations, followed by uneasy reconciliations, Wright at last divorced Penn in the summer of 2010 and, in a sign of finality, legally reverted back to her maiden name. In her first post-Penn credit, the actress essayed the role of Mary Surratt, the woman accused of participating in the planning of President Lincolnâ¿¿s assassination in director Robert Redfordâ¿¿s historical drama, "The Conspirator" (2010). The following year saw her in a slew of supporting roles opposite several of Hollywoodâ¿¿s most popular leading men in the films "Moneyball" (2011), "Rampart" (2011) and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2011). Becoming a series regular for the first time since her "Santa Barbara" days, Wright had a major role on "House of Cards" (Netflix, 2013- ), a political drama adapted from the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same name, only set in the world of Washington, D.C. She played the Lady Macbeth-like wife of political operator Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), the Democratic House Majority Whip out for revenge after being passed over as the Secretary of Defense. Between seasons, Wright starred in the romantic drama "Adore" (2013) opposite Naomi Watts and in Anton Corbijn's geopolitical thriller "A Most Wanted Man" (2014), featuring one of the final film roles of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Her next big screen role found the actress playing a version of herself in the futuristic drama "The Congress" (2014), about an actress named Robin Wright who agrees to become the model for a computer-based actress who never ages.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Wonder Woman (2017)
2.
3.
 Two Mothers (2013)
5.
 Moneyball (2011)
6.
 Conspirator, The (2010)
7.
 State of Play (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Dallas, TX; moved with mother to California when parents divorced
1980:
Began modeling at age 14
1984:
TV debut on the series, "The Yellow Rose"
1984:
First significant role, playing Kelly Capwell on the NBC daytime soap "Santa Barbara"; earned three Daytime Emmy nominations
1986:
Feature film debut, "Hollywood Vice Squad"
1987:
First leading role in a feature film, as Buttercup in Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride"
1990:
First onscreen pairing with Sean Penn, "State of Grace"
1992:
Offered a strong performance as a headstrong Irish woman in "The Playboys"
1994:
Cast as Jenny, the love interest to Tom Hanks' "Forrest Gump"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress
1995:
Directed by Penn in "The Crossing Guard"
1996:
Had title role as the rollicking heroine in "Moll Flanders"
1997:
Earned acclaim for her leading role in "She's So Lovely"; again collaborated with Penn; earned Best Actress SAG and Independent Spirit Award nominations
1998:
Re-teamed again with husband, Penn as part of the ensemble of "Hurlyburly"
1999:
Starred opposite Kevin Costner as a reporter tracking down the sender of a "Message in a Bottle"
2000:
Played Bruce Willis' wife in M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable"
2001:
Directed by husband Sean Penn in "The Pledge"
2001:
Appeared uncredited as Robert Redford's daughter in "The Last Castle"
2002:
Appeared as herself in the documentary "Searching for Debra Winger"
2002:
Joined ensemble of top female stars including Michelle Pfeiffer and Renee Zellweger in "White Oleander"
2003:
Co-starred with Robert Downey Jr. in "The Singing Detective"
2004:
Co-starred with Colin Farrell in the feature adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "A Home at the End of the World"
2004:
Played the mother of a teenage girl who believes she is carrying the child of God in "Virgin"
2005:
Cast as the mother of Ed Harris's character in the HBO movie "Empire Falls"; based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Richard Russo; garnered a SAG nomination for Best Actress
2005:
Cast in Rodrigo García's ensemble "Nine Lives"; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Supporting Female
2006:
Cast in Jeff Stanzler's post-9/11 drama "Sorry, Haters"; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Female Lead
2006:
Appeared in Anthony Minghella's ensemble "Breaking and Entering"
2007:
Portrayed Queen Wealtheow in Robert Zemeckis' big-budget film version of "Beowulf"
2008:
Co-starred with Dakota Fanning in Deborah Kampmeier's controversial drama "Hounddog"
2009:
Played Ben Affleck's estranged wife in the political thriller "State of Play"
2009:
Voiced Scrooge's sister and his neglected fiancée in Robert Zemeckis' animated adaptation of "A Christmas Carol"
2009:
Played the title role in "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," written and directed by Rebecca Miller
2011:
Co-starred with Brad Pitt in the biographical drama "Moneyball"
2011:
Joined the cast of David Fincher directed "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," based on the novel by Stieg Larsson
2012:
Cast in the crime drama "Rampart" opposite Woody Harrelson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Taft High School: Woodland Hills , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Dane Witherspoon. Actor. Married briefly in 1986; met while appearing together on the NBC soap opera "Santa Barbara".
companion:
Jason Patric. Actor. Dated c. 1989-90.
husband:
Sean Penn. Actor, director. Born on August 17, 1960; father of two children with Wright; met on the set of the film "Loon" in 1988; together since 1990; separated in 1995; reunited in early 1996; married on April 27, 1996.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Wright. Works for a pharmaceutical film; divorced from Wright's mother in 1968.
mother:
Gayle Wright. Former Mary Kay Cosmetics sales director. Divorced Wright's father in 1968.
brother:
Richard Wright. Photographer. Born c. 1962.
daughter:
Dylan Frances Penn. Born April 13, 1991; father Sean Penn.
son:
Hopper Jack Penn. Born August 6, 1993; father Sean Penn; named after Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.
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