skip navigation
Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Ashley Judd - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video



Also Known As: Ashley Tyler Ciminella Died:
Born: April 19, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: actress, hostess

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Exhibiting both beauty and intelligence, actress Ashley Judd stepped out from the shadows of her country music star mother and sister to become one of the more sought-after female leads of the late 1990s. After a pair of early performances on the science fiction franchise "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated, 1987-1994), she landed her breakthrough role in the inspirational drama "Ruby in Paradise" (1993). Soon after, Judd played Val Kilmer's put-upon wife in the crime thriller "Heat" (1995), and essayed a pre-fame Marilyn Monroe in "Norma Jean & Marilyn" (HBO, 1996). However, it was as a kidnap victim who eludes her psychotic captor in "Kiss the Girls"(1997) that the actress' Hollywood stock rose dramatically. Although future projects met with varying degrees of success, Judd still managed to deliver strong performances as complex women in films like the adaptation of the best-selling novel "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002), and the creepy-crawly horror feature "Bug" (2006). After seeking treatment for her life-long issues of depression and loneliness, Judd published her cathartic memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet in 2011, a less-than glamorous portrait of her famous family....

Exhibiting both beauty and intelligence, actress Ashley Judd stepped out from the shadows of her country music star mother and sister to become one of the more sought-after female leads of the late 1990s. After a pair of early performances on the science fiction franchise "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated, 1987-1994), she landed her breakthrough role in the inspirational drama "Ruby in Paradise" (1993). Soon after, Judd played Val Kilmer's put-upon wife in the crime thriller "Heat" (1995), and essayed a pre-fame Marilyn Monroe in "Norma Jean & Marilyn" (HBO, 1996). However, it was as a kidnap victim who eludes her psychotic captor in "Kiss the Girls"(1997) that the actress' Hollywood stock rose dramatically. Although future projects met with varying degrees of success, Judd still managed to deliver strong performances as complex women in films like the adaptation of the best-selling novel "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002), and the creepy-crawly horror feature "Bug" (2006). After seeking treatment for her life-long issues of depression and loneliness, Judd published her cathartic memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet in 2011, a less-than glamorous portrait of her famous family. While not maintaining the A-list profile of film contemporaries like Sandra Bullock, Judd continued to seek out roles that were both challenging and accessible, balanced by her personal life far from the lights of Hollywood.

Born in April 9, 1968 in Granada Hills, CA to parents Michael Ciminella, Jr., an Italian-American marketing specialist in horse racing, and Naomi Judd, a then nurse but future country music star, Ashley Tyler Ciminella joined an older half-sister, Wynonna. When her parents divorced in 1972, Judd was shuttled between California, Kentucky and Tennessee, attending 12 schools in 13 years. A bookish child, she developed an early interest in performing and, goaded by her older sister, opted to try her luck in Hollywood after completing college. Working as a hostess at the popular restaurant The Ivy, Judd made industry connections and within a year, had begun to land stage and screen roles - most notably as Swoosie Kurtz's troubled daughter, Reed Halsey, on the NBC female-centric drama, "Sisters" (1991-96). Judd, however, found the small screen role frustrating and negotiated an early release from her contract. The ambitious beauty auditioned for the pivotal role of Christian Slater's girlfriend in the comedy "Kuffs" (1992), but as she told Movieline in 1997, she "thought they were boiling it down to a booby factor - choosing a pair of breasts." Her agent suggested she pass and accept instead the smaller role of a woman in a paint store. Knowing her mother would not approve of the onscreen nudity anyway, Judd took the smaller role and her career began to take shape from that point on.

After her award-winning and star-making turn as the Tennessee heiress who sets out across Florida to find herself in "Ruby in Paradise," Judd was cast as the sole survivor of a massacre who must describe in detail the traumatic event, in Oliver Stone's highly controversial film, "Natural Born Killers" (1994). Because her emoting was accompanied by graphic flashbacks, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) requested that director Stone cut the scene, deeming it too violent and disturbing. Thankfully, Stone would later restore it for the 1996 "director's cut" video release. Despite ending up on the cutting room floor, Judd continued to add to her gallery of supporting roles, including a dramatic turn as Harvey Keitel's junkie daughter in "Smoke" (1995), Val Kilmer's unfaithful wife in "Heat" (1995) and, bringing what she could to the underwritten part, a lawyer's spouse in the John Grisham-penned, "A Time to Kill" (1996). Faring better on the small screen, Judd displayed her intelligence and skill - as well as a considerable amount of flesh - as the younger incarnation of Marilyn Monroe in "Norma Jean and Marilyn," which brought her an Emmy nomination. Judd's Norma Jean more than held her own opposite Mira Sorvino's Marilyn, with the former's incandescent beauty believably representative of Hollywood's Golden Age. While Judd's next project, "Normal Life" (1996), was originally intended for theatrical release, it was relegated to HBO. Nevertheless, it contained her disturbing, impassioned portrayal of an unhinged woman who drives her caring husband to a life of crime in order to satisfy her acquisitive nature. The rather steamy sex scenes between Judd and Luke Perry, no doubt, gave Judd's mother pause.

In her first Hollywood lead, Judd was cast as a capable doctor who, having escaped from a kidnapper, agrees to help the police track down the criminal in "Kiss the Girls" (1997). Again, her native intelligence and striking beauty were used to good effect, even if the surrounding efforts were not top-drawer. She had a particular onscreen chemistry with star Morgan Freeman, no stranger as the yin to someone else's yang in suspenseful crime thrillers. Next up, the actress exhibited her sexy side as the local girl who falls for a drifter in "The Locusts" (1997) and offered a memorable, if relatively brief, turn as a single mother in the sentimental period drama, "Simon Birch" (1998). Judd returned to thrillers as an innocent woman who, after serving time for murdering her abusive husband, discovers he is still alive in "Double Jeopardy" (1999), as well as playing bad again as a suspected serial killer tracked by Ewan McGregor in the disappointing "Eye of the Beholder" (2000).

In 2001, Judd decided to step outside the genre which, in a few brief years, she had become queen of - that being, suspense thrillers - by starring as a betrayed woman who becomes obsessed with studying male behavior in the romantic comedy feature, "Someone Like You." Despite starring opposite an equally gorgeous Hugh Jackman, the mismanaged film did not ignite any special box office sparks. That same year, following a two-year engagement, Judd married her boyfriend, Indy race driver, Dario Franchitti, and settled in to domesticity while splitting time between homes in his native Scotland and her beloved Tennessee. After her marriage, Judd's Hollywood output would drop radically, but between rooting for her beloved University of Kentucky sports teams, publicly supporting her sister's very public battles with addiction, and getting the word out for causes near to her heart like AIDS, Judd did manage to pop up in the occasional film projects. A return to form in the middlebrow thriller "High Crimes" (2002), reuniting her with her "Kiss the Girls" co-star Freeman, did little to advance her career, though she did provide some fire and flavor to the softer follow-up, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002). Playing the flashback version of Vivi, the highly strung Ellen Burstyn character, Judd's vibrant personality leaped off the screen. She was then cast in a small but crucial supporting role as Tina Modotti, lesbian lover of famed artist Frida Kahlo, in "Frida" (2002), as a favor to Judd's longtime friend, the film's producer and star, Salma Hayek.

After a stint on Broadway in the role of Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and a never realized flirtation with the role of "Catwoman" - thankfully later played unintentionally hilarious by Halle Berry - Judd returned to the big screen in 2004 as Linda Lee Porter, the devoted wife and muse to the great American composer/songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) in the elegant and sophisticated biopic "De-Lovely." Receiving universal praise for her role as the pained wife of a homosexual, Judd reminded moviegoers what they had been missing since her reduced workload had taken effect. Despite a happy marriage and making her voice heard on behalf of various causes, Judd would stick her toe back in the showbiz pool intermittently, appearing in her buddy Joey Lauren Adams' directorial debut, "Come Early Morning" (2006), as Lucy, a thirty-something Southern gal who searches for love; as well as in director William Friedkin's ode to horror, "Bug" (2006). Other late decade work included the little-seen illegal immigration drama "Crossing Over" (2009), co-starring Harrison Ford, and a superfluous supporting role in the cavity-inducing family comedy "Tooth Fairy" (2010), starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

In the spring of 2011 Judd published her memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet, which delved into claims of being neglected as a child by her mother, Naomi, who was busy with Wynonna pursuing country music superstardom. Also covered was the rampant drug abuse she was exposed to in their dysfunctional household and an incident of molestation the adolescent Judd suffered at the hands of a relative's husband. After starring opposite Harry Connick, Jr. and Morgan Freeman in the true-life inspired "Dolphin Tale" (2011), Judd returned to the small screen following a long absence to star in "Missing" (ABC, 2012), where she played a widowed mother and retired CIA agent who discovers that her son (Nick Eversman) has gone missing in Rome. Intending to use her skills to track him down, she instead finds her past haunting her in the form of a conspiracy involving her old agency and Interpol. Despite its strong escapist premise and favorable reviews, the show failed to attract much of a following and was canceled following the airing of its ordered 10 episodes.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Big Stone Gap (2014)
2.
 Divergent (2014)
3.
 Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
4.
5.
 Identical, The (2013)
6.
7.
 Dolphin Tale (2011)
8.
 Flypaper (2011)
9.
 Tooth Fairy (2010)
10.
 Helen (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Was living in Los Angeles, CA when father left family
1974:
Her mother Naomi took Judd and her older sister Wynonna, and moved family back to rural Kentucky
:
Moved frequently between California, Kentucky, and Tennessee
1989:
Appeared in variety special starring her mother and sister, "The Judds: Across the Heartland"
1990:
Moved to back to Los Angeles
1991:
Appeared in Los Angeles stage production of "Welcome Home, Soldier"
1991:
Made TV debut with recurring role on syndicated series "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
1991:
Appeared in recurring role as Reed, the daughter of Swoosie Kurtz on NBC drama "Sisters"; left after three seasons to pursue film career
1992:
Cast in first TV movie role in "Till Death Us Do Part" (NBC)
1992:
Landed first film role in "Kuffs"
1993:
Portrayed title character and narrator of "Ruby in Paradise"
1994:
Made New York stage debut in the Roundabout Theatre production of "Picnic"
1994:
Appeared in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers"; part was cut as MPAA deemed scene too disturbing and violent; Stone restored it for 1996 Director's Cut release
1995:
Appeared in "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" music video, performed by Jerry Garcia
1995:
Played Val Kilmer's straying wife in "Heat"
1996:
Received Emmy nomination as Norma Jean opposite Mira Sorvino as her superstar alter ego Marilyn Monroe in HBO movie "Norma Jean & Marilyn"
1996:
Starred opposite Luke Perry as his self-indulgent wife in "Normal Life"
1996:
Played the frustrated wife of a Southern lawyer in "A Time to Kill"
1997:
Portrayed a kidnap victim who manages to escape from her captor in thriller "Kiss the Girls"; film also starred Morgan Freeman
1998:
Cast in small but pivotal role as a single mother in "Simon Birch"
1999:
Played a woman mistakenly sent to prison for murdering her husband in "Double Jeopardy"
2000:
Played a serial killer in "Eye of the Beholder"
2001:
Played lead role in romantic comedy "Someone Like You"
2002:
Re-teamed with Morgan Freeman for "High Crimes"
2002:
Portrayed photographer Tina Modotti opposite Salma Hayek as "Frida"
2002:
Portrayed a Young Vivi Walker in "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," based on best-selling novel by Rebecca Wells
2003:
Made Broadway debut as Maggie in "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof"
2004:
Starred with Samual L. Jackson and Andy Garcia in thriller "Twister"
2004:
Co-starred with Kevin Kline in "De-lovely," a film about legendary American composer Cole Porter
2006:
Starred in Joey Lauren Adams' screenwriting and directing debut "Come Early Morning"
2007:
Co-starred in psychological thriller "Bug"
2009:
Played an immigration defense attorney in "Crossing Over," about illegal immigrants in Los Angeles
2010:
Co-starred with Dwayne Johnson in "Tooth Fairy"
2011:
Published memoir <i>All That Is Bitter & Sweet</i>
2011:
Co-starred with Harry Connick Jr. and Morgan Freeman in family drama "Dolphin Tale"
2012:
Starred as an ex-CIA agent searching for her kidnapped son on ABC's "Missing"
2013:
Played the First Lady in action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen" alongside Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Playhouse West: Los Angeles , California -
University of Kentucky: Lexington , Kentucky - 1986 - 1990

Notes

Described acting as "guts coming from my toenails." --From The New York Times, October 3, 1993.

Her role in "Natural Born Killers" (1994) was cut out of the final release.

"I was always told I was different. I was always told I was special. And I was also assured that I had a gift and a purpose. All my life, I believed that things work to good for all those who are good and who love God, and I do."---Ashley Judd quoted in US, January 1996.

"... I know when I'm working on a performance, I'll go sideways for a while before I go straight up. If I'm trying something in a take and it's not working for me, I will absolutely exhaust the idea in myself before a change will occur to me. And I almost need to do that. It's the way my neurons work. ... "---Judd quoted in Interview, September 1998.

"I have raised two very independent, strong-willed women. Wynonna and I happen to agree on issues in the entertainment industry regarding nudity, sex and violence. Ashley is much more liberal."---Naomi Judd, who favors the adoption of a code to curb what she considers excessive violence and sex in the media, on her daughters, quoted in USA Today, August 16, 1999.

"Well, being down to earth is always an objective for me. I just think it's so important to have your inner peace and your quality friendships and to love what you do. That's what my life is about."---Judd on how she handles success to E!Online January 28, 2000

"Ashley is a girl's girl. She's smart and open and doesn't seem like the type of girl who would steal your boyfriend. Men like her because she's sexy and she's not remote. She's like Sandra Bullock and Meg Ryan because she wears her heart on her sleeve. Yet, she can be wounded and recover. She's resilient."---Linda Obst, producer Cinema.com 2001

"Judd's strengths come across particularly well onscreen. She is extremely beautiful and can handle physical roles. She has a unisex quality"---Philip Kaufman who directed Ashley Judd in "Twister" to the San Francisco Chronicle March 2, 2004

"When it came down to it I was fairly nervous. I was too dumb to panic. You know, we actors have fairly healthy egos: 'Oh sure, I can do that, no problem. Gain 30 lbs., sing a song, ride a horse, jump off a building, no worries.'"---Ashley Judd, on singing in her new movie, De-Lovely to people, July 06, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lyle Lovett. Actor, singer. Dated in the early 1990s.
companion:
Matthew McConaughey. Actor. Involved during filming of "A Time to Kill".
companion:
Michael Bolton. Singer. Had on-again, off-again relationship.
companion:
Brady Anderson. Professional athlete. Played centerfield with the Baltimore Orioles; no longer dating.
husband:
Dario Franchitti. Professional race car driver. Born c. 1962; Scottish; became engaged in December 1999; married on December 12, 2001 in Scotland.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Michael Ciminella. Divorced from Naomi Judd in 1972.
mother:
Naomi Judd. Singer, author, motivational speaker, actor. Born on January 11, 1946; member of The Judds; stopped performing after being diagnosed with hepatitis; recovered.
step-father:
Larry Strickland. Manager, former singer. Sang back up for Elvis Presley; married Naomi Judd c. 1988; she filed for divorce in August 2000.
half-sister:
Wynonna. Singer. Former member of those singing Judds; subsequently a successful solo act; born c. 1964; married Arch Kelley III on January 20, 1996; filed for divorce in November 1998.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Judds: The True Story of Naomi, Wynonna and Ashley" Birch Lane Press

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute