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Biography for Michelle WilliamsMichelle Ingrid Williams (born sep. 9, 1980 (33 years ago)) is an American actress. Williams broke into stardom on the teen series Dawson's Creek and later graduated to full-length features, most notably Brokeback Mountain, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Early yearsWilliams was born in Kalispell, Montana, the daughter of Carla, a homemaker, and Larry Williams, a well-known stock and commodities trader.
When Williams was nine, her family moved to San Diego, California, and, at an early age, she became interested in acting. At age fifteen, faced with her parents' disapproval, she emancipated herself from them. After completing the ninth grade at the Upper School of Santa Fe Christian Schools, in Solana Beach, California, she left school in order to pursue her acting career in Dawson's Creek.
In 1997 (16 years ago), she won the Robbins World Cup Trading Championship, as her father had done 10 years earlier. She won after turning $10,000 into $110,000 over the course of a year and that gain (as of 2006 (7 years ago)) is the fourth highest in the history of that competition (her father has the highest).
CareerWilliams's career began in TV, appearing in programs such as the 1990 (23 years ago) version of Lassie, Baywatch, Step by Step, and Home Improvement. Williams' first movie role was in the motion picture (wallpaper) Species. Soon after, she won additional roles, including the Jessica Lange-Michelle Pfeiffer movie A Thousand Acres and the 1998 (15 years ago) movie Halloween H20: 20 Years Later with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Hartnett. Williams's star profile rose considerably when in 1998 (15 years ago), she was cast as one of the lead characters on the WB show Dawson's Creek. She would play Jen Lindley for all six seasons of the successful show.
During and after the show's run, Williams appeared in several films. Her first starring role was as Arlene in the movie Dick, a satire of the Watergate scandal, opposite Kirsten Dunst. She starred opposite Christina Ricci (20 walls) in Prozac Nation, and also appeared in the HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2, and several acclaimed indie pictures (wallpaper) such as The United States of Leland, Me Without You, and Imaginary Heroes. For her performance in The Station Agent, Williams, along with the rest of the cast, received a Screen Actors Guild award nomination for Best Acting Ensemble. In 2005 (8 years ago), critics and audiences took note of Williams' performance in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. For her performance, she won a Critic's Choice Award and received Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2006 (7 years ago) she appeared in The Hawk Is Dying with Paul Giamatti. In 2007 (6 years ago), she was in The Hottest State opposite Ethan Hawke; and in the Todd Haynes directed I'm Not There with Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger (5 walls), and Julianne Moore. In 2008 (5 years ago), she starred with Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman in the Marcel Langenegger directed movie Deception.
Williams has been noted to "repeatedly taken chances on under-the-radar indies", such as The Station Agent and The Hawk Is Dying, "while catching the attention of auteurs like Wim Wenders (Land of Plenty), Todd Haynes (I'm Not There); and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (4 walls) (based on the novel it adapts, Shutter Island (4 walls) by Dennis Lehane) ó that will also star Leonardo DiCaprio (7 walls) and Mark Ruffalo.
Along with the Scorsese film, she shot four other movies in succession. Independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy was shown on sep. 27 and 28, 2008 (5 years ago) at the New York movie Festival and opened on dec. 10, 2008 (5 years ago). Williams appears "in every scene as a young woman living hand to mouth on the road when her car breaks down and her dog goes missing in a blue-collar Oregon town. She is one of a "vivid ensemble cast orbiting around Philip Seymour Hoffman's harried theater director" in Synecdoche, New York, the first movie directed by Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation.
Two other movies include director Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth with Gael GarcŪa Bernal; and Incendiary, which premiered at the Sundance movie Festival in 2008 (5 years ago). Williams recently said that she is "going to take a year off" as she "stopped feeling creative a little while ago, and... [is] just realizing it now," and is also "feeling the strain of being a working single mom" and, the untimely death of her husband, Heath Ledger.
Williams can be seen in the upcoming romance movie Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling; the movie is currently in pre-production and has a release date of 2010 (3 years ago).
Williams is one of the 134 moviemakers who has been invited to join the Academy Awards Organisation.
Personal lifeWilliams met Heath Ledger (5 walls) on the set of the movie Brokeback Mountain, in which they played husband and wife. During their time together, they lived in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York Williams was engaged to Ledger and gave birth to their daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger, on Oct. 28, 2005 (8 years ago), in New York City. Matilda's godfather is Jake Gyllenhaal (7 walls), her co-star in Brokeback Mountain, while her godmother is Busy Philipps, Williams' co-star on Dawson's Creek.
The couple separated in sep. 2007 (6 years ago), after three years together.
Williams "reads bedtime stories to Matilda... in whatever accent she's practicing ó East London for 'Incendiary,' Boston for 'Shutter Island' ó but has had a hard time balancing the immersive demands of acting and the consuming duties of motherhood" and "The bleakness of some of the roles has also taken a toll". Williams "still finds herself reacting to the tabloid intrusions" of celebrity stardom "with bewilderment" and finds it difficult to "negotiate a gulf between private self and public image" and the phenomenon of celebrity 'a bit of an isolating problem to have'". Williams is "an avid reader who favors poetry over novels while filming so she's not distracted by competing narratives" and who would like "to pick up a skill" like embroidery during her yearlong sabbatical from filming.
In a dec. 2008 (5 years ago) interview with L.A. Weekly, Williams spoke about taking time off set to be a full-time single mother and the support she has found in what she refers to as "coffee-shop parents" and "single-mom parents". Williams said, "Iím not quite ready to give up working, but I donít know how to do the good balance of it. Thatís the challenge, to live in the chaos."
She is currently engaged to director Spike Jonze, director of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation. and Where the Wild Things Are.
Death of Heath LedgerHeath Ledger (5 walls) was found dead in his New York apartment on Jan. 22, 2008 (5 years ago), from what was later determined to be an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Williams' publicist released her first public statement about his death on Feb. 1, 2008 (5 years ago):
"Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image (wallpaper) of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day. His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up with the best memories of him."
In early Feb. 2008 (5 years ago), Williams flew from New York City first to Los Angeles and then to Perth, to attend memorial and funeral services, including a wake on Cottesloe, Western Australia. Although Ledger won many posthumous awards for his portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight (13 walls), Williams did not accept any of them on his behalf.
External links to Michelle Williams
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