Ashley Judd biography 2022

Actress Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd biography

Ashley Judd is the daughter of Naomi Judd and half-sister to Wynonna - the mother and daughter group that make up the country duo the Judds - it's clear that Ashley has managed to make a successful name for herself with acting. With a blockbuster and major Hollywood roles under his belt, actor Judd is only at the beginning of what could be a great film career.

Things weren't always so peachy for the youngest Judd, who lived in several run-down Kentucky homes with his dirt-poor family. Even without the conveniences that might be considered necessities, such as running water, electricity, or a telephone, the Judd girls still found ways to keep themselves entertained.

While Wynonna and her mother sang on the front porch, Ashley immersed herself in books and played the different characters in the stories. Ashley attended 12 schools in 13 years until her sister and mother made it big in the country music industry.

When Ashley Judd graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1990, her first thought was to become a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. Her sister Wynonna advised her to pursue an acting career, and the next thing Ashley knew, she was in LA trying to make it as an actress.

Ashley didn't need much waiting as the first agency she waltzed into immediately signed her. The same thing happened with her first audition; she was cast in the film Kuffs, albeit not the part she initially aimed for.

Ashley Judd then moved to the small screen with a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as the role of Swoosie Kurtz's daughter on the NBC series Sisters from 1991 to 1994. In 1992, she had a position on the made-for-TV- film Till Death Do Us Part, and two years later, she appeared in the Roundabout Theatre's revival of Picnic, her first time working on Broadway. Judd's return to the big screen was marked by a starring role in Ruby in Paradise, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. Judd also received an Independent Spirit Award for her role as Ruby. It was all uphill from there.

Although Ashley Judd was mainly in supporting roles in films, her acting was more than just keeping and did not go unnoticed. She was Stockard Channing's drug addict daughter in Smoke, Val Kilmer's strong wife in Heat, and Matthew McConaughey's wife in the Southern courtroom drama A Time to Kill. Then came Judd's Emmy-nominated performance, not just as the wife of a great actor—she played the young legendary Marilyn in the 1996 HBO biopic Norma Jean and Marilyn.

In 1997, Ashley Judd co-starred with Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls. Double Jeopardy's colossal box office success, in which she played a housewife framed for her husband's murder, offset the box office duds Judd was involved in, namely Simon Birch (1998) and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Naomi Judd says men flocked to her daughter when she was growing up, which is not hard to believe for a woman with such beauty. Married to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti, Judd has been romantically involved with Robert De Niro (who worked with her in Heat), Matthew McConaughey, and Michael Bolton.

Ashley Judd starred in the disappointment Eye of the Beholder, portraying an Oklahoma mother in the just-released Where the Heart Is, and began shooting Animal Husbandry.

Ashley Judd has made it big on her own, without needing the surname Judd to boost her recognition as an actress. She made a point of this by refusing to appear in the autobiographical film about the Judds, starring Naomi and Wynonna (she provided the narration for the film), and Kenny Rogers' 1993 Rio Diablo, in which her mother starred. 

last updated September 2022

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