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Ashley Judd

Real name: Ashley Tyler Ciminella
Birthdate: April 19, 1968
Status: Dating
Partner: Dario Franchitti

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Judd was raised in her mother's Baptist religion, and attended twelve schools before college. She briefly tried modeling in Japan during school breaks. An alumna of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky, she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater, and women’s studies. She spent a semester studying in France as part of her major, a move that mirrored her role as Reed in the television series Sisters. She was in the UK Honors Program and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, but did not graduate with her class, leaving university early to drive cross-country in pursuit of an acting career in Hollywood, where she studied with well-respected acting teacher, Robert Carnegie, at Playhouse West. During this time, she worked as a waitress at "The Ivy" restaurant and lived in a Malibu, California house her sister bought her, which burned down during the great Malibu fires. On May 9, 2007, it was announced that Judd had completed her bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Kentucky. In a May 2007 appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Judd explained that she had completed her degree requirements in 1990, but had mistakenly thought she was one class short. She only needed to "sign a piece of paper" in order to graduate. Ellen then surprised Judd by presenting her with her diploma, which Degeneres had acquired from the university.

Judd began acting on television, and appeared as Ensign Robin Lefler, a Starfleet officer, in two 1991 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. From 1991 to 1994 she had a recurring role as Reed, the daughter of Alex (Swoosie Kurtz), on the NBC drama Sisters. She made her feature film debut in 1992's Kuffs, and had the starring role in 1993's independent film, Ruby in Paradise, for which she received good reviews. She also had a role in the 1994 Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers, but her scenes were cut from the version of the film released theatrically. She gained further critical acclaim for her roles in 1995's Smoke and Heat. She also played the role of Callie in Philip Ridley's dark, adult fairy-tale The Passion of Darkly Noon.

When in Manhattan, she attends services at a charismatic Missionary Baptist Church. Judd regularly attends University of Kentucky basketball games, frequently sitting next to Donna Smith (wife of former UK Coach Tubby Smith), or in the student section. Last year, she was a guest columnist for a local Kentucky newspaper, writing about the NCAA Championships. She is frequently sought out for celebrity camera shots during televised games. At the request of her cousin, she posed for a poster wearing only a hockey jersey for fundraising purposes for their alma mater's hockey team. She is also an avid practitioner of yoga, cooking and gardening.

In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas and stayed for 47 days. She was there because of personal issues, including depression and isolation.

A long running feud between Judd and Indy race car driver Milka Duno took place throughout the 2007 IRL season. After the final race of the 2007 season the actress stated to the assembled news media that, "I know this is not very sportsmanlike, but they've got to get the 23 car (Duno) off the track. It's very dangerous. I'm tired of holding my tongue. She shouldn't be out there. When a car is 10 miles (an hour) off the pace, it's not appropriate to be racing. People's lives are at stake".


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