Real name: Jennifer Ann Connelly
Birthdate: December 12, 1970
Partner: Paul Bettany
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Jennifer Lynn Connelly (born December 12, 1970) is an American film actress and former child model. Although she has been working in the film industry since she was a teenager and catapulted to fame on the basis of her appearances in films like Labyrinth and Career Opportunities, she did not receive wide exposure for her work until the 2000 drama Requiem for a Dream, and the 2001 biopic A Beautiful Mind, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Eileen, an antiques dealer, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer who worked in the garment industry. Connelly's paternal grandfather was Irish American and her paternal grandmother was a Norwegian American; her maternal grandparents were Jewish, their families having come from Russia and Poland. Connelly was raised in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, near the Brooklyn Bridge, attending St. Ann's School, except for four years the family spent living in Woodstock, New York. One of her father's friends was an advertising executive, who suggested that she audition at a modeling agency.
Connelly became a star on her next picture, the fantasy Labyrinth (1986) playing Sarah, a teenager who wishes her baby brother into the world of goblins ruled by goblin king Jareth (David Bowie). The film disappointed at the box office, but gained a huge cult following.
Arguably, Connelly's big breakthrough was the 2000 film Requiem for a Dream. Connelly starred alongside Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans as heroin addicts on the edge of a breakdown. The film firmly established her as a serious actress. Connelly next starred in Ron Howard's film A Beautiful Mind (2001), essaying the role of Alicia Nash, the long-suffering wife of the brilliant, schizophrenic mathematician John Nash (played by Russell Crowe). The film was a critical and commercial success and earned Connelly an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her appearance in A Beautiful Mind led to a featured article in TIME magazine.
She turned down the leading role in The Ring due to scheduling conflicts. She also turned down the role of Katherine Thorn in The Omen because the original movie disturbed her. The role of Veronica in Heathers was written with her in mind but she turned it down. She also lost out at the last minute to Ione Skye in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything. As of 2007, she is on set filming Reservation Road with Joaquin Phoenix, planned for release in the fall of 2007.
Connelly is a vegan. She is married to the English actor Paul Bettany (born 1971), whom she met while working on A Beautiful Mind. The couple's son, Stellan (named after actor Stellan Skarsgård), was born on August 5, 2003. She also has a son, Kai (born 1997), from her relationship with photographer David Dugan.