Home > Celebrities Biography > Jennifer Connelly Birth date/place, Movie and Biography

Jennifer Connelly Birth date/place, Movie and Biography

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Lynn Connelly (born December 12, 1970 in the Catskill Mountains, New York) is an American film actress. Although she has been working in the film industry since she was a teenager, she has only recently received critical acclaim for her work, most notably for Requiem for a Dream (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), for which she won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.


Early life

Connelly was born to Gerard Connelly (an Irish Catholic immigrant and clothing manufacturer) and Eileen (a New York-bred Jewish mother who was an antiques dealer and a masseuse at Esalen). Jennifer 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 through the garmet trade was an advertising executive.

The executive friend suggested Jennifer audition at a modelling agency. At the age of 10, her career started in newspaper and magazine ads, then moved to television commercials.

Her first film role was in the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America, where she had a small part as "young Deborah Gelly" in Sergio Leone’s gangster epic. She next starred in cult Italian horror director Dario Argento’s Phenomena (1985).


Early film career

Connelly became a star on her next picture, the fantasy Labyrinth (1986). Connelly played Sarah, a teenager who wishes her baby brother into the world of goblins ruled by goblin king Jareth (played by rock superstar David Bowie). Through a series of adventures reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, The Muppets and Monty Python, Sarah does indeed manage to rescue her brother. A product of the talents of Jim Henson, George Lucas, ex-Monty Python member Terry Jones and designer Brian Froud, the film was a solid hit and enjoys a cult reputation today.

Connelly seemed stuck as to how to follow up on this success. She made a Japanese pop record and starred in several obscure films – Etoile (1988) and Some Girls (1988). The Dennis Hopper directed The Hot Spot (1990) was underwhelming, both critical and commercially. Another film, Career Opportunities, was more successful and is considered a teen cult classic though it, and Hot Spot threatened to typecast her in the "sexpot" stereotype.

She began studying English at Yale, but transferred two years later to Stanford. She did not graduate from either institution.

The big-budget Disney film The Rocketeer (1991) similarly failed to restart Connelly’s career.

The moody indie film Far Harbor (1996), showed her playing against type and hinted at a much broader range than she had previously shown. Connelly began to appear in smaller but well regarded films such as Inventing the Abbotts (1997) and Waking the Dead (2000). The film Dark City (1998) afforded her the chance to work with such top-flight actors as Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Ian Richardson and Kiefer Sutherland. Connelly revisited her ingenue image again (although in a more understated way) for the film Pollock (2000).



Connelly’s big breakthrough finally came in the 2000 film Requiem for a Dream. The edgy, experimental film started Connelly and Jared Leto as drug users on the edge of a breakdown. The film, which was a big critical success, firmly established Jennifer Connelly as a serious, talented actress. Connelly’s star was on the rise and she next starred in Ron Howard’s film A Beautiful Mind (2001).

Connelly essayed the role of Alicia Nash, the long-suffering wife of a brilliant mathematician John Nash, (played by Russell Crowe) who struggles with mental illness. The film, based on real life events, was a critical and commercial success and earned Connelly an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress – which she won. Clearly established in film, Connelly could work with the best and brightest talent in both commercial and independent film.

Connelly starred in two films in 2003: The Hulk and House of Sand and Fog. The Hulk was something of a box office disappointment, but afforded Connelly the chance to work with noted director Ang Lee. House of Sand and Fog, based on the novel by Andre Dubus, was reminiscent of much of her independent film work of the late 1990s.

Connelly’s most recent film is Dark Water (2005). Dark Water, based on a Japanese film, was a foray into subtle horror that failed to win over either critics or audiences.


Personal life

Connelly is married to the British actor Paul Bettany, whom she met while working on A Beautiful Mind; the couple’s son, Stellan (named after Stellan Skarsgård), was born August 5, 2003. She has also a five-year-old son, Kai, from a previous relationship.


Selected Filmography

Jennifer Connelly in the 1991 film The RocketeerHulk 2 (2007)
The Blood Diamond (2007)
The Berkeley Connection (2006)
Little Children (2006)
Dark Water (2005)
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
Hulk (2003)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The $treet (2000) (TV series)
Pollock (2000)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Waking the Dead (2000)
Dark City (1998)
Higher Learning (1995)
The Rocketeer (1991)
The Hot Spot (1990)
Labyrinth (1986)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

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