Jennifer Connelly Biography

(Best Known for Her Role in the Films: 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'Little Children')

Birthday: December 12, 1970 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Cairo, New York, United States

Jennifer Lynn Connelly is an American actress who started out very young in the industry and made it very big. She started child modeling at the age of 10 when her father’s friend pursued the Connelly family to use her good looks for print and television commercials. For her first appearance in Hollywood movies, she was asked to perform a ballet routine. Connelly landed her lead roles in Italian movies and English-language movies only when she was a teenager. Slowly and gradually she was making a mark for herself in the industry but all the attention and daunting work in the movies overwhelmed her and she decided to take a break and study drama at Stanford University. She featured in the breakthrough role of her film career in the movie ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and after that, there was no looking back for her with lead roles in movies like ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Blood Diamond’, etc. For ‘A Beautiful Mind’ Connelly was honored with prestigious awards like Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA. The character of ‘Alicia Nash’ that she portrayed in the movie was critically very well received.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Jennifer Lynn Connelly

Age: 53 Years, 53 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Paul Bettany (m. 2003)

father: Gerard Karl Connelly

mother: Eileen Connelly

children: Agnes Lark Bettany, Kai Dugan, Stellan Bettany

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Females

Ancestry: Irish American, Norwegian American, Polish American, Russian American

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Stanford University, Yale University

  • 1

    Is Jennifer Connelly left-handed?

    No, Jennifer Connelly is right-handed.
  • 2

    Has Jennifer Connelly ever done any voice acting?

    Yes, Jennifer Connelly provided the voice for the character of Jennifer in the animated film "9."
  • 3

    Did Jennifer Connelly have to learn any specific skills for her role in the movie Labyrinth?

    Yes, Jennifer Connelly had to learn how to perform various tricks with crystal balls for her role in "Labyrinth."

  • 4

    Has Jennifer Connelly ever appeared in a music video?

    Yes, Jennifer Connelly appeared in the music video for the song "I Drove All Night" by Roy Orbison.
  • 5

    Did Jennifer Connelly experience any challenges while filming the movie Requiem for a Dream?

    Yes, Jennifer Connelly found the emotional intensity of her role in "Requiem for a Dream" to be challenging.

Childhood & Early Years

Jennifer Connelly was born in Cairo, New York, to Ilene and Gerard Connelly. Her father was a clothing manufacturer and her mother was an antiques dealer. She was raised in Brooklyn Heights where she attended Saint Ann’s school.

Continue Reading Below

Connelly auditioned as a child model when she was 10, at the suggestion of a friend of her father’s. Her modeling career started with the Ford Modeling Agency and she appeared on the cover of several magazines and Japanese pop songs.

In 1984, Connelly appeared in a Hollywood movie for the first time, ‘Once Upon a Time in America’. She performed a ballet routine in the movie. During the same time, she made her first appearance on television.

She got her first lead roles in 1985 with the Italian horror movie, ‘Phenomena’ and ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’. These movies did not do wonders for Connelly’s image but they got her the required media exposure and attention.

In 1986, Connelly played a teenager in the fantasy film, ‘Labyrinth’. Her performance in the movie was highly criticized and the movie itself bombed at the box office but it became a cult film later.

She took a little break from acting to join back school and make sense of things as her acting career was growing larger. Connelly joined Yale in 1988 to study English and later joined Stanford to study drama.

In 1990, Connelly’s parents encouraged her to join back movies and she left Stanford to act in ‘The Hot Spot’. Although the movie did not achieve commercial success, her performance in the movie earned critics’ appreciation.

Connelly’s next big movies were released in 1991––the romantic comedy ‘Career Opportunities’ in which she worked opposite Frank Whaley and Disney’s ‘The Rocketeer’. Both movies failed to take her career to new heights.

In 1996, Connelly did the most controversial intimate scene with her co-star John Malkovich in the movie ‘Mulholland Falls’, in which she played the role of his mistress who gets mysteriously murdered.

Connelly took a break from commercial cinema and did a low-budget film, ‘Inventing the Abbotts’, for which she gained critical acclaim. The following year, she did ‘Dark City’, and her performance as ‘femme fatale Emma’ charmed everyone.

Continue Reading Below

In 2000, she appeared in what is considered the breakthrough film of her career, ‘Requiem for a Dream’. She played the emotionally heightened and difficult role of a woman who gets addicted and becomes a prostitute.

Next came the most prominent movie in Connelly’s life, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ in 2001, in which she played the role of Alicia Nash, wife of schizophrenic mathematician, John Nash. She won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for it.

In 2003, she did ‘The Hulk’ and played the role of Betty Rose, who was a scientist and the main protagonist’s former girlfriend. Connelly got interested in the movie because of Ang Lee’s unusual take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

She did ‘House of Sand and Fog’ in 2003, which was based on a novel by the author Andre Dubus III. She played the role of an abandoned wife who feels lost and lonely.

After remaining away from cinema for two years, Connelly’s ‘Dark Water’ came out in 2005. In this horror and psychological thriller, she was appreciated for playing the role of a mother who is haunted by her past.

The year 2006 proved to be a creatively fulfilling one in Connelly’s film career as she did movies like, ‘Little Children’ alongside Kate Winslet and ‘Blood Diamond’ opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. Both movies were nominated for multiple Academy Awards.

‘Reservation Road’ in 2007 gave Connelly another opportunity to prove her acting skills as a serious actress. She starred in the movie with Joaquin Phoenix. The character that she played was stronger than any she played before.

In 2008, Connelly did ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ opposite Keanu Reeves, and the following year, she did a light romantic comedy, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ along with Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, etc.

Connelly appeared in the drama biopic ‘Creation’ in 2009, a movie based on Charles Darwin’s life. She played the role of Darwin’s wife who used to oppose his ideas and struggled with the death of their daughter.

Continue Reading Below

In 2010, Connelly did Dustin Lance Black’s ‘Virginia’. The movie was only meant to get a limited theatrical release and her performance as a mentally unstable woman was very well received by the critics.

Connelly took up a comedy venture in 2011, ‘The Dilemma’, starring opposite Vince Vaughn. The same year, she did a comedy-thriller film with religious satire undertones, titled ‘Salvation Boulevard’, along with Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear.

She next appeared in films like ‘Stuck in Love,’ ‘Winter's Tale,’ ‘Aloft,’ ‘Noah,’ ‘Shelter,’ ‘American Pastoral,’ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ ‘Only the Brave,’ and ‘Alita: Battle Angel.’

In 2020, she joined the main cast of the American thriller television series ‘Snowpiercer’ as ‘Melanie Cavill.’ The show ran for 3 seasons and aired its final episode in 2022. She next played the role of ‘Penelope "Penny" Benjamin’ in the 2022 American action drama film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film opened to critical acclaim and was a massive box-office success, grossing over $1.496 billion on a budget of $170–177 million.

In 2023, she played the role of ‘Lucy’ in the black comedy film ‘Bad Behaviour’ written and directed by Alice Englert. The film holds a 43% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Major Works

‘A Beautiful Mind (2001)’ is considered Connelly’s most prominent work until now. Her portrayal of Alicia Nash, wife of schizophrenic mathematician and a nobel laureate John Nash, won her an Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe.

Awards & Achievements

Although Connelly has been critically acclaimed for many movies like, ‘Blood Diamond’, ‘Little Children’, and ‘Reservation Road’, etc. it was Ron Howard’s ‘A Beautiful Mind’ that won her an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 2003, Connelly got married to actor Paul Bettany after meeting him on the sets of ‘A Beautiful Mind’. They have two children together: Stellan and Agnes Lark. She already has a son, Kai, from David Dugan.

Facts About Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly is multilingual, fluent in both English and Italian.

She even learned how to speak French for a role in a film.
She is a talented musician and can play the piano and guitar.
Jennifer Connelly is known for her philanthropic efforts and has been involved in various charitable causes, including supporting organizations that focus on education and environmental conservation.
In addition to her acting career, Connelly is also a successful model and has appeared in campaigns for major fashion brands.
She is a dedicated mother to her children and prioritizes spending quality time with her family outside of her work commitments.

Jennifer Connelly Movies

1. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

  (Crime, Drama)

2. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

  (Biography, Drama)

3. Requiem for a Dream (2000)


4. Blood Diamond (2006)

  (Drama, Thriller, Adventure)

5. House of Sand and Fog (2003)


6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

  (Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action)

7. Labyrinth (1986)

  (Musical, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

8. Dark City (1998)

  (Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller)

9. Alita: Battle Angel (2018)

  (Adventure, Thriller, Action, Romance, Sci-Fi)

10. Little Children (2006)

  (Romance, Drama)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
2002 Best Actress in a Supporting Role A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Golden Globe Awards
2002 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture A Beautiful Mind (2001)
BAFTA Awards
2002 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role A Beautiful Mind (2001)

See the events in life of Jennifer Connelly in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Jennifer Connelly Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

Paul Bettany Biography
Paul Bettany
Kai Dugan Biography
Kai Dugan
Sabrina Carpenter Biography
Sabrina Carpenter
Sydney Sweeney Biography
Sydney Sweeney
Anne Hathaway Biography
Anne Hathaway
Scarlett Johansson Biography
Scarlett Johansson
Lady Gaga Biography
Lady Gaga