Childhood & Early Life
Julianne was born on 3rd December, 1960 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Her mother, Anne, was a psychologist and a social worker whereas her father, Peter Moore Smith, Jr. was an American military judge.
Since her father was working with the army, she spent early years of her life at two dozen locations and hence attended different schools.
In 1983, she graduated from School of Performing Arts, Boston University, with Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Thereafter, she moved back to New York City to start her career in theaters.
She started with roles in two plays, ‘Serious Money’ and ‘Ice Cream With Hot Fudge’. She also played ‘Ophelia’ in ‘Hamlet’.
After theater, she turned to television. She got her first major break in 1985 in the series ‘As the World Turns’. Initially, she played the role of Frannie. Eventually, she also played the role of her half sister Sabrina in this soap. She won Daytime Emmy award for this role.
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In 1990, she got her first movie role in the film ‘Tales of the Dark Side’ wherein she played the victim of mummy.
Her supporting role in the movie ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’ which was released in 1992 got critic’s attention and appreciation. She also played a comic role in ‘The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag’ in the same year.
In 1993, she appeared in four commercially successful movies. Her first release that year was ‘Body of Evidence’, a romantic story of ‘Benny & Joon’, followed by a hit crime drama starring Harrison Ford ‘The Fugitive’, and Robert Altman's ‘Short Cuts’, based on the stories of Raymond Carver.
In 1994, she made a distinguished appearance in classic theatrical work ‘Vanya on 42nd Street’.
In 1995, her movie ‘Safe’ was released. In this movie she played a woman battling unknown diseases. Her portrayal of an affluent housewife who develops an inexplicable allergic reaction to her environment, won critical praise as well as an ‘Independent Spirit Award’ nomination. This movie established her as a fine actress.
She played Hugh Grant’s pregnant girlfriend in ‘Nine Month’ in 1995. Her film ‘Assassins’ wherein she portrayed a security expert was also released in 1995.
In 1996, she played the role of one of the lovers of Picasso in ‘Surviving Picasso’.
In 1997, she starred in Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’. Julianne bagged this role based on her performance in ‘The Fugitive’, without even an audition. The same year, ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘The Myth of Fingerprints’ were also released.
Her 1998 film ‘The Big Lebowski’ was not commercially hit. But this offbeat comedy is still considered a cult classic. She also appeared in scary movie ‘Psycho’ that year.
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In 1999, she was cast as the mentally challenged but adorable sister in ‘Cookie’s Fortune’. She portrayed devious Mrs. Cheveley in ‘An Ideal Husband’. Her movies ‘Magnolia’, ‘End of the Affair’ and ‘A Map of the World’ too received the same response.
In 2002, her two performances - ‘Far From Heaven’ where, she plays a 1950s housewife mother whose picture-perfect life unexpectedly shatters, and ‘The Hours’ where she portrays another 1950s housewife who contemplates freeing herself from her suburban shackles, won rave reviews and accolades. She got Oscar nominations for both these films. For ‘Far from Heaven’ she received Best Actress award from 19 organizations.
In 2004, her films ‘Marie and Bruce’ and ‘Laws of attraction’ were not that successful. However, a psychological thriller ‘The Forgotten’ was a huge hit. She did a couple of movies and series in 2005 but these were not well received.
Her ‘Children of Men’ released in 2006 and was a hit. She also experimented on Broadway, debuting in David Hare's ‘The Vertical Hour’. However, it was not very well received by critics.
In the movie ‘A Single Man’, which released in 2009, she played role of a best friend to a homosexual professor who wants to end his life. This work too got nominated for Golden Globe Award.
In 2015, she appeared as an evil queen in ‘Seventh Son’, a poorly received fantasy–adventure film. She also appeared in ‘Freeheld’, a drama based on a true story about a detective and her same-sex partner and in the romantic comedy ‘Maggie's Plan’. Both films were presented at the ‘2015 Toronto International Film Festival’.
Julianne has also tried her hands at writing. From 2007 to 2015, she wrote and published a series of six books for children, with the character ‘Freckleface Strawberry’. Apart from this series, she released one more book in 2013, named ‘My mom is a foreigner but not to me’ based on her experience of growing up with mother from another country.
She rose to prominence with ‘Boogie Nights’ in 1997. In this film she portrayed an adult film star and a mother figure to ragtag crew. She received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for this film.
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In 2014, she won the ‘Best Actress’ award at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ for her portrayal of an ageing actress receiving psychotherapy in a black comedy ‘Maps to the stars’. Her success at Cannes made her the second actress in history, after Juliette Binoche, to win at the "Big Three" film festivals (Cannes, Venice, and Berlin). She also received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Her final appearance of 2014 was one of the most acclaimed of her career. In the drama ‘Still Alice’, she played the leading role of a linguistic professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. She spent four months training for the film, by watching documentaries on the disease and interacting with patients at the Alzheimer's Association. She was awarded with the Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA for ‘Best Actress’.
Awards & Achievements
Julianne was nominated for Oscar in 1998, 2000 and in 2003. However, she could win this prestigious award in 2015 for her splendid performance in ‘Still Alice’. This movie also won her the BAFTA award as well.
In her career, she has won the Golden Globe Academy Awards thrice. First time she won in 1994 for her role in ‘Short Cuts’ as ‘Best Ensemble Cast’. Second time she won it for her performance in ‘Game Change’ in 2013. Her latest award was in 2015 for ‘Still Alice’ movie.
Her performance in ‘Game Change’ also brought her the ‘Prime Time Emmy Award’ in ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie’ category in 2012.
In 2002, she won the Best Actress Award for ‘The Hours’ at Berlin Film Festival.
In 2014, she won ‘Best Actress Award’ for ‘Maps to the Stars’ at Cannes Film Festival.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1986, she got married to actor and stage director John Gould Rubin. However, they separated in 1993.
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She got into a relationship with her current husband Bart Freundlich in 1996 when she was working in the film ‘The Myth of Fingerprints’. Bart was the director of the film.
Julianne and Bart got married in August 2003. The couple has a son named Caleb, born in 1997 and a daughter Liv, born in 2002. They live in Greenwich Village, New York City.
She has a younger sister Valerie and a younger brother Peter who is a novelist.
She was clever and studious in the school and wanted to become a doctor. She had never thought that she will make a career in acting. It was her English teacher who encouraged her to take up acting as a career.
This famous Hollywood actress once worked briefly as a part-time waitress in Boston.
For the movie ‘Safe’ she had to lose a lot of weight which made her ill. Hence, she decided not to change her body for any role. She is against the plastic surgery and body enhancements.