The actress who was once best known as the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and producer Bruce Paltrow and the fiance of Brad Pitt has successfully established herself as a celebrity in her own right and is now known variously as an Oscar-winning actress, Internet entrepreneur, singer and mother.
Paltrow was born and raised in the Hollywood film community and though she spent a brief time in college studying art history at UC Santa Barbara, she quickly dropped out and returned to L.A. to pursue a career in acting.
Her first film was “Shout” in 1991 at the age of 19. She continued to work steadily in a series of small roles until she was cast as Brad Pitt’s wife in the thriller “Seven.” The pair began dating soon after and instantly become a tabloid favorite. When the film was released in the fall of 1995 to major box office, Paltrow finally became a star. Pitt and Paltrow got engaged, but Paltrow called it off in May 1997.
After gaining warm critical attention and awards attention for playing the title character in the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel “Emma,” Paltrow landed her highest profile role to date as young William Shakespeare’s love interest in the romantic comedy “Shakespeare in Love.” The 1998 film won a best picture Oscar and Paltrow won the Academy Award for lead actress.
In 2000, Paltrow starred in “Duets,” about karaoke singers. Though the film died at the box office, her renditions of “Cruisin’” and “Bette Davis Eyes” were released as singles and topped the charts in Australia.
In the fall of 2002, Paltrow met her future husband, singer Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, backstage at one of the group’s shows. They married just over a year later, and Paltrow gave birth to her first child, Apple, in May 2004. In April 2006, she had her second child, Moses.
In late 2008, the actress launched the weekly lifestyle newsletter Goop, which featured food, fashion and accessories fit for a celebrity. The newsletter and website has received much attention, with critics accusing the actress of giving life advice that’s out of touch with normal readers.
Though she cut down on acting work following the birth of her children, Paltrow has received a little more attention lately for starring in the hit “Iron Man” movies and for making a more serious attempt at pursuing her singing career. The actress performed the title track for the soundtrack of her 2010 movie “Country Strong” and even performed the song on the 2010 Country Music Awards. She followed up that performance with a singing appearance on the hit series “Glee.”
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