Scarlett Johansson's acting career started when she was a child, but it wasn't until she turned 18 that she had her breakout year. In 2003, she garnered rave reviews for two films: “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” sharing the screen with Colin Firth, and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” which earned her the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival.
A New York City native, Johansson began acting for stage and screen at age 8 when her mother took her to auditions. Among her early films were Robert Redford’s “The Horse Whisperer,” “Home Alone 3” and “Manny & Lo,” which also featured her twin brother, Hunter. Her first film was Rob Reiner’s “North.” She graduated from the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan in 2002.
She has worked with director Woody Allen in three of his films, “Match Point,” “Scoop” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” and Christopher Nolan in the period magician drama “The Prestige.”
She has also flexed her action-star muscles in Michael Bay’s “The Island” opposite Ewan McGregor as a clone on the run and in “Iron Man 2” as Marvel hero Black Widow. She reprised the role in the 2012 ensemble superheroes movie “The Avengers.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has nominated Johansson for a Golden Globe four times, for her performances in “Pearl Earring,” “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” “Match Point” and “Lost in Translation,” the last of which also earned her a BAFTA award.
A talent not only in film but also in music, Johansson has released two albums. On her first, “Anywhere I Lay My Head,” she sang covers of Tom Waits songs. Her second, “Break Up,” released in 2009, was a collaboration with Pete Yorn, her agent’s brother.
Named by Esquire magazine as the " Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2006, Johansson married Canada-born actor Ryan Reynolds in 2008. The couple divorced in 2011.
Outside acting, Johansson is a global ambassador for the anti-poverty coalition Oxfam, as well as for Red, Bono’s campaign to eliminate AIDS. She also works with Planned Parenthood and USA Harvest/Blessings.