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Ashley Judd

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Title: Ashley Judd  
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Subject: Divergent (film), The Passion of Darkly Noon, Missing (2012 TV series), Dolphin Tale, Olympus Has Fallen
Collection: 1968 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from California, Actresses from Kentucky, Actresses of Italian Descent, American Activists, American Feminists, American Film Actresses, American Humanitarians, American People of English Descent, American People of Sicilian Descent, American Television Actresses, American Voice Actresses, Appalachian People, Feminist Artists, Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead Winners, John F. Kennedy School of Government Alumni, Kentucky Democrats, Kentucky Wildcats Basketball, Living People, Paul G. Blazer High School Alumni, People from Ashland, Kentucky, People from the San Fernando Valley, Sayre School Alumni, Tennessee Democrats, University of Kentucky Alumni
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Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
Judd at premiere of Divergent in 2014
Born Ashley Tyler Ciminella
(1968-04-19) April 19, 1968
Granada Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1991–present
Spouse(s) Dario Franchitti (m. 2001–13)
Parents Naomi Judd (mother)
Relatives Wynonna Judd (older sister)

Ashley Judd (born Ashley Tyler Ciminella; April 19, 1968) is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades, she has increasingly become involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism.

Judd has had leading roles in such films as Ruby in Paradise (1993), Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996), Kiss the Girls (1997), Double Jeopardy (1999), Where the Heart Is (2000), High Crimes (2002), Dolphin Tale (2011), Divergent (2014), and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). She starred as Rebecca Winstone in the 2012 television series Missing, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. In 2010, she received a Mid-Career master's degree in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, a one-year degree rather than the two-year MPA.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Humanitarian work 4
    • Other work 4.1
  • Political activities 5
  • Filmography 6
    • Film 6.1
    • Television 6.2
  • Honors 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Ashley was born in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry.[1][2][3] Ashley's elder sister, Wynonna, is also a country music singer. Her paternal grandfather was of Sicilian descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster.[4][5] At the time of her birth, her mother was unemployed; she did not become well known as a singer until the early 1980s. Judd's parents divorced in 1972. The following year, her mother took her back to her native Kentucky, where Judd spent the majority of her childhood.[6] She also lived in Marin County, California, for two years during grade school.

Judd attended 13 schools before college, including the Peace Corps, after college she drove to Hollywood, where she studied with well-respected acting teacher Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. During this time, she worked as a hostess at The Ivy restaurant and lived in a Malibu rental house, which burned down in 1993. Around that time, her half-sister Wynonna Judd leased her a historic farmhouse and 10 acres of land in Williamson County, Tennessee. She moved to Tennessee and lives near her mother Naomi and sister Wynonna.[9]


Judd at the ABC's Missing at The Paley Center in April 2012

Judd appeared as Ensign Robin Lefler, a Starfleet officer, in two 1991 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Darmok" and "The Game". From 1991 to 1994, she had a recurring role as Reed, the daughter of Alex (Swoosie Kurtz), on the NBC drama Sisters. She made her feature film debut with a small role in 1992's Kuffs. In 1993 Judd fought for and was cast in her first starring role playing the title character in Victor Nuñez's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Dramatic winner Ruby in Paradise. On her way to the audition, she was so nervous about getting a role that she felt defined her life, she nearly wrecked her car. "From the first three sentences, I knew it was written for me", she told the San Jose Mercury News.[10] She received rave reviews playing Ruby Lee Gissing, a young woman trying to make a new life for herself, and it was this performance that would launch her career as an actress. Nuñez told author James L. Dickerson that the resonance of the character was Judd's creation: "The resonance, those moments, was not contrived. It was just a matter of creating the scene and trusting that it was worth telling."[11]

Oliver Stone, who had seen her in Nuñez's film, cast Judd in Natural Born Killers, but her scenes were later cut from the version of the film released theatrically. The following year, she gained further critical acclaim for her role as Harvey Keitel's estranged daughter in Wayne Wang's Smoke and also as Val Kilmer's wife in Michael Mann's Heat. That same year she also played the role of Callie in Philip Ridley's dark, adult fairy tale, The Passion of Darkly Noon. In 1996, she co-starred with Mira Sorvino as Marilyn Monroe in Norma Jean and Marilyn, where she recreated the photo shoot for the centerfold for the first issue of Playboy. By the end of the 1990s, Judd had managed to achieve significant fame and success as a leading actress, after leading roles in several thrillers that performed well at the box office, including Kiss the Girls in 1997 and 1999's Double Jeopardy.

Judd at the film premiere of Divergent in March 2014

Several of her early 2000s films, including 2001's Someone Like You and 2002's High Crimes, received only mixed reviews and moderate box office success;[12] although she did receive positive recognition, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, for her performance in the 2004 biography of Cole Porter, De-Lovely, opposite Kevin Kline. In the same year, however, she starred in Twisted, the worst-reviewed movie of 2004 with 131 of 133 critics panning it.[13] To date, Twisted is the last major Hollywood film in which she received top billing.

In June 2007, Goody's Family Clothing announced they were going to be releasing three fashion clothing lines with Judd in the fall to be called "AJ", "Love Ashley" and "Ashley Judd". Goody's declared bankruptcy a year later due to slow sales and its last store closed in February 2009.

Judd is currently the magazine advertising "face" of American Beauty, an Estée Lauder cosmetic brand sold exclusively at Kohl's department stores, and H. Stern jewelers. In early 2012, however, her image suddenly disappeared from American' Beauty's web site.[14]

In 2011, Judd co-starred with Patrick Dempsey in the film Flypaper. It grossed only $1,100 total in its theatrical release and received a 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating (15 of 18 critics panned it).[15] In 2012, Judd starred as Rebecca Winstone on the ABC series Missing. The series aired from March 15 to May 17, 2012.[16] Due to low ratings, it was not renewed for a second season.[17]

In 2014, Judd appeared as Natalie Prior in Divergent.

Personal life

Judd at the second day of qualifications for the 2009 Indianapolis 500

In December 1999, Judd became engaged to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti, who was driving in the Champ Car World Series. Since the demise of the Champ Car World Series, Franchitti has raced in IndyCar and NASCAR. The couple married in December 2001 at Skibo Castle.[18][19] They have no children, with Judd telling the Sunday Mail that "it's unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries".[19] They divorced in 2013.[20]

Judd is known to attend University of Kentucky basketball games regularly (frequently sitting in the student section), and has also attended several Kentucky football games. She has been a guest columnist for a local Kentucky newspaper, writing about the NCAA championships. She posed for a poster wearing only an ice hockey jersey for fundraising purposes for the University of Kentucky's hockey team. She is an avid practitioner of yoga and enjoys cooking and gardening.

In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas and stayed for 47 days.[21] She was there for treatment of depression, insomnia, and codependency.[22]

A disagreement between Judd and Indy race car driver Milka Duno took place during the 2007 Indy Racing League season. After the final race of the 2007 season, she stated to the media: "I know this is not very sportsmanlike, but they've got to get the 23 car (Duno) off the track. It's very dangerous. I'm tired of holding my tongue. She shouldn't be out there. When a car is 10 miles (an hour) off the pace, it's not appropriate to be racing. People's lives are at stake."[23][24]

On May 9, 2007, it was announced that Judd had completed her bachelor's degree in French at the University of Kentucky.[25] In a May 2007 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she explained that she had completed her degree requirements in 1990 with 27 more credit hours taken than the required 120 hours, but had mistakenly thought she was one class short of the necessary requirements. At this time, she realized that she only needed to "sign a piece of paper" in order to graduate and receive her diploma. DeGeneres then surprised Judd by presenting her with her diploma, which DeGeneres had acquired from the university.

Judd was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky on May 9, 2009. She subsequently earned a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree (MC/MPA) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010 through the Mid-Career Master of Public administration program (MC/MPA) (an eight credit program with a summer mentorship which typically takes a year to complete in contrast with the traditional MPA program which typically takes at least two years of study).[26]

On April 5, 2011, Judd released her memoir All That is Bitter and Sweet, where she talks about her trials and tribulations from adolescence to adulthood.[27]

Humanitarian work

As YouthAIDS Ambassador, Judd announces a counseling and testing center for HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, 2005

Ashley Judd's humanitarian work has revolved around becoming a global ambassador for YouthAIDS, a prevention program under Population Services International. She has been a member of their Board of Directors since 2004, also. Judd has travelled with YouthAIDS to places affected by illness and poverty such as Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and many others.[28]

Inspired by her travels, which allowed her to witness the life of the poor and uneducated, she has since become an advocate for preventing poverty and promoting awareness internationally. She has met with political and religious leaders, heads of states, diplomats, and leaders on behalf of the deprived to convey the message to those who have the power to bring about political and social change.[28] Judd has also narrated three documentaries for YouthAIDS which aired internationally on the Discovery Channel, in National Geographic, and on VH1.

In 2011, she joined the Leadership Council of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).[29]

Other organizations Judd has been involved with include

  • Official website
  • Ashley Judd at the Internet Movie Database
  • Ashley Judd at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Ashley Judd collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Works by or about Ashley Judd in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Columns at The Guardian
  • YouthAid's Ambassador Ashley Judd launches US-funded Newstart Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centre (VCT) for HIV/AIDS in Cape Town
  • "Sarah Palin's Ongoing Wolf Slaughter" – Judd's video for Defenders of Wildlife
  • Ashley Judd at

External links

  1. ^ Ashley Judd profile at
  2. ^ MICHAEL CIMINELLA, 83, JUDD GRANDFATHER, DIES, Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) – May 9, 1997
  3. ^ "Ashley Judd details ‘bitter and sweet’ in memoir". Newsvine. April 4, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ which also makes her a distant cousin of Elisabeth and Andrew Shue as seen on Who Do You Think You Are?
  5. ^ |Entertainment.gather.comWho Do You Think You Are?Judd's Ancestors are found on (November 9, 2010). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Actress of the Week (2006)
  7. ^ "Ashley Judd". Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ Newman, Judith. "We are Family" Ladies' Home Journal (March 1998, pp. 152–55, 213–14)
  9. ^ "Ashley Judd voting record shows not a property owner in Williamson County". Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lovell, Glenn. San Jose Mercury News, November 8, 1993
  11. ^ Dickerson, James L. Ashley Judd:Crying on the Inside, Schirmer Trade Books, 2002, p. 75
  12. ^ Susman, Gary. (February 27, 2004) You Be the Judd | Movies. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Giles, Jeff (August 7, 2008). "Moldy Tomatoes: The 10 Worst Movies of the Last 10 Years - Page 7". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  14. ^ "American Beauty | Home". June 18, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Flypaper". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ "ABC Midseason 2012 Schedule". Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Missing TV show cancelled; no season two". TV Series Finale. May 12, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  18. ^ Young, C. (December 14, 2001). "Week in Review: Winona Busted; Ashley Gets Married".  
  19. ^ a b McDonald, Toby (January 29, 2006). "ASHLEY: I REFUSE TO HAVE A BABY; Star says 'breeding' is out while kids starve".  
  20. ^ "At Home with Dario Franchitti". May 9, 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Ashley Judd | Judd Lashes Out At Eating Disorder Claims. Contactmusic. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  22. ^ The Star Online eCentral – Movies – Malaysia Entertainment. (July 7, 2006). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  23. ^ "Actress Judd praises husband, rips other driver--Franchitti's wife says rookie should be taken off track". Motor Sports. NBC Sports. September 9, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  24. ^ " - newspaper archive, clipping service - newspapers and other news sources". Associated Press Archive. September 10, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  25. ^ Blackford, Linda (May 10, 2007). "Ashley Judd is finally a UK graduate". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. 
  26. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (May 28, 2010), "Ashley Judd gets her Harvard degree", USA Today, retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Coming soon: Ashley Judd's memoir, All That is Bitter and Sweet". Ballantine Books. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c Ashley Judd's Faces of Philanthropy profile page. Faces of Philanthropy. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  29. ^ Gaynair, Gillian (January 21, 2011). "Actor Ashley Judd Joins ICRW Leadership Council". ICRW. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  30. ^ Ashley Judd at All American Speakers Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  31. ^ Ashley Judd's Charity Work, Events and Causes. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  32. ^ David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster (February 3, 2009). "Actress Judd goes after Palin over aerial wolf killing". 
  33. ^ Hamby, Peter (February 4, 2009). "Palin takes on Ashley Judd’s ‘extreme fringe group’". CNN. 
  34. ^ Animal Legal Defense Fund: Ashley Judd Petitions Kentucky Governor to Help Homeless Animals. (May 11, 2010). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  35. ^ Hero Award honors Ashley Judd for her work with Global Health Organization PSI September 16, 2009. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
  36. ^ "Ashley Judd confronts Africa’s deadly mineral issue". CNN. September 8, 2009. 
  37. ^ Ashley Judd and John Prendergast (September 30, 2010). "Ashley Judd: Electronics fuel unspeakable violence". CNN. 
  38. ^ Ashley Judd (November 26, 2010). """Ashley Judd: "Costs of Convenience. The Huffington Post. 
  39. ^ " individual campaign contribution lookup". Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Ashley Judd doesn't rule out challenge to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell". Courier-Journal. November 8, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Ashley Judd Takes Jabs From Conservative Super PAC". ABC News. February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  42. ^ Gabriel, Trip (February 15, 2013). "Kentuckians don't rule out a star as a potential senator". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Ashley Judd won't run for Senate in Kentucky". The Hill. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Ashley Judd was 'beyond devastated' by Washington political climate, mother says". Courier Journal. October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Ashley Judd Emmy Award Nominee". Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  47. ^ Kentucky Colonels, Honorable Order of. "Colonels website". Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  48. ^ Union College News Release 02–25–09: Ashley Judd Announced as 2009 Commencement Speaker. (February 25, 2009). Retrieved on April 11, 2011.


  • Kentucky Colonel[47]
  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Union College, Barbourville, Kentucky[48]


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation Robin Lefler Episodes: "Darmok" and "The Game"
1991–94 Sisters Reed Halsey 32 episodes
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Norma Jean Nominated:
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie[46]
2012 Missing Becca Winstone 10 episodes (canceled at end of first season)

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Directed "Maggie" segment
2014 Salvation (Pilot) Jennifer Strickland wasn't picked up for fall schedule


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Kuffs Paint store owner's wife
1993 Ruby in Paradise Ruby Lee Gissing Won:
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
1994 Natural Born Killers Grace Mulberry Scenes deleted
1994 Love Can Build a Bridge Ashley Judd
1995 Heat Charlene Shiherlis
1995 Smoke Felicity
1995 Passion of Darkly Noon, TheThe Passion of Darkly Noon Callie
1996 Time to Kill, AA Time to Kill Carla Brigance
1996 Normal Life Pam Anderson
1997 Kiss the Girls Dr. Kate McTiernan Nominated:
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Video
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Suspense
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1997 Locusts, TheThe Locusts Kitty
1998 Simon Birch Rebecca Wenteworth
1999 Double Jeopardy Elizabeth "Libby" Parsons Won:
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Suspense
MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
1999 Eye of the Beholder Joanna Eris
2000 Where the Heart Is Lexie Coop
2001 Someone Like You Jane Goodale
2002 Frida Tina Modotti
2002 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Younger Vivi Abbott Walker Nominated:
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Prism Award for Best Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film
2002 High Crimes Claire Kubik
2004 De-Lovely Linda Porter Nominated:
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2004 Twisted Jessica Shepard
2006 Come Early Morning Lucy
2007 Bug Agnes White Nominated:
Saturn Award for Best Actress
2007 India's Hidden Plague Herself
2009 Helen Helen
2009 Crossing Over Denise Frankel
2010 Tooth Fairy Carly Harris
2011 Dolphin Tale Lorraine Nelson
2011 Flypaper Kaitlin
2013 Olympus Has Fallen First Lady Margaret Asher
2014 Divergent Natalie Prior
2014 The Identical Louise Wade
2014 Dolphin Tale 2 Lorraine Nelson
2014 Big Stone Gap Ave Maria Mulligan Post-production
2014 Love is a Verb The Reader of the text A documentary by Terry Spencer Hesser
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Natalie Prior Post-production



In February 2013, she invited her Twitter followers to join a mailing list, hinting that she might ultimately announce a run for the Senate to those on the list.[42] However, she announced on her Twitter feed on March 27, 2013, that she would not run, citing her "need to be focused on my family".[43] Judd endorsed Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State of Kentucky after she announced her candidacy.[44] However, in an interview published in a Kentucky newspaper in October 2013, her mother hinted that her decision was based in a distrust of Washington insiders, whom she called "sociopaths". Her mother went on to say that, during her trips to D.C. to explore a potential Senate bid, Judd cried every night and traveled with a personal psychologist.[45]

Judd again supported Democrats in the 2012 elections, endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election although she did not contribute financially to his campaign.[39] She represented Tennessee as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She also considered returning to Kentucky and challenging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014.[40] In response, the Conservative Super PAC "American Crossroads" released an attack ad against Judd in Kentucky.[41]

On September 8, 2010, [37] by Ashley Judd and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast regarding the continued violence in Congo. Her op-ed discussed the recent provision in the Dodd-Frank Reform bill that requires companies to prove where their minerals originated. On November 26, 2010, The Huffington Post published an op-ed by Judd, "Costs of Convenience".[38] The op-ed is excerpted from Ashley Judd's trip diary from her trip to eastern Congo. Judd describes the link between her cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and e-reader and the continued rape and sexual violence in Congo. Judd also explains the immediate need for electronics companies to commit to tracing, auditing, and certifying the minerals in their products to guarantee a clean supply chain.

Judd is active in humanitarian and political causes. She was appointed Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, an education and prevention program of the international NGO Population Services International (PSI), promoting AIDS prevention and treatment. Judd was honored November 10, 2009, as the recipient of the fourth annual USA Today Hollywood Hero, awarded for her work with PSI.[35] On October 29, 2006, Judd appeared at a "Women for Ford" event for Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. She has also campaigned extensively locally and nationally for a variety of Democratic candidates, including President Barack Obama in critical swing states.

Judd meeting with Senator Richard Lugar

In 2008, Judd supported Barack Obama's presidential campaign. In 2009, she appeared in a one-minute video advertisement for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, in which Judd condemned Alaska governor Sarah Palin for supporting aerial wolf hunting.[32] In response, Palin stated the reason these wolves are killed is to protect the caribou population in Alaska, and she called the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund an "extreme fringe group".[33] In 2010, Judd signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund's petition to urge Governor Steve Beshear to protect Kentucky's homeless animals through tough enforcement of the state's Humane Shelter Law.[34]

Political activities

Judd has supported the following charities and foundations:[31]

Other work

Judd is active on the speakers' circuit, regularly receiving $50,000 or more for attending a charity event and giving a speech - usually less than an hour long - about humanitarian topics.[30]


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