Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972) is an American actress.
The daughter of Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner, Paltrow dropped out of her university to follow an acting career. She began her career in theatre in 1990, and made her film debut the following year. Her early films include such successes as Seven (1995), Emma (1996), in which she played the title role, and Sliding Doors (1998). Her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998) brought her widespread recognition; she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, a Golden Globe Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Lead Actress and as a member of the Outstanding Cast, among other awards and nominations.
She followed this success with roles in such films as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and Shallow Hal (2001). She also starred in the film Duets (2000), produced and directed by her father, Bruce Paltrow, and sang on two singles released from the film's soundtrack, which were hits in some countries. She received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama for Proof (2005). More recently she appeared in the box-office success Iron Man (2008).
Her personal life has often been scrutinized in the media; she dated Brad Pitt from 1995 until 1997, and married Chris Martin, the lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, in 2003. They are the parents of two children. Paltrow has commented that she curtailed her work commitments following the birth of her first child.
Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Blythe Danner, an actress, and Bruce Paltrow, a film and television director, writer, and producer. Paltrow's father was of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent and her mother is a Quaker of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. Paltrow was raised in Santa Monica, she attended Crossroads School before moving and attending The Spence School, a private girls' school in New York City. Later she briefly studied art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before dropping out to pursue a career in acting. Paltrow has a younger brother, Jake Paltrow, and is a cousin of actress Katherine Moennig and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She is an "adopted daughter" of Talavera de la Reina (Spain), where at age 15 she spent a year as an exchange student and learned Spanish. Paltrow was childhood friends with Saturday Night Live's Maya Rudolph.
Paltrow made her professional stage debut in 1990. Her most recent stage appearance was in Proof at London's Donmar Warehouse. Her debut film was Shout (1991). She also appeared in Hook (1991), Malice (1993), and Flesh and Bone (1993).
Paltrow starred in Seven (1995), opposite Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The film was successful commercially and critically. Then in 1996 she starred in Emma, where she received strongly positive critical acclaim, particularly in the UK for her impressive English accent, as well as in Europe and Asia.
Two years later, Paltrow starred in Shakespeare in Love, in which she portrayed the fictional love interest of William Shakespeare, portrayed by Joseph Fiennes. It earned more than US$100 million in box office receipts in the USA, and received numerous awards. Shakespeare in Love won the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay, as well as the Academy Award for Best Picture. Paltrow also won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role from the Screen Actors Guild. Later that year, Paltrow won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The next year Paltrow starred in other movie roles such as A Perfect Murder. In 1999 Paltrow starred in The Talented Mr. Ripley which earned over $80 million domestically, and received positive reviews.
Until recently, despite a relatively low profile, she has maintained a steady film career with a few critically acclaimed film roles, including Proof (2005) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Audiences got their first taste of Paltrow's singing ability with the 2000 release of Duets, in which she co-starred with singer Huey Lewis, who played her karaoke-hustling estranged father, and was directed by her father, Bruce Paltrow. Towards the end of the film, their characters resolve their differences and perform a cover version of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'". The song was well-received and was eventually released as a single, getting heavy airplay from Top 40 and adult contemporary-formatted radio stations. The song went to number one in Australia while Paltrow's rendition of the Kim Carnes classic "Bette Davis Eyes" reached number three.
In an interview with The Guardian, Paltrow admitted that she divided her career into those movies she did for love and those films she did for money: The Royal Tenenbaums, Proof, and Sylvia fell into the former category, while View from the Top and Shallow Hal were in the latter.
Since winning the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, Paltrow's film success has been less noteworthy. She said she was unequipped to cope with the pressure, leading her to make several bad movie choices, agreeing with peers who believe the win is a curse. She has also made several cameo roles, such as her appearance in the Brittany Murphy film Love and Other Disasters, and several smaller roles, such as her role in Running With Scissors and Infamous, in which she sang Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?".
She appeared in the 2005 film Proof, based on the play of the same name, in which she plays a young protagonist, mathematician and daughter Catherine.
In 2008, she appeared in Iron Man as Pepper Potts, her first blockbuster film in several years. Paltrow told an interviewer that initially she was hesitant to appear in a big blockbuster film, but that she was won over by Robert Downey Jr., the star of the film, and director Jon Favreau. Paltrow recalled a conversation with Downey Jr., saying:
“ Robert called me and he said, 'This is gonna be fun, and this is gonna be good.' And then he said to me, 'Don't you want to be in a movie that people see?' And I was like, 'Whoa! What would that feel like?' And he's right. Moviemaking is not supposed to be a masturbatory exercise; it's supposed to be shared by other people. ”
In May 2005, Paltrow became the new face of Estée Lauder's Pleasures perfume. She appeared in Chicago on August 17, 2007, to sign bottles of the perfume, and on July 8, 2008, she promoted Lauder's Sensuous perfume in New York along with the company's three other spokesmodels. Estée Lauder donates a minimum of $500,000 of sales of items from the 'Pleasures Gwyneth Paltrow' collection to breast cancer research.
Paltrow serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization which attempts to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City. In 2006 she became the new face for Bean Pole International, a Korean fashion brand. She starred along with actor Daniel Henney in several commercial films. In October 2007, Paltrow signed up for a PBS television series Spain... on the road Again with Mario Batali that showcases the food and culture of Spain.
In September 2008, she launched a weekly online upscale lifestyle newsletter, Goop, encouraging readers to 'nourish the inner aspect'. The website's title is derived from the initials of her first and last names. Each week, the newsletter focuses on an action: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See. It has been ridiculed by a number of news outlets, including E-Online, Vanity Fair, The Independent, and the UK's Daily Mirror.
In February 2009, Paltrow received a Grammy nomination for her reading of the classic bear books of author Bill Martin, Jr.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a Save the Children Artist Ambassador. She has been quoted saying:
“ We have what it takes to prevent and cure childhood pneumonia. Yet the disease tragically claims more than two million babies and toddlers every year. We can stand on the sides and continue to watch this tragedy unfold or we can step in and change the ending. World Pneumonia Day gives everyone the chance to act.”
World Pneumonia Day is November 2, 2009.
Paltrow had a much-publicized romance and engagement to Brad Pitt whom she dated from 1994 to 1997. She once stated that she regretted breaking up with Pitt, saying in an interview with Diane Sawyer that she wished Pitt well and could not believe he was with her when she was "such a mess". They were together for over three years.
On turning 30, she said "I had the most incredible birthday weekend until my dad died on me like six days later," said Paltrow, who turned 30 on September 27, 2002. "It's been, in many ways, the worst year of my life and will continue to be."
On December 5, 2003, she married Chris Martin of the British rock group Coldplay in a secret wedding ceremony in Southern California at a hotel; she had met him backstage at a concert. On May 14, 2004, the couple had their first child, a baby girl named Apple Blythe Alison Martin. One of Chris Martin's band associates already had a daughter named Apple, and Gwyneth and Chris asked their friend if they could 'borrow' the same name for their daughter. Gwyneth further explained the unusual first name on Oprah, saying:
“ It sounded so sweet and it conjured such a lovely picture for me – you know, apples are so sweet and they're wholesome and it's biblical – and I just thought it sounded so lovely and … clean! And I just thought, "Perfect!" ”
The child's godfather is Simon Pegg. She currently divides her residence between New York and Belsize Park in London where they live in a house bought from Kate Winslet.
In January 2006, Paltrow announced that, "Since my daughter came along, I've not worked much through choice. And with another baby on its way, I don't think I will be doing a lot for the next year or so either." Her second child, a boy named Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, was born on April 8, 2006, in New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. Her son's first name was explained as the song that her husband wrote for her shortly before their secret wedding, called "Moses".
In May 2005, she publicly announced that she had suffered from depression after the death of her father and the birth of her first child. She practices yoga daily, and follows a macrobiotic diet, although she told People in 2005 that, "I'm not as stringent as I was in the past. Now I'll have cheese once in a while or white flour, but I still believe in whole grains and no sugar."
Paltrow earned the enmity of Sharon Stone due to her performance as Stone in a Saturday Night Live skit that poked fun at Stone and her then-husband, Phil Bronstein. Paltrow is good friends with Madonna, with whom she shares a personal trainer, and fashion designer Valentino. Paltrow has appeared to have converted to the Kabbalah faith of which Madonna is an avid follower. Steven Spielberg is a close family friend. She was best friends with Winona Ryder until Gwyneth's breakup with Ben Affleck. Their friendship reportedly ended because Winona accused Gwyneth of stealing the female lead role in Shakespeare in Love from her.
On September 27, 2006, Paltrow sang a duet with rap artist Jay-Z during his concert at Royal Albert Hall. She sang the chorus for "Song Cry", from the rapper's album Blueprint. In an interview prior to her appearance she indicated she would be attending the concert, but did not mention she would perform. She was also quoted as saying "I'm a Jay-Z fan. He's my best friend." Her husband, Chris Martin, later performed the song "Beach Chair" with Jay-Z from the rapper's album Kingdom Come.
In December 2006, Paltrow was reported on the Internet to have told Notícias Sábado, the weekend magazine supplement of Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias, that she thought British people were more civilized and intelligent than Americans. Paltrow denied making the statements attributed to her and told People that she never gave an interview to a Portuguese publication, but did a press conference in Spain where she tried to say in Spanish that Europe was an "older culture" and Americans "live to work". Diário de Notícias later clarified in their December 6, 2006, edition that they had not obtained the quotes from an original interview or foreign press conference, but rather from previous English-language articles which are still referenced online. In a 2007 interview with W, Paltrow again claimed she was misquoted by Diário de Notícias, telling an interviewer:
“I love America, and I'm an American through and through. But the conservative media won't let it go…. People love to give you a moniker and then, you know, they've designed this hole for you that you have to fit in."”
In the May 2008 issue of Vogue, Paltrow revealed that she suffered from post-partum depression after giving birth to her second child, Moses. She stated that she felt "out of her body", "disconnected, "down" and "pessimistic”.
In a 2007 interview, Paltrow explained that she wasn't sure if she wanted more children. "My husband really wants to adopt," she told the interviewer, "So I don't know; I'm sort of open for anything."
She has been criticized by some scientists after stating her belief that using shampoo causes cancer. She said, "I fear that shampoo gives cancer to children." Professor Hugh Pennington responded by saying that shampoo is completely safe unless you drink it: "It’s a load of nonsense. Shampoo is perfectly safe, unless you drink it in large quantities."