An eighth generation Eastern Kentuckian, Ashley Judd
first proved her acting abilities in her debut feature film role as 'Ruby Lee Gissing' in Victor Nunez' internationally acclaimed "Ruby In Paradise." Now, a film star in her own right, Judd has demonstrated her range as an actress and is a proven box office draw with her successes in "Double Jeopardy," "Kiss the Girls" and "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood."
In 2004, Judd delivered a heartfelt, emotional performance as socialite Linda Lee Porter in the MGM Studios, Cole Porter biopic, "De Lovely," for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. The film chronicled their marriage, which inspired such famous Cole Porter tunes as "Anything Goes." "De Lovely" premiered last year at the Cannes Film Festival.
Returning to her indie roots, Judd stars in the Bold Films feature film "Come Early Morning," written and directed by actress Joey Lauren Adams, her directorial debut. Judd plays a "thirty-something" woman re-examining her life in the town where she grew up and has been living day to day. The film screened in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Judd also stars in the Lions Gate film, "Bug," written by Tracy Letts, based on his play of the same name. William Friedkin directed. The film will be released in Fall 2006.
In early 2004, Judd starred in "Twisted" for director, Philip Kauffman and also starred on Broadway at the Music Box Theater in the leading role of 'Maggie' in Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Judd was the first actress to portray 'Maggie' on Broadway since Kathleen Turner in 1990. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" was produced by Bill Kenwright and directed by Anthony Page.
Judd had a very successful and diverse 2002. She had a small, but significant appearance as 'Tina Modotti' in the Julie Taymor directed biopic of "Frida Kahlo." In addition, Judd had a strong supporting role in "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" starring amongst an impressive cast including Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith and James Garner. The film was directed by Callie Khouri and was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Rebecca Wells.
Judd also starred in 20th Century Fox's "High Crimes" which re-teamed her with "Kiss the Girls" co-star, Morgan Freeman. The film was written by Joseph Finder and directed by Carl Franklin. Also for 20th Century Fox, Judd starred with Greg Kinnear and Hugh Jackman in "Someone Like You" for director, Tony Goldwyn. With a turn to the romantic comedy genre, Judd portrayed a producer of a popular daytime talk show who had a romance with the show's executive producer.
Judd's other film credits include "Where the Heart Is," opposite Natalie Portman. Bruce Beresford's box-office success "Double Jeopardy," opposite Tommy Lee Jones for Paramount as well as "Eye of the Beholder" with Ewan McGregor. Judd also starred in Walt Disney Pictures' 1998 drama "Simon Birch," based on the John Irving novel, A Prayer for Owen Meaney.
In 1997, Judd starred opposite Morgan Freeman in Paramount Pictures' box-office hit "Kiss The Girls," as well as MGM's "The Locusts," in which she co-starred opposite Vince Vaughn and Kate Capshaw. Judd was also seen in Michael Mann's "Heat," for which she won critical acclaim opposite Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer. In the summer of 1996, she appeared in Joel Schumacher's "A Time To Kill," opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey. In late 1996, she was seen starring opposite Luke Perry in John McNaughton's "Normal Life." Also in 1996, Judd received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Norma Jean in HBO's "Norma Jean & Marilyn."
Judd made her debut theatre performance in the Naked Angels' production of "Busted," directed by Timothy Hutton. She then went on to star as Madge on Broadway in William Inge's Pulitzer-prize winning play, "Picnic" at the Roundabout Theatre Company, while simultaneously filming a supporting role in the Miramax Film "Smoke," portraying the daughter of Harvey Keitel and Stockard Channing.
A Phi Beta Kappa and Honors Program student of the University of Kentucky with a major in French and four minors, Judd has studied the Meisner technique in acting for several years.
Judd is also very proud to be the Global Ambassador for YouthAids, a growing global initiative that generates funding and awareness to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS among the world's youth. Judd has traveled to Cambodia, Thailand and Africa to visit orphanages, medical clinics and condom manufacturers and spoke with sex slaves to learn more about this pandemic.
For May, Judd will travel to Central America to continue her work with YouthAids. Judd's trip to Africa was documented by VH-1 and the special earned two Telly Awards.
Judd resides in Tennessee with her husband.