Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (pronounced
/ˈɡwɪnɨθ ˈpælˌtroʊ/; born September 27, 1972) is an American actress. She
is the daughter of Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner. She dropped out of
university to act. She began in theatre in 1990, and in film the following
year. Her early films include Se7en (1995), Emma (1996), in which she
played the title role, and Sliding Doors (1998). Her performance in
Shakespeare in Love (1998) brought 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 with roles in such films as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
and Shallow Hal (2001). She starred in the film Duets (2000), produced and
directed by her father, and sang on two singles from the film's
soundtrack. She received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best
Actress in Motion Picture Drama for Proof (2005). She appeared in Iron Man
Paltrow dated Brad Pitt from 1995 until 1997, and married Chris Martin,
lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, in 2003. They have two
children, Apple and Moses. Paltrow said she curtailed her work following
her first child. In 2005 Paltrow became the face of Estée Lauder's
Pleasures perfume. She is on the board of the charitable Robin Hood
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 act. Paltrow has a younger brother,
Jake Paltrow, and is cousin of actress Katherine Moennig and Congresswoman
Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08). She is an "adopted daughter" of Talavera de la
Reina (Spain), where at 15 she spent a year as an exchange student and
learned Spanish. Paltrow was childhood friends with Saturday Night Live's
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, with John Travolta. She also appeared in Hook (1991), as Young
Wendy. The film was nominated for five Academy Award. Paltrow appeared in
Malice (1993), with Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman, in the film, she had a
minor role. In the same year, Paltrow had a supporting role in Flesh and
Paltrow starred in Se7en (1995), which earned her an Satellite Award
nomination. She appeared with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The film was
successful commercially and critically. Then in 1996 she starred in Emma
to critical acclaim, particularly in the UK for her English accent, as
well as in Europe and Asia.
Paltrow starred in Shakespeare in Love, in which she portrayed the
fictional love of William Shakespeare, portrayed by Joseph Fiennes. It
earned US$100 million in box office receipts in the USA, and received
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 she starred in A Perfect Murder. In 1999 Paltrow starred in
The Talented Mr. Ripley which earned $80 million domestically and received
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. In the same year, Paltrow starred with Ben Affleck in Bounce as
She appeared as Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums, which was a
financial and critical success. The comedy featured an all-star cast,
including Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Danny
Glover, Seymour Cassel, Owen and Luke Wilson. She starred with Jack Black
the comedy Shallow Hal, where she played both roles, slim and fat Rosemary
and had to wear a specially designed 25 pound fatsuit and heavy make-up.
In The Guardian, she said she divided her career into movies for love and
films for money: The Royal Tenenbaums, Proof, and Sylvia fell into the
former category, while View from the Top and Shallow Hal the latter.
Since the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, Paltrow's film success has been
less noteworthy. She said she was unequipped for the pressure, leading to
several bad movie choices, agreeing with peers who believe the win is a
curse. She had cameo roles such as 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 name, as a
young protagonist, mathematician and daughter Catherine.
In 2008, she appeared in Iron Man as Pepper Potts, Stark's closest friend,
budding love interest, and business partner after Pepper replaced Obadiah
Stane as CEO of Stark Industries. The film is her first blockbuster in
several years. Paltrow said she was hesitant to appear in a big film but
she was won over by Robert Downey Jr., the star, and director Jon Favreau.
Paltrow recalled a conversation with Downey, 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. ”
She appears in the sequel to Iron Man, Iron Man 2 as the same character of
the first film. The film, slated for a May 2010 release is directed by Jon
Favreau and also stars Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Mickey
Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Samuel L. Jackson. She star as Gerda Wegener
alongside Nicole Kidman in The Danish Girl. She will star in the country
musical, Love Don't Let Me Down.
Paltrow had her singing debut in the 2000 film Duets, in which she perform
a cover version of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'". The song was
well-received and released as a single. The song went to number one in
Australia while Paltrow's rendition of the Kim Carnes classic "Bette Davis
Eyes" reached number three. In the 2006 film Infamous, she sang "What Is
This Thing Called Love".
On September 27, 2006, Paltrow sang with rapper 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 she said she would be at the
concert but not that she would perform. She was 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
Paltrow was engaged to Brad Pitt, whom she dated from 1994 to 1997. She
regretted breaking up with him, telling Diane Sawyer she wished him well
and could not believe he was with her when she was "such a mess".
On turning 30 on 27 September 2002 she said "I had the most incredible
birthday weekend until my dad died on me like six days later. It's been,
in many ways, the worst year of my life and will continue to be."
On 5 December 2003, she married Chris Martin of the British rock group
Coldplay in a secret ceremony at a hotel in Southern California; she met
him at a concert. On 14 May 2004, the couple had their first child, a girl
named Apple Blythe Alison Martin. One of Martin's band associates already
had a daughter named Apple, and the couple asked to 'borrow' the name.
Paltrow further explained the 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,
The child's godfather is Simon Pegg. She lives in New York and Belsize
Park in London, in a house bought from Kate Winslet.
In January 2006, Paltrow said, "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 8 April 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 said she had depression after the death of her father,
and after the birth of her second 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 husband,
Phil Bronstein. Paltrow is friends with Madonna, with whom she shares a
personal trainer, and fashion designer Valentino. She was friends with
Winona Ryder until Paltrow's breakup with Ben Affleck. Their friendship
ended because Winona accused Gwyneth of stealing the female lead role in
Shakespeare in Love from her.
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 said in the 6 December 2006 edition
that it had obtained the quotes from 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 2007, Paltrow said she wasn't sure 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 scientists for saying shampoo causes cancer.
She said, "I fear that shampoo gives cancer to children." Professor Hugh
Pennington said shampoo is safe unless swallowed: "It’s a load of
nonsense. Shampoo is perfectly safe, unless you drink it in large
Beauty, to me, is about being
comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.
[On her father's (Bruce Paltrow's) struggle with throat cancer]: It
changed me more than anything else. You don't want to get to that
place where you're the adult and you're palpably in the next
generation. And, this shoved me into that.
[On her 1997 break up with Brad Pitt]: It really changed my life.
When we split up, something changed, permanently, in me. My heart
sort of broke that day, and it will never be the same.
I try to remember, as I hear about friends getting engaged, that
it's not about the ring and it's not about the wedding. It's a grave
thing, getting married. And it's easy to get swept up in the wrong
I find "Sex and the City" (1998) irreverent and shocking. It's one
step beyond how girls really talk. I would do a cameo on that show
in a flash.
I realised life is so short and precious, you should do things that
make you feel inspired, that push you and teach you something. I'd
rather not have a big house, a huge closet of clothes, diamonds and
a private plane, and instead a body of work that I'm proud of.
I'm glad that some day my children will be able to see my father and
hear his voice, get a sense of who he was. One of the things that
disturbs me the most about the fact that he's dead, is that I feel
like a statistic. I sort of feel like one of those people who was
unfortunate and lost their father when they were 30, and life goes
on. But he was so unique and so incredible, I don't like to think
about it in those terms.
I worked so much in my 20s and I really burnt the candle at both
ends. I wasn't too picky about what I did and I was lucky that I did
some really good films, but I also did some really rubbish films, I
think part of the downside about being so successful and winning the
Oscar at the age of 26 is that I sort of became insouciant about the
things that I chose. I thought "oh, I'll just try this, it'll be fun
or I'll do that for the money". Things like that now I would
absolutely never do.
The simpler things are, the happier they are.
The work gets more difficult as you get older. You learn more and
you gather more experiences, there is deeper pain and higher highs.
There are certain women in this business who have children and I
just think, "You must never, never see them!" You can't do movies
back to back and see your child if they go to school.
Our marriage is between us. If we decide to continue being together
or not, it's our business.
On being pregnant while filming on the set of her movie "Proof"]: It
was very, very difficult. I was trying not to barf. I felt terrible.
Even actresses that you really admire, like Reese Witherspoon, you
think, another romantic comedy? You know. You see her in something
like Walk the Line (2005) and think, "God, you're so great!" And
then you think, "Why is she doing these stupid romantic comedies?"
But of course, it's for money and status. I just think, "Wouldn't it
be great if all of those movies people went to see were about real
I love the English way, which is not as capitalistic as it is in
America. People don't talk about work and money. They talk about
interesting things at dinner parties. I like living here because I
don't tap into the bad side of American psychology, which is "I'm
not achieving enough, I'm not making enough, I'm not at the top of
I'm very happy here (in London) and I really like the way the film
industry works, everybody cares. I like that it doesn't have this
big capitalistic feeling. When you do something in LA you really
feel the crew are punching the clock.
I sort of look at some peers of mine and I think, "No, you've got it
all wrong!" I just want to tell them all to have babies and be happy
and not get sucked into that Hollywood thing.
I find the English amazing how they got over 7/7. There were no
multiple memorials with people sobbing as they would have been in
America. There, they are constantly scaring people but at the same
time, people think nothing of going to see a therapist.
Brits are far more intelligent and civilised than Americans. I love
the fact that you can hail a taxi and just pick up your pram and put
in the back of the cab without having to collapse it. I love the
parks and places I go for dinner and my friends. It's a pretty city,
British people don't seem to ask each other out on dates. If someone
asked you out they're really going out on a limb, whereas in America
it happens all the time. Someone will come up to you and ask you for
dinner and you'll say, "Sure!" It's no big deal and no weight should
be attached to it. It's only dinner, for God's sake. Yet in Britain,
mostly what happens seems to be that people meet at work. If there's
a little something there, then they hang out together and, all of a
sudden, they're boyfriend and girlfriend.
It would be a lot easier on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston now had
they not talked to the press about each other and everything to
begin with. I learned my lesson at 24.
[On daughter Apple's accent]: She says "Mummy" instead of "Mommy", I
don't mind that. I will if she starts saying "basil" and "pasta" the
English way, as that really drives me nuts.
[On the paparazzi]: If I have my daughter in the car and they are
making me nervous, I'll do whatever I have to do. I keep a whole
log. I take pictures of their cars, write down license plate
numbers, everything. If they do it again, I can go to the police. I
know my rights and, believe me, I will have them arrested. I will
stop at nothing.
[On Madonna: She has evolved with so much wisdom and grace that I
would say my favorite Madonna is today's Madonna. She's a beautiful
product of all her explorations and incarnations. (In Style