Gwyneth Kate Paltrow Martin (pron.: / /; born September 27, 1972) is an American actress and singer. She made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. After appearing in several films throughout the decade, Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as Seven (1995) and Emma (1996) (in which she played the title role). Following the films Sliding Doors (1998) and A Perfect Murder (1998), Paltrow garnered worldwide recognition through her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998), for which she won an 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. She also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011 for her role as Holly Holliday on the Fox hit TV show Glee in the episode "The Substitute".
Paltrow has portrayed supporting as well as lead roles in films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Shallow Hal (2001), and Proof (2005), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama. Since 2008 she has portrayed Pepper Potts, the love interest of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, inIron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013). Paltrow has been the face of Estée Lauder's Pleasures perfume since 2005.
She is married to Chris Martin, the lead vocalist of Coldplay. They have two children together, Apple and Moses. She is also the face of American fashion brand Coach, owner of the lifestyle company Goop.com and author of two cookbooks: My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, and It's All Good.
Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and the late film producer/director Bruce Paltrow. Her father was Jewish (of Belarusian Ashkenaziorigin), and her mother is a Quaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and more distant white Barbadian ancestry. Paltrow's paternal great-great-grandfather, whose surname was "Paltrowicz," was a rabbi in Nowogród, Poland. Paltrow has a younger brother, Jake Paltrow, and is a half-cousin of actress Katherine Moennig, and a second cousin of former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08).
Paltrow was raised in Santa Monica, where she attended Crossroads School, before enrolling in The Spence School, a private girls' school in New York City. Later, she briefly studied anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before dropping out to act. She is an "adopted daughter" of Talavera de la Reina (Spain), where at 15 she spent a year as anexchange student and learned to speak Spanish.
1990–1995: Early work
After spending several summers watching her mother perform at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, Paltrow made her professional stage debut there in 1990. Her film debut followed with Shout (1991), starring John Travolta; and she was cast by Steven Spielberg in his film Hook (1991) as the young Wendy Darling. Paltrow's next roles were in Cruel Doubt (TV 1992) and Deadly Relations (TV 1993). Her first plum supporting role in a big-screen film was in the drama Flesh and Bone (1993) as the much-younger girlfriend of James Caan. In the hit thriller Seven (1995), she played Brad Pitt's high school sweetheart and wife, even though she is nine years younger than he is in real life. Her performance earned her a Satellite Awardnomination. Also in 1995, she appeared in Moonlight and Valentino and Jefferson in Paris.
Paltrow's first role as the central lead was the title role in Emma (1996), for which she received critical acclaim. She had leading roles in several films throughout 1998, including Sliding Doors and the adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations with Ethan Hawke, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper. She also appeared in two thrillers, Hush opposite Jessica Lange and A Perfect Murder inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film, Dial M for Murder. Paltrow appeared opposite Michael Douglas as Emily Taylor, based on Grace Kelly's character from the original film, though the film was met with mixed reviews. She was also considered for the role of Rose Dawson in the 1997 film Titanic.
In 1998, Paltrow starred in Shakespeare in Love, portraying the fictional lover of William Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes. The film earned more than US$100 million in box office receipts in the United States, and Paltrow gained critical acclaim for her portrayal. Entertainment Weekly commented, "Best of all is Gwyneth Paltrow, who, at long last, has a movie to star in that's as radiant as she is." The New York Times summed up her turn as Viola as such: "Gwyneth Paltrow, in her first great, fully realized starring performance, makes a heroine so breathtaking that she seems utterly plausible as the playwright's guiding light." The award-winning Shakespeare in Love earned Paltrow the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role from the Screen Actors Guild, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Actress, among other honors. Her Pink Ralph Lauren dress worn at the 71st Academy Awards in collecting her Oscar was extremely popular and was credited for bringing pink back into fashion.
In 1999, Paltrow co-starred alongside Jude Law, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett in The Talented Mr. Ripley, which earned $80 million domestically and received positive reviews. She showcased her singing ability in 2000's Duets, which was directed by her father and co-starred singer Huey Lewis. The same year, Paltrow co-starred with Ben Affleck in the romantic drama Bounce as Abby Janello. In 2001, she played Margot Tenenbaum as part of an ensemble cast in the Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums and starred with Jack Black in the comedy Shallow Hal, where she had to wear a specially designed 25-pound fatsuit and heavy make-up.
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, in some ways, a curse. During this time, Paltrow rarely appeared in films, having taken a career hiatus to raise her family. 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 she did View from the Top and Shallow Hal for the latter. In 2004, she appeared in the science-fiction film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow opposite Jude Law. The same year, she was recognized as an outstanding woman in entertainment by Women in Film Los Angeles with the Crystal Award. In 2005, she appeared in the film Proof as the depressed daughter of a brilliant, eccentric mathematician. The movie is based on the play of the same name, in which Paltrow also played the same character at London's Donmar Warehouse in 2002. For her performance Paltrow earned her second Golden Globe nomination forBest Actress – Motion Picture Drama. In 2006, she had small roles in Running With Scissors and Infamous, in which she sang Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?".
In 2008, she appeared in the superhero film Iron Man as Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's closest friend, budding love interest, and business partner. Iron Man is Paltrow's highest-grossing film to date, earning more than $585,000,000 worldwide. Paltrow said she was hesitant to appear in a big-budget project but she was won over by Robert Downey Jr., the film's lead, and director Jon Favreau. She 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.
In 2010, Paltrow reprised her role in the sequel to Iron Man, Iron Man 2. Later in 2010, she appeared in the musical Country Strong and recorded the song Country Strong for the film's soundtrack. The song was released to country radio in August 2010. At the 83rd Academy Awards, Paltrow performed another song from the movie, "Coming Home," which was nominated for Best Original Song. She also appeared in Fox's Glee, as substitute teacher Holly Holliday, who fills in for Matthew Morrison's character when he falls ill. In her first episode, "The Substitute," she sang "Nowadays" from the musical Chicago with Lea Michele, Cee Lo Green's "Forget You", and a mash-up of "Singin' In the Rain" and Rihanna's "Umbrella" with Morrison and the rest of the cast. She later performed "Forget You" with Cee-Lo Green himself and several puppet characters provided by the Jim Henson Company at the 2011 Grammy Awards. She reprised her role twice more that season, an acoustic version of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, "Kiss" by Prince, and Adele's "Turning Tables". In 2011, Paltrow appeared in the Steven Soderbergh thriller Contagion, in which she was part of an ensemble cast, including Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and her The Talented Mr. Ripley co-stars Matt Damon and Jude Law. The movie opened at number 1 at the US Box Office Weekend and received positive reviews. In 2012 she stars in the independent romantic comedy Thanks for Sharing with Mark Ruffaloand reprised her role as Pepper Potts in the film The Avengers, which broke records as the highest grossing U.S. opening weekend film of all time. It was confirmed that Paltrow will star as Dora Maarin Carlos Saura's Spanish film 33 días alongside Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso. The film begins shooting in late 2012, for a 2013 release.