From Theatre to Hollywood
Julie Anne Smith, professionally known as Julianne Moore, was born on December 3, 1960 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S. to United States Army paratrooper Peter Moore Smith and psychologist and social worker Anne. She has a younger sister, Valerie and a younger brother, the novelist Peter Moore Smith.
As a child, she often moved from one place to another due to her father’s job. When she was 16, her family relocated to Frankfurt, Germany. There, she studied at Frankfurt American High School. She planned to become a doctor and have never considered performing, or even attended the theatre.
But because she was an avid reader, she was inspired to try acting at school where she appeared in numerous plays including Tartuffe and Medea. After high school, she chose to pursue a theatrical career with the encouragement of her English teacher. She was then accepted to Boston University where she graduated with a BFA in Theatre in 1983.
Following her graduation, she moved to New York City and worked as a waitress. In 1984, she made her television debut in an episode of the soap The Edge of Night. The following year, her break came after being cast for the dual roles of half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes in As the World Turns.
She appeared in the show until 1998 and received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series. Shortly after, she returned to theatre to play Ophelia in a Guthrie Theater production of Hamlet. During the next few years, she returned to television with roles in the TV movies Money, Power, Murder and Cast a Deadly Spell.
In 1990, she made her film debut with Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, followed by The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, which became a box-office hit. Her breakthrough came in 1993 after Robert Altman cast her in his film Short Cuts.
The movie was critically acclaimed and Moore herself received good reviews for her performance. The film also further boosted Moore’s reputation as a top-caliber actress. The following year, she starred as Yelena in Vanya on 42nd Street, for which she won the Boston Society of Film Critics award for Best Actress.
Throughout the mid-1990s, she starred in various films including Roommates, Nine Months, Assassins and Surviving Picasso. Then, in 1997, Steven Spielberg cast her as Dr. Sarah Harding in the movieThe Lost World: Jurassic Park, which became another key point in her career.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Moore achieved significant fame and recognition beginning with the 1997 feature Boogie Nights, where she earned her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. This was followed by the Coen brothers’ dark comedy The Big Lebowski. Though the film wasn’t a hit at the time, it later became a cult classic.
Other Films and Plastic Surgery
She went on to star in other well-known features such as Psycho, Cookie’s Fortune, An Ideal Husband, The End of the Affair, for which she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, The Ladies Man, Hannibal, Evolution, The Shipping News and World Traveler, among others.
In 2002, she garnered critical praise for her portrayal of Cathy Whitaker, a housewife whose world is shaken after she found out that her husband is gay, in Far from Heaven. For her performance, she garnered an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Later that year, she starred in The Hours, once again receiving nominations including a BAFTA and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. After The Hours, she took a break for a year and returned in 2004 with Marie and Bruce, where she also served as the executive producer.
Other films include Laws of Attraction, Children of Men, Savage Grace, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Chloe, The Kids Are All Right, Crazy, Stupid, Love., The English Teacher, Don Jon and Carrie. She was also chosen to play President Alma Coin in the upcoming films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
Moore, now 53, is often described as a fine example of an actress who has opted to age gracefully. She had revealed that she hasn’t had any plastic surgery and many people believe her simply because she doesn’t look like she had one.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, she was quoted as saying: “I don’t believe it makes people look better. I think it just makes them look like they had something done to their face, and I don’t think we find that instinctually appealing.”