Born March 6, 1967, in Boston, Massachusetts, Connie Britton has been on camera most of her adult life. But the actress didn't hit her Hollywood stride till the show Friday Night Lights debuted in 2006, followed by American Horror Story in 2011. Now this single mom, who adopted that same year, is singing country and enjoying true stardom on the hit Nashville, which debuted in 2012. Other recent projects include such films as American Ultra (2015) and the TV series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Connie Britton was born Constance Elaine Womack on March 6, 1967, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Allen Womack, a physicist, and his wife, Linda, a former teacher. She has a fraternal twin, Cynthia. When she was 7 years old, Britton and her family moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, where the young girl enjoyed writing plays and eventually dabbled in acting in the theater.
Britton didn't pursue the performing arts in college. Instead, the coed earned a degree in Asian studies from Dartmouth College, which included a semester in Beijing, learning to speak Chinese. After school, she gravitated back to acting. The college grad spent two years training with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse; some of his past students were Grace Kelly, Steve McQueen and Diane Keaton.
Movie Wins and Losses
Britton began honing her talents in off-Broadway productions before auditioning for actor turned director Ed Burns's 1995 film, The Brothers McMullen. The aspiring starlet nearly blew off the audition, but didn't, and the movie kick-started her film career. It looked like Britton's career was really about to soar after she had a stellar audition with Tom Cruise for the 1996 movie Jerry McGuire. She was crushed when Renee Zellweger nabbed the part. Still, Britton had plenty of moderate television successes, including stints on The West Wing and 24, and several seasons on the sitcom Spin City.
Football, Horror Stories and Country Music
There were more movies between TV gigs, including 2004's Friday Night Lights. She portrayed the wife of a small-town high-school football coach. When the film inspired a TV series, Britton was immediately cast; she earned her first Emmy nod in 2010 for the show, which was critically acclaimed but got low ratings. In 2011, when the series ended after five seasons on NBC, she starred in Ryan Murphy's FX miniseries American Horror Story, playing Vivien Harmon, a role which earned her another Emmy nod.
In 2012, the actress found another steady TV role, as an aging country star in the ABC television series Nashville, created by Callie Khouri and co-starring Hayden Panettiere. Britton received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award nomination for her work on the show. ABC cancelled the popular show in 2016, but it was picked up by CMT.
In addition to her work on Nashville, Britton has found time for other acting projects. She had supporting roles in the 2015 dramatic comedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and the 2015 spy action comedy American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Britton also appeared in the popular series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson in 2016. She played Faye Resnick, a friend of murder victim Nicole Brown Simpson, on the show.
Adopting and Single Motherhood
While Britton often plays a doting wife in real life, she's been divorced since age 29 from investment banker John Britton, after four years of marriage. Not wanting to wait any longer to find the right partner to enjoy motherhood, in 2011 Britton adopted son Eyob (nicknamed Yoby) from Ethiopia on her own. Working on a documentary on Ethiopian orphans motivated the adoption. "My whole life has been building to all the good stuff that has happened to me in the last few years," Britton told People magazine in a 2013 interview.
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