Born in England in 1968, Naomi Watts moved with her family to Sydney, Australia, as a teenager. At high school she met Nicole Kidman, with whom she co-starred in Flirting (1991). Watts' film career took off in 2001 with David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. Other major films include The Ring and its sequel, as well as Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong. Watts has two children with actor Liev Schrieber.
Early Life and Career
Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968, in Shoreham, England. An Academy Award-nominated actress, Naomi Watts has tackled a diverse mix of projects in her career, ranging from horror to comedy, from big epics to small independent films. As a teenager, she and her family moved to Australia. In 1986, Watts made her film debut in For Love Alone. Later, she got to work with dear friend Nicole Kidman in the boarding school drama Flirting (1991).
For years, Watts appeared on television and in several films. But it wasn't until her performance in David Lynch's acclaimed mystery Mulholland Drive in 2001 that critics began to take notice. The role jumpstarted Watts's career, and she began to land big projects. She starred in the sleeper hit The Ring (2002), which was the American remake of popular Japanese horror film.
Critically Acclaimed Actress
Taking on lighter fare, Watts appeared in Le Divorce (2003)—based on the best-selling novel by Diane Johnson—as an American woman married to a Frenchman living in Paris. Her relationship with her husband falls apart while her sister played by Kate Hudson is visiting. That same year, Watts amazed both audiences and critics with her outstanding performance in Alejandro González Iárritu's thriller 21 Grams opposite Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro.
Her portrayal of a young mother with a reckless past in 21 Grams was touted by many as the finest of her career, earning her an Academy Award nomination. Watts followed up this role with a part in the martial drama We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004) and the offbeat comedy I Heart Huckabees (2004), as well as a reunion with Sean Penn in The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004).
Watts returned to more commercial efforts in 2005, appearing in such films as The Ring Two and Peter Jackson's King Kong. She later co-starred with Viggo Mortensen in the organized crime drama Eastern Promises (2007) and appeared in the thriller Funny Games (2007).
Watts delivered another stellar performance in 2012's The Impossible, which is based on a true story. In the film, she plays a mother on vacation with her family in Thailand in 2004 when disaster strikes. The family, along with countless others in the region, are caught up in the devastation caused by a tsunami that hits the area. For her performance, Watts received an Academy Award nomination.
Around this time, Watts landed the role of Princess Diana in Caught in Flight. This movie focuses on the final years of the late princess. More biographical films also figure in Watts's future. She is set to star as Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming drama Blonde, and will portray English writer and adventurer Gertrude Bell.
Once romantically linked to actor Heath Ledger, Watts has found happiness with actor Liev Schreiber. The couple welcomed a son, Alexander Pete, on July 26, 2007, in Los Angeles. They expanded their family the following year with the arrival of son Samuel Kai.
In September 2016 Watts and Schreiber announced they would be parting ways after 11 years together.
"Over the past few months we've come to the conclusion that the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple," the couple said in a statement to E! News. "It is with great love, respect, and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship."
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