Julianne Moore - Actress - Biography
Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore Biography

Actress (1960–)
Acclaimed film and TV actress Julianne Moore has starred in a range of projects that include 'Boogie Nights,' 'The Hours,' 'Game Change' and 'Still Alice,' for which she won an Oscar in 2015.


Born in North Carolina in 1960, actress Julianne Moore first became known for her role on the soap opera As The World Turns. Her later feature films include The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Fugitive, Children of Men and The Kids Are All Right. Moore earned best actress Academy Award nominations for her work in The End of the Affair and Far From Heaven, also receiving supporting actress nods for Boogie Nights and The Hours. In 2015, she won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her lead role in Still Alice, portraying a woman with early onset Alzheimer's.

Early Life

Born Julie Anne Smith on December 3, 1960, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, actress Julianne Moore has received wide praise for tackling unusual and challenging characters. She had a transient childhood, moving from place to place because of her father's military service. Always changing schools, Moore found herself targeted by bullies who picked on her for her now famous traits. "When I was 7, these kids in the alley behind our house in Omaha called me 'Freckleface Strawberry.' I hated my freckles and I hated that name," she explained to Redbook.

After attending high school in Germany, Moore returned to the United States to study at Boston University. She graduated from the university's School of Performing Arts in 1983 and soon moved to New York City to break into the theater world.

From Television to Film

In 1985, Moore landed her first major television role: She played Frannie Hughes on the soap opera As the World Turns for several years, eventually taking on the dual role of her character's twin sister, Sabrina. Moore won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the drama. In 1990, she made her film debut in Tales of the Darkside. Moore, however, gained more notice for her supporting role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992).

Her career seemed to pick up momentum around this time. In 1993, Moore acted in four films of varied quality and success. She appeared in Madonna's dramatic dud Body of Evidence, as well as the quirky romantic tale Benny & Joon with Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson. That year Moore also had roles in The Fugitive, a hit crime drama starring Harrison Ford, and Robert Altman's Short Cuts, based on the stories of Raymond Carver.

Moore took on a classic theatrical work in 1994's Vanya on 42nd Street. Directed by Louis Malle, the film offers a different take on actors performing Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya. Moore again demonstrated her dramatic talents in Todd Haynes's independent drama Safe (1995), playing a woman battling an unknown disease.

Leading Actress

In 1997, Moore starred in Steven Spielberg's box office blockbuster The Lost World: Jurassic Park with Jeff Goldblum. She also picked up her first Academy Award nomination that same year for best supporting actress in Boogie Nights. In this Paul Thomas Anderson movie about adult films, Moore plays a porn star named Amber Waves.

Moore continued to work with interesting filmmakers, appearing in Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski (1998). While not a box office hit, this offbeat comedy starring Jeff Bridges has become a cult classic. Moore revisited one of film's scariest movies that same year, appearing in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. She also took over the role of FBI agent Clarice Starling in Ridley Scott's Hannibal (2001). Jodie Foster had originated the part in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

In 2002, Moore earned great acclaim for two compelling roles: In Far From Heaven, she plays a 1950s stay-at-home mother whose picture-perfect life unexpectedly shatters. Dennis Quaid plays her husband, who struggles with his sexuality. In The Hours, Moore portrays another 1950s housewife who contemplates freeing herself from her suburban shackles.

As the 2000s progressed, Moore had established herself among Hollywood's elite actresses. She appeared in a slew of films, including The Forgotten (2004), Children of Men (2006), and A Single Man (2009). She also experimented on Broadway, debuting in David Hare's The Vertical Hour in late 2006; however, critics were generally unenthusiastic about her performance as Nadia, a former Iraq war correspondent whose views get challenged.

Oscar Win for 'Alice'

Moore continued to tackle a diverse mix of interesting roles. She and Annette Bening starred as a lesbian couple in the 2010 critically acclaimed indie film The Kids Are All Right, co-starring Mark Ruffalo. On the small screen, Moore had a recurring role as Alec Baldwin's former high school friend on the hit sitcom 30 Rock.

In 2012, Moore gave another compelling performance on the small screen. She earned raves from critics for her spot-on portrayal of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the television movie Game Change. The real-life role gave Moore her first Emmy Award win. That same year, Moore appeared in two dramatic films: What Maisie Knew and Being Flynn.

In 2013, Moore took on a classic horror role once again, playing the sinister mother in the remake of Carrie. The following year she co-starred in the airplane thriller Non-Stop and the sci-fi blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, while garnering big buzz for her lead role in the drama Maps to the Stars. Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe both for Maps and the acclaimed drama Still Alice, winning for the latter. And after five nominations, the acclaimed actress finally nabbed an Academy Award for her Alice role, in which she depicts a linguistics professor diagnosed with Alzheimer's. 

In 2015, Moore starred in the lesbian rights biopic Freeheld, co-starring Ellen Page and Michael Shannon, and reprised her role as President Alma Coin for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

In addition to acting, Moore has found great success as a children's book author. She drew from her own experiences to write Freckleface Strawberry, which was published in 2007. Moore has since written several follow-up books in the Freckleface Strawberry series, as well as My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me, published in 2013.

Personal Life

Moore is married to director Bart Freundlich. The pair met while working together on Freundlich's 1997 film, The Myth of Fingerprints. They live together in New York City with their two children, Caleb and Liv. Moore was previously married to actor John Gould Rubin.

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