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To most moviegoers, Gwyneth Paltrow was "that English actress that used to be engaged to Brad Pitt." On March 21, 1999, that image was altered completely when the little known actress was awarded the Academy Award for her outstanding performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998). Gwyneth Paltrow, who in fact is not English, was born in 1973 in Los Angeles, the daughter of noted film director Bruce Paltrow and Tony award-winning actress Blythe Danner. When Gwyneth was 11, the family moved to Massachusetts where her father began working in summer stock productions in the Berkshires. It was here that she received her early acting training under the tutelage of her parents. In 1991, she quit the University of California and began to actively pursue a career in acting. She made her film debut with a small part in Shout (1991) and for the next 5 years had featured roles in a mixed bag of film fare that included Flesh and Bone (1993); Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994); Se7en (1995); Jefferson in Paris (1995); Moonlight and Valentino (1995); and Pallbearer, The (1996). It was her performance in the title role of Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1996) that led to her being offered the role of Viola in Shakespeare in Love (1998). She broke her much publicized engagement to actor Brad Pitt in 1997 citing as the reason the fact that neither she nor Pitt felt that they could pursue their respective careers and at the same time maintain a happy marriage. They remain good friends. A tall, wafer thin, delicate beauty, Gwyneth Paltrow is a consummate professional and a highly skilled actress who appears to possess everything necessary to achieve super stardom.
Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner. After attending the Spence School in New York City, she moved to California where she attended the University of California in Santa Barbara, majoring in Art History. She soon quit, realizing it was not her passion. She began acting in the Williamstown Theatre play "Picnic, " with her mother. In 1991 she appeared in her first film, Shout (1991) with John Travolta. She met Steven Spielberg and was cast in his film Hook (1991). After a bit part in the 1995 film Se7en (1995) she began dating her co-star Brad Pitt. She appeared in Pallbearer, The (1996) and Emma (1996) and received her first Oscar nomination in 1999 for her role as Viola in'John Madden''s, Shakespeare in Love (1998)