Robin Wright (born April 8, 1966) is an American actress and television director. After starting off on the soap opera Santa Barbara, Wright has gone on to memorable roles in The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump, Unbreakable, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and House of Cards. She has won a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for Screen Actors Guild awards as well as both Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards.

Robin Wright Bio

Robin Gayle Wright was born on April 8, 1966 in Dallas, Tex. She is the daughter of Gayle and Freddie Wright. Her family moved to California when she was a child. Wright spent her childhood in San Diego, attending La Jolla High School. Her professional career began as a model, which saw her travel to Paris and Japan at just 14 years old. As she began to go into acting, she moved to Los Angeles. She completed her high school education at Taft High School in the Woodland Hills section of the city.

Robin Wright Career

Robin Wright began her acting career in 1983 by appearing in two episodes of NBC’s shortly lived The Yellow Rose, which was inspired by the legendary soap opera Dallas. Quickly thereafter, Wright landed a starring role in the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara. Wright played Kelly Capwell, the daughter of a rich businessman. Wright held onto the role from 1984 to 1988 and appeared in 509 episodes. During that time she was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, each for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series.

In 1987, Wright already had a memorable role that would be beloved by audiences for years to come. Rob Reiner picked Wright to be the star of The Princess Bride as Buttercup, a young woman whose love interests and adventures take center stage in the film. Although the film received moderate success at the box office, it quickly became a cult hit and a favorite between audiences and film critics. In 1988, Wright was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Buttercup.

Wright played in multiple films through the early 1990’s. In 1990 she had roles in both Denial and State of Grace. In 1992, Wright played alongside some of entertainment’s biggest stars in Toys. Robin Williams, Michael Gambon, Joan Cusack, LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx (in his feature film debut) were also part of the star-studded cast. Wright also landed a starring role in the Irish film The Playboys in 1992. Had it not been for a pair of pregnancies with future husband Sean Penn, Wright could have also been alongside Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Tom Cruise in The Firm. Instead, she turned down both roles as she was expecting her children.

Nonetheless, Robin Wright came back with a bang in 1994 with a dazzling performance in Forrest Gump. She played Jenny, the childhood friend and girlfriend of Forrest, who was famously played by Tom Hanks. Throughout the film, audiences saw Jenny’s life continuously change through all the turmoil she tried to hide away from Forrest. The film and Wright’s portrayal of Jenny became beloved, as Forrest Gump won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Picture. Wright earn nominations for a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Saturn Award for her performance.

After a role in the Sean Penn directed The Crossing Guard, which had Jack Nicholson as a star, Wright took on the title role in Moll Flanders in 1996. Although the film was criticized for being too little like the original Daniel Defoe novel and too much like Forrest Gump, Wright’s acting in the movie was still generally well lauded. In 1997 she received a nomination for the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.

Wright took on a role alongside husband Sean Penn and John Travolta in She’s So Lovely as the female lead of Maureen Murphy Quinn. The film dealt with Maureen’s troubled relationship with Penn’s character Eddie, her disappearance, and her reemergence as a changed woman in a new marriage years later. The film yielded Wright with a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

The late 1990’s also saw Wright in Loved, Hurlyburly, and Message in a Bottle. The latter of the three films was based off a Nicolas Sparks novel and saw Wright team up with Kevin Costner and Paul Newman. Between the three films, Wright netted nominations for an Independent Spirit Award and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award.

After a role in the black comedy How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog, Wright was offered the lead female role in M. Night Shyamalan‘s 2000 superhero film Unbreakable. She played Audrey, the wife of a Philadelphia security guard named David (played by Bruce Willis) who finds out he possesses the powers of a superhero and is unable to be injured. Unbreakable went on to become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the best superhero movies made in the 21st Century. Wright would receive a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for the second year in a row for her part as Audrey.

Wright’s schedule became very busy in the early 2000’s, often taking on at least two parts a year during the stretch. In 2001, she acted in The Pledge and in The Last Castle (in an uncredited role). The following year she appeared in the documentary Searching for Debra Winger as well as White Oleander. 2003 saw her in The Singing Detective and Virgin, and then in A Home at the End of the World in 2004.

2005 was even busier for Robin Wright. In addition to playing parts in Sorry, Haters and the short film Max, Wright joined an ensemble cast for the hyperlink cinema film Nine Lives, which looked into nine different intertwined stories of the lives nine women. Wright played Diana, a married woman who has a reunion with an old love after meeting in an aisle at a supermarket. Wright was nominated for an Independent Spirit and a Satellite Award, whiling winning the Best Actress award at the Locarno International Film Festival. Wright also took on a role in HBO’s two part television film Empire Falls, which focused on a small and dying town in Maine and its people. Together with Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Paul Newman, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the film won Best Miniseries or Television Film at the 2006 Golden Globes and was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Wright herself was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for playing Grace, the mother of main character Miles (played by Harris).

In 2006, Wright played Liv in Breaking and Entering. The following year she took on a role in Hounddog and then played the female lead of Wealthow alongside Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie in the fantasy film Beowulf. She followed that up in 2008 by playing in the Hollywood satire What Just Happened, which had her husband Sean Penn play himself (as did Bruce Willis) along with Robert De Niro‘s portrayal of a movie director.

Robin Wright followed that up with roles in New York, I Love You, State of Play, and the title lead in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. Later in 2009, she lent her voice to the animated portrayal of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the characters of Belle, the fiance of Ebenezer Scrooge (voiced by Jim Carrey), and Fan Scrooge, Ebenezer’s late sister. The following year, Wright played the female lead alongside James McAvoy in The Conspirator, which dealt with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Wright portrayed Mary Surratt, a conspirator in the assassination who became the first woman to be executed by the United States government.

In 2011, Wright was cast in Aaron Sorkin‘s film adaptation of Moneyball, a book written by Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane on the methods he used to take a struggling baseball team and turn them into a contender without breaking the bank. Wright played Beane’s ex-wife, Sharon, while Brad Pitt starred as Beane. That same year, she had roles in Rampart and the acclaimed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, where she was joined by Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Additionally, Wright appeared in two episodes of HBO’s comedy-drama series Enlightened.

Robin Wright made her return to scripted series in 2013, but in a different medium than television. She landed the lead female role in House of Cards, Internet streaming service Netflix’s award winning series. She plays Claire Underwood, the wife of Congressman Francis Underwood, who’s played by Kevin Spacey. The two work together in a scheme to shake up Washington in an effort to land Frank in a higher position within the Federal government after he’s passed by for the role of Secretary of State. House of Cards became a groundbreaking series in the U.S. television landscape, as it gave credibility to the power of the Internet’s streaming services and made websites like Netflix a legitimate source for quality programming. Wright herself became a pioneer in the television landscape, becoming the first woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a television drama for a role on a web-only series. She’s also won a Satellite Award and has been nominated for three Emmy Awards, including the upcoming 2015 Emmys, for her role of Clarie Underwood.

Wright has also kept herself busy in other projects during her time on House of Cards. She played herself in a starring role in the animated science-fiction film The Congress in 2013, as well as roles in Adore and A Most Wanted Man. She will also be a part of Everest, which deals with the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, as the film is in post-production and slated for a September 2015 release.

Robin Wright Personal Life

Robin Wright was married to actor Dane Witherspoon after the two met on the set of Santa Barbara. The two were married from 1986 to 1988.

After her relationship with Witherspoon, Wright moved on to actor Sean Penn. The two began dating in 1989. The two had two children together– daughter Dylan in 1991 and son Hopper Jack in 1993. In 1996 Wright married Penn and changed her name to Robin Wright Penn, which she used as her credited name throughout her time as Penn’s wife.

After going through multiple divorce filings that were later called off in the late 2000’s, Wright and Penn finally split in July 2010. Wright dropped Penn from her name and went back to being known as Robin Wright.

In 2012, Wright began dating actor Ben Foster. The two were engaged in 2014, but later called off the engagement after a split later that year. However, Wright and Foster made up their differences fairly quickly, reemerging as a couple early in 2015.

Wright is a part of various charitable causes. She’s an honorary spokeswoman for The Gordie Foundation, which aims to lead teens in the direction away from alcohol, peer pressure, and hazing. She’s also an advocate of the Enough Project and various women’s rights and empowerment and human rights causes.

In 2014, Robin Wright was named one of Time‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Read more about: