Julianne Moore (born Julie Anne Smith; December 3, 1960) is an American actress and a children’s book author. She has been nominated for four Oscars, six Golden Globes, three BAFTA’s, nine Screen Actors Guild Awards, and has won two Emmy Awards.
Moore was born at the Fort Bragg army base in North Carolina. Her father, Peter Moore Smith, was a paratrooper in the American army, and later a colonel and military judge. Her mother, Anne McNeil McLean, was a psychiatrist and social worker who emigrated from Scotland to the United States as a child. She is a dual citizen of Britain and America, by way of her Scottish ancestry. Moore applied for British citizenship in 2011 to honor her deceased mother (“it would have meant the world to her”).
Moore moved to New York City after graduating, and worked as a waitress while auditioning for roles. Moore began her acting career in 1983 with minor roles, before joining the cast of the soap opera As the World Turns, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1988. She began to appear in supporting roles in films during the early 1990’s, her feature debut was a small role in 1990’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, which Moore has described as “terrible”. Her visibility increased in 1992 when she was had her first substantial feature film role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992). The film was a US box office number one, and Moore caught the attention of several critics with her performance.
She followed up with a role in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994), Safe, Nine Months and Assassins (1995), Jurassic Park 3 (1997) but it was her performance in Boogie Nights (1997) that brought her widespread attention and her first Academy Award nomination. Director Paul Thomas Anderson was not a well known figure before its production, with only one feature credit to his name, but Moore agreed to the film after being impressed with his script. The ensemble piece features Moore as Amber Waves, a leading porn actress and mother-figure who longs to be reunited with her real son.
Her success continued with such films as The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), and in the huge commercial success Hannibal (2001), a sequel to the Oscar winning film The Silence of the Lambs. After Jodie Foster declined to return as Agent Clarice Starling, director Ridley Scott cast Moore in the lead role. The change in actress received considerable attention from the press. Moore was excited to be given the part but claimed she was not trying to upstage Foster: “Jodie was magnificent… It’s an honor to be asked to repeat something after she’s done it. But I’m not going to be able to do what she did. There’s just no way.”
Academy Award nominations later came for her two 2002 films, The Hours (Best Supporting Actress) and Far From Heaven (Best Actress).
2006 also saw the releasing of three of her films: Freedomland, which opened to mixed reviews, followed by Trust the Man, directed by her husband Bart Freundlich, and the critically acclaimed science fiction feature Children of Men. The following year she appeared in Next, a science fiction film based on a short story by Philip K. Dick; and the controversial film Savage Grace, the story of a high-society mother and son whose Oedipal relationship ends in tragedy.
In 2008, Moore starred alongside Mark Ruffalo in Blindness, a thriller from director Fernando Meirelles. Moore received great reviews, the movie generally, did not. Moore plays as doctor’s wife, the only person immune to the epidemic of blindness. Her sight is kept a secret by her husband and others, though as time goes on, she feels isolated in being the only one with sight. Moore described her character’s responsibility: “Her biggest concern in the beginning is simply her husband. But her ability to see ultimately both isolates her and makes her into a leader.” The director also gave Moore’s character a wardrobe that would match the actor’s skin and dyed blond hair, giving her the appearance of a “pale angel”.
Moore has since appeared in the well-received American drama A Single Man, for which she received her fifth Golden Globe nomination. Her most recent notable roles include Chloe (2009), The Kids Are All Right (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), and the HBO film Game Change (2012), in which she portrayed Sarah Palin.
Moore has several upcoming film projects, including the fantasy film The Seventh Son based on the book series The Wardstone Chronicles, co-starring Jeff Bridges, in which Moore will star as the “most dangerous 1700’s witch” Mother Malkin. In March 2013, she will be seen as Margaret White in the remake of Carrie, an adaptation of the Stephen King horror novel.