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Gwyneth PaltrowBirth name: Gwyneth Kate Paltrow
Nickname: Gwynnie
Height: 5' 9½" (1.77 m)
Born: September 28, 1972
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California

Gwyneth Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, California to the late Bruce Paltrow (a Jewish American film director) and Blythe Danner (a well known Quaker character actress of English descent). Raised in Santa Monica, she attended Spence School, a selective private girls' school in New York City, and briefly studied Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before dropping out and committing herself to acting. Paltrow has a younger brother named Jake and is a cousin of actress Katherine Moennig.

Her debut film was Shout (1991), and later the same year she had a small role in family friend Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991). She later starred in Se7en (1995), dating her co-star Brad Pitt.

Gwyneth Paltrow's performance in Emma (1996) received its share of praise. She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress two years later for her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998), in which Affleck appeared.

Continuing her ascent, Gwyneth Paltrow co-starred in a murderous love triangle with Matt Damon and Jude Law in Anthony Minghella's period drama "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel. Also, after much time in turnaround, she was finally directed by her father in "Duets" (2000), with TV star Scott Speedman cast in the role originally earmarked for Pitt. "Duets" offered the wildly popular actress a chance to show off another of her talents: singing. The karaoke-themed film scored something of a hit with the soundtrack cut "Cruisin'", a Smokey Robinson song performed by Paltrow and Huey Lewis. Later that year she co-starred with former flame Affleck in Don Roos' "Bounce", turning in a charming and convincing performance with a rare blue-collar role. Paltrow again put her somewhat patrician image aside to star in the Farrelly brothers comedy "Shallow Hal" (2001), playing the woman Jack Black's titular character falls for. Paltrow came under fire by some for her role in the surprisingly gentle romance, which required her to wear prosthetics for scenes as the 300-pound real Rosemary rather than the slim reflection of her inner beauty that Hal sees. In that year's "The Royal Tenenbaums", Paltrow was the grown-up incarnation of a child prodigy playwright, the adopted Tenenbaum harboring many secrets. The actress fit in very well in director Wes Anderson's quirky world and excelled with an appropriately reined in performance as the deadpan Margot.

In 2002, Paltrow co-starred with Aaron Eckhart as competing scholars investigating the possible romance between the 18th-century writers in Neil LaBute's adaptation of A.S. Byatt's novel "Possession." But the year was marred by the death of her father Bruce, who succumbed to complications of pneumonia and a recurrence of throat cancer while on vacation with Platrow in Rome, Italy to celebrate her 30th birthday. That following year, she starred as a woman who takes a job as a flight attendant in an effort to lead the glamorous life in the comedy "A View From the Top" (2003).

In an interview with The Guardian on 27 January 2006, Gwyneth Paltrow admitted that she divided her career into those movies she did for love, and those "shite" films she did for money. The Royal Tenenbaums, Proof and Sylvia went into the former category, whilst View From the Top and Shallow Hal were in the latter.

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