MOTW: The Life and Career of Robin Wright

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
November 22nd, 2013

MOTW: The Life and Career of Robin Wright

On April 8, 1966, Robin Gayle Wright was born in the heart of Dallas, Texas. She is the daughter of a Mary Kay national director and a wealthy pharmaceutical executive. Her family moved to San Diego, California, when she was still a child. Wright attended high school in Los Angeles and started focusing on her acting career at an early age. When Wright was barely finished with high school, she starred on the hit television series "Santa Barbara," which resulted in several coveted Daytime Emmy nominations for the young actress. Soon after, while she was still in her early twenties, she landed her first film role as Buttercup in "The Princess Bride" and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In the mid '80s, Wright was married to fellow actor Dane Witherspoon, another cast member from "Santa Barbara," but their troubled marriage was short-lived and the couple divorced. Eventually, she entered into a relationship with Sean Penn, not long after he and Madonna had ended their marriage. Their daughter, Dylan Frances Penn, was born in April 1991. Just two years later, she gave birth to a son, Hopper Jack Penn. Several years after his birth, Penn and Wright finally married, though they ended up parting ways several years later.

In spite of her marriage to Sean Penn, Wright's life was packed with much more than romance in the years from 1990 to 1996. In 1990, she had major movie roles in "Denial" and "State of Grace." In 1992, she portrayed Tara Maguire in "The Playboys" and had a major supporting role in "Toys" as Gwen Tyler, the latter of which earned her a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1994, she received one of her most prominent roles to date when she was cast as Jenny Curran in "Forrest Gump" alongside Tom Hanks. Her performance earned her multiple nominations for Best Supporting Actress, including nominations for a Saturn Award and a Golden Globe Award. She also received a nomination for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Award from the Screen Actors Guild.

Even though "Forrest Gump" was one of her most successful movies, Wright has gone on to perform in many major blockbusters. She was offered the coveted role of Maid Marian in the action-adventure film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," but she decided to turn down the part as she was pregnant, which also resulted in her choice to back out of 1993's "The Firm," where she would have costarred alongside Tom Cruise. However, those were likely the only two movies she had to back out of due to family obligations. She had a major role in 1995's "The Crossing Guard" as Jojo and played the titular character in "Moll Flanders," which resulted in a nomination for the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.

One underrated Robin Wright film was 2005's "Nine Lives," which did not receive as much attention as it deserved. Her stellar performance as Diana resulted in multiple nominations, including the Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress, the Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Actor, the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, and the Gotham Award for Best Ensemble. Alongside the other actresses, she also received an award from the Locarno International Film Festival for Best Actress.

Wright has also starred in films such as "Loved," "Unbreakable," "The Pledge," "Sorry, Haters," "Empire Falls," and "Breaking and Entering." In more recent years, she has starred in "Beowulf," "A Christmas Carol," "Moneyball," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," to name just a few. Many of these films have resulted in more award nominations. She also had a very prominent role in "House of Cards," a widely popular political drama series released on Netflix.

Other than her career as an actor, Robin Wright is also the Honorary Spokesperson for the Gordie Foundation, a nonprofit organization based out of Dallas, Texas. The Gordie Foundation was created to honor the memory of a college student named Gordie Bailey who passed away after an alcohol-related hazing incident in Colorado. The foundation's mission is to educate youth about the very real dangers of hazing. As busy as she is, Robin Wright has a promising future ahead of her with many more movies on the horizon.