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Anne Hathaway Biography


Home > Actresses > H > Hathaway, Anne > Biography


Birth Name: Anne Hathaway
Born: 11/12/1982
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA


Anne Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, NY on Nov. 12, 1982, and raised in suburban Millburn, NJ. Her father, Gerald, was a lawyer while mother, Kate McCauley, was an actress who inspired Hathaway to follow the same creative path. Hathaway's natural talents proved to be far more evolved than the average high school theater star, resulting in the teenager being accepted into the prestigious Barrow Group Theater Company in New York City. A trained soprano, Hathaway also performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the All Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus. Three days after that momentous performance at Carnegie Hall, she was offered a role in the short-lived television drama "Get Real" (Fox, 1999-2000). After a stint in Hollywood, Hathaway returned to graduate from Millburn High School and studied at the academically competitive Vassar College before transferring to New York University. In New York City, she was able to maintain a presence in the acting world while also maintaining a down-to-earth life with students her age.

In 2001, the unknown 19-year-old became an overnight sensation with her lead role in Disney's "The Princess Diaries," after having charmed director Garry Marshall by accidentally falling off her chair during her audition. The slip convinced Marshall that Hathaway was perfect for the role of the awkward American teenager who discovers she is a princess after the death of her absent father, and is groomed for the throne by her regal grandmother (Julie Andrews). Marshall - who had directed "Pretty Woman" (1990) - also saw more than a fleeting glimpse of a Julia Roberts-like look and feel to Hathaway's performance. The family film was a box office success and Hathaway found herself in the position of reluctant role model to tweens everywhere. Her next release was the indie "The Other Side of Heaven" (2002) which had actually been filmed prior to "Princess Diaries," but producers delayed its release when it became apparent that the film's star was about to become an overnight success. Unfortunately, Hathaway's newly bankable name was not enough to transform "The Other Side of Heaven" into a hit, though it did strike a chord with Christian audiences.

Hathaway followed up with a role as beguiling artist Madeline Bray in the Dickens adaptation "Nicholas Nickleby" (2002), which was one of the year's critical picks and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture. That year, she also made her Broadway debut as the lead in a revival of "Carnival!" and impressed critics with her well-rounded song and dance talents. Her first misfire - another aspiring Princess tale "Ella Enchanted" (2004) - lacked the sparkle of "Princess Diaries," but Hathaway rebounded with a sequel to her mega-hit, reprising her role in "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (2004). But even though she was a newly minted star with a hefty paycheck rolling in, the actress found herself at a crossroads, dangerously close to being typecast in family fare if she did not make some choices that showcased darker, more complex angles. She made her first break with the past by playing a bored, wealthy Los Angeles teenager who entertains herself by cruising the ghettos for drugs and gang member boyfriends, but advance reviews resulted in straight-to-video status for "Havoc" (2005).

A supporting role in Ang Lee's Academy Award-nominated and controversial "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) successfully showcased the actress' evolving talent to a worldwide audience. Fully decked out as a Texas rodeo queen-turned-businesswoman, Hathaway gave a commanding performance that spanned decades and followed her character's transformation from rambunctious flirt to disillusioned, long-suffering wife of a distant husband with a secret double life (Jake Gyllenhaal). Back in the star seat, Hathaway proved yet again that she was a bankable talent with the hit comedy "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006). Based on the bestselling and critically reviled novel about an assistant at Vogue magazine, Hathaway's character was a plain Jane-turned-glamorous fashionista, as a result of constant humiliation by her demanding boss (Meryl Streep). She eventually rebels against the unreasonable standards of beauty and in a triumphant ending, returns to her true love - wearing flannel and tackling serious journalism.

In 2007, Hathaway took on the daunting role of portraying beloved English novelist Jane Austen in the fictionalized portrait of the author's early years, "Becoming Jane" (2007). While praised for her chemistry with romantic lead James McAvoy and her dedication to immersing herself in the character, the resulting film was a critical toss-up that brought in only moderate business. But another successful comedy was on the horizon, with Hathaway co-starring opposite Steve Carell in the summer release "Get Smart" (2008). As Agent 99, a character made famous by Barbara Feldon in the original 1960s TV series, Hathaway was a perfect casting choice to play the infinitely more competent of the pair of spies. After starring in the independently made, but little-seen disaster thriller "Passengers" (2008), Hathaway gave a standout performance in "Rachel Getting Married" (2008), playing an overly dramatic, crisis-ridden woman who returns home for her sister's wedding. Hailed by critics, Hathaway earned several year-end nominations, including nods for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

Prior to earning her first Golden Globe nod, Hathaway went through a bad patch of personal trauma that was amplified by public embarrassment. In June 2008, her longtime boyfriend, Italian real estate hotshot, Raffaello Follieri, was arrested by the FBI for defrauding investors through his Follieri Foundation by claiming he had connections to the Vatican that would allow him to buy land owned by the Catholic Church at a discount. Follieri then misappropriated his investor's money by spending upwards of $2.4 million on his lavish lifestyle, which included a $37,500-a-month apartment on 5th Avenue in New York that he shared with Hathaway. The couple was together since 2004, but Hathaway broke off the relationship soon after Follieri's arrest. The FBI did, however, confiscate Hathaway's personal journals - she participated in the foundation's development and was a financial donor - but court papers later stated that she was an unwilling beneficiary of stolen money. Hathaway was in a state of shock for a spell and stayed away from the press, but later gave an interview detailing the fiasco in the October 2008 issue of W magazine.

Hathaway quickly rebounded from her personal trials with "Bride Wars" (2009), a comedy about best friends (Hathaway and Kate Hudson) who schedule their weddings on the same day and at the same location, New York's famed Plaza Hotel. Hathaway continued her romantic comedy streak by joining the ensemble cast of "Valentine's Day" (2010), directed by Garry Marshall. The star-studded film followed the interwoven lives of couples and single people living in Los Angeles on the most romantic day of the year. She delivered another nuanced performance as the eccentric White Queen in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (2010), opposite Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Both "Valentine's Day" and "Alice in Wonderland" fared well in the box office, reaffirming Hathaway's commercial appeal. That same year, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voiceover Performance for her guest stint on the long-running animated series, "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ). Continuing her exceptional year, Hathaway earned widespread critical praise for "Love and Other Drugs" (2010), in which she played the alluring and free-spirited Maggie, who develops a powerfully intoxicating romance with a charming pharmaceutical rep (Jake Gyllenhaal). Her acclaimed performance once again brought forth Oscar talk that first led to a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, while only weeks prior, she was announced as co-host along with James Franco of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

Although Hathaway and Franco's stint as Oscar co-hosts met with a mix of ambivalence and derision, voice work in the fowl-themed animated adventure "Rio" (2011) at least put her back on top at the box office. Less successful, both critically and commercially was her turn opposite British actor Jim Sturgess in the dour romantic drama "One Day" (2011). What made critics and fans sit up and take notice, however, was the news that the actress had taken on the role of Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) in director Christopher Nolan's blockbuster final installment of his epic trilogy "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), in which the Batman (Christian Bale) is drawn out of retirement to save his beloved Gotham from a fanatical masked mercenary known as Bane (Tom Hardy). Hathaway received high marks for the sultriest and most physically demanding role of her career in a smash that went to become the seventh highest-grossing film of all time at that time. Incredibly, the gifted actress received just as much attention for her next performance at the end of the year as Fantine, the tragic factory worker in the big-budget screen adaptation of the Broadway phenomenon "Les Misérables" (2012). Appearing alongside Aussie actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, Hathaway and her considerable pipes garnered universal praise and upped the already substantial anticipation for the film when her rendition of the heartbreaking song "I Dreamed a Dream" was used extensively in the film's advance trailer. Before the film was even released, Hathaway received a Golden Globe nod for Best Supporting Actress, followed soon after by an Oscar nomination in the same category. She went on to win both.