Born Anne Jacqueline Hathaway on 12th November, 1982, in Brooklyn, New York, Anne is the second of three children to actress Kate McCauley and lawyer Gerald Hathaway. Though she was born in Brooklyn, Anne spent much of her childhood in Milburn, New Jersey after her parents moved there when she was only 6 years old. Raised as a Catholic, she initially wished to pursue life as nun, though her mother’s career meant that she also developed an interest in acting; appearing in numerous school plays whilst studying at Milburn High School. Her high school performances were well reviewed, with a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award being a solid indicator of her future success. Anne abandoned her pursuit of becoming a nun at the age of 15 after her brother came out as a homosexual and instead set her sights on an acting career; earning a place at the Barrow Group Theatre Company.
With her Barrow membership and an acclaimed performance as a soprano with the All Eastern US High School Honors Chorus, Anne’s television acting debut was not to be far behind and she won her first role in the Fox drama series Get Real in 1999. The series was ultimately short-lived, airing only 13 episodes, and Anne returned to New York to graduate high school and further her education by enrolling at New York University to study English. Her next acting break would prove to be far more successful however, landing the lead role in Disney’s The Princess Diaries in 2001.
The Princess Diaries proved to be a huge success, making Anne a star in the process and a firm favorite with family audiences. Roles in Nicholas Nickelby (2002), Ella Enchanted (2004), The Princess Diaries 2 (2004), and animated fairytale Hoodwinked (2005) further boosted her status as one of Hollywood’s most popular young actresses. However, Anne strived for more dramatically challenging roles and sought to shake her family-friendly image by playing against type in more adult-oriented fare.
Her first adult performance came with the misfiring, straight-to-dvd drug drama Havoc in 2005, but her breakthrough role came later that year when she was cast in Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed drama Brokeback Mountain starring opposite Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the latter’s estranged wife. The film firmly planted Anne on Hollywood’s A-list and the actress soon found herself headlining high profile studio productions including The Devil Wears Prada (2006) starring opposite Meryl Streep, big-screen television revival Get Smart (2008), and Jonathan Demme’s well-received drama Rachel Getting Married (2008), for which she earned Best Actress nominations at the 2009 Oscar and Golden Globe awards. She has since appeared in a wide range of different films including the comedies Bride Wars (2009) and Valentine’s Day (2010), fantasy epic Alice in Wonderland (2010), and romantic drama Love and Other Drugs (2011), which earned the actress her second Golden Globe nomination. She can currently be heard in the children’s animation Rio (2011), and will next be seen in the romantic drama One Day (2011), and Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Anne has appeared in numerous stage productions including a production of Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theatre in New York, and co-hosted the 83rd Annual Academy Awards with actor James Franco. She has also used her celebrity status to support numerous charities including the Step Up Women’s Network, and The Human Rights Campaign.
Anne has largely tried to keep her private life out of the limelight, however her relationship with Italian real estate developer Raffaello Follieri hit the headlines in 2008 when Follieri’s charity organization was investigated by the IRS. Anne ended the relationship shortly afterwards and Follieri himself was eventually arrested for fraud. Anne has also revealed that she suffered from depression as a teenager. She is currently in a relationship with actor Adam Shulman, and is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
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