Early life[ edit ] Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and film producer-director Bruce Paltrow — She has a younger brother, Jake Paltrow , who is a director and screenwriter. Paltrow's father was Jewish ,  while her mother is from a Christian background.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords AZ , through her father. Paltrow recalls their family gatherings: It's how we were raised. It's what we do. Her godfather is director Steven Spielberg. Early acting work[ edit ] Her acting debut was in High , a TV film her father directed, and after spending several summers watching her mother perform at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts , Paltrow made her professional stage debut there in Her first plum feature film role was in the noir drama Flesh and Bone as the much-younger girlfriend of James Caan.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times described Paltrow as a scene-stealer "who is Blythe Danner 's daughter and has her mother's way of making a camera fall in love with her.
The seventh-highest-grossing film in the year  Seven also earned her a Satellite Award nomination. She appeared in Moonlight and Valentino , as a grieving chain-smoker , and in Jefferson in Paris , portraying Martha Jefferson Randolph. Breakthrough and film stardom[ edit ] In , Paltrow played the title character in the period film adaptation Emma , based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen.
Director Douglas McGrath decided to bring in Paltrow to audition for the part of Emma Woodhouse , after a suggestion from his agent and after seeing her performance in Flesh and Bone. I know that wouldn't recommend her to most people [ We had many actresses, big and small, who wanted to play this part. The minute she started the read-through, the very first line, I thought, 'Everything is going to be fine; she's going to be brilliant.
A fine cast, speedy pacing and playful direction make this a solid contender for the Austen sweepstakes. The British drama Sliding Doors saw her star as a woman whose life could take two central paths depending on whether or not she catches a train, causing different outcomes. Entertainment Weekly commented, "Best of all is Gwyneth Paltrow, who, at long last, has a movie to star in that's as radiant as she is. In the film, about "the little known world of karaoke competitions and the wayward characters who inhabit it", she portrayed the estranged daughter of a hustler Lewis.
She performed a cover version of Smokey Robinson 's " Cruisin' , which was released as a single and went to number one in Australia, while her rendition of the Kim Carnes classic " Bette Davis Eyes " reached number three. She starred with Jack Black in the comedy Shallow Hal , about a shallow man falling in love with an overweight woman.
To play her role, she had to wear a specially designed pound fatsuit and heavy make-up. Mixed critical work and hiatus[ edit ] By , it was observed that since the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, Paltrow's film career had been less noteworthy and critical acclaim had waned. She has a vivid, passionate presence, even when her lively features have gone slack with depression and her bright blue eyes have glazed over".
Law became one of the producers of the film and used his clout to get Paltrow involved. Once she had been suggested for the role, Law did not remember "any other name coming up.
It just seems that she was perfect. She was as enthusiastic about the script and about the visual references that were sort of put to her, and jumped on board. The film was based on the play of the same name , in which Paltrow also played the same character at London's Donmar Warehouse between May and June On her portrayal in the film version, Eye for Film remarked: The scenes, which she and Hopkins share, as two difficult people bound together by affection, dependency and mutual respect, are entirely believable and all the more touching for it".
The film received a two-theater run in North America and garnered mixed reviews from critics. Return to prominence[ edit ] Paltrow saw a resurgence in her career in , when she was cast in Iron Man as Pepper Potts , Tony Stark 's personal assistant, closest friend, and budding love interest.
She said she liked "the fact that there's a sexuality that's not blatant. Paltrow starred with Joaquin Phoenix in the romantic drama Two Lovers , playing the beautiful but volatile new neighbor of a depressed bachelor. Two Lovers premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May, receiving largely positive reviews,   especially for Phoenix and Paltrow's performances; Los Angeles Times felt that "Phoenix is at his best with Paltrow's bruised sparrow of a girl; he's desperate to take care of her when he can't even take care of himself.
She is one of those actresses who understands the power of a look, and the one of regret and then resignation that overtakes her when Leonard professes his love is steeped in sadness". She recorded the song Country Strong for the film's soundtrack,  and it was released to country radio stations in August Her role was developed by co-creator Ryan Murphy , a personal friend of Paltrow's, who suggested that she showcase her vocal and dancing abilities ahead of the release of Country Strong.
Online 's Kristin dos Santos called her appearance Emmy-worthy, with the former rating it among her best performances, and the latter stating that Holly received "some of Glee's best-ever one-liners". Paltrow was briefly featured in Glee: Ripley co-stars Matt Damon and Jude Law. The thriller follows the rapid progress of a lethal indirect contact transmission virus that kills within days. In it, she portrayed the wife of an unscrupulous art dealer and swindler Depp.