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Michelle Williams - Biography

Michelle Williams is an actress best known for Dawson's Creek, Brokeback Mountain, The Fabelmans, and more

Michelle Williams at Cannes Film Festival
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
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Michelle Williams' early life

Michelle Williams was born on September 9, 1980 to mom Carla, a homemaker, and father Larry R. Williams, an author and stock commodities trader, in Kalispell, Montana. Her father ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate for the Republican Party twice. She grew up with her younger sister, Paige, and her three paternal half-siblings.

She developed an interest in acting while in school, where she was a part of various amateur theater productions. Eventually, her parents started taking her to auditions in Los Angeles, after her family moved to San Diego when she was nine.

Michelle Williams' acting career

Michelle's on-screen debut was in a 1993 episode of Baywatch as character Bridget Bowers, and she made her film debut in the 1994 family film Lassie. Two years later, when she was fifteen and with her parents' approval, she was emancipated from them so she could further pursue acting, and completed her high school education via at-home tutoring.

She eventually moved to Los Angeles by herself, and after several small roles in movies and commercials, she eventually landed her break-out role as Jen Lindley in Dawson's Creek, opposite James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, and Joshua Jackson. The series ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2003.

Her breakthrough in film is considered the 2005 Western drama Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger; the role earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting actress.

Other notable works by Michelle include Blue Valentine, Manchester by the Sea, My Week with Marilyn, Fosse/Vernon, All the Money in the World, The Fabelmans, and more.

Michelle Williams' personal life

Michelle started dating her Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath while working on the film, and in 2005, when she was 25 and he was 26, they welcomed a daughter, Matilda. The two split in September 2007, and some months later, in January of 2008, the Australian actor died of an overdose aged 28 in his Manhattan apartment.

After Heath's passing, Michelle briefly dated actor Spike Jonze; she has also been romantically linked to director Cary Joji Fukunaga, actor Jason Segel, artist Dustin Yellin, author Jonathan Safran Foer, and financier Andrew Youmans, who she was briefly engaged to.

In 2018, she had a surprise wedding to musician Phil Elverum, however they split within the year and she has since called the marriage a mistake.

She then married director Thomas Kail, with whom she has welcomed two children, son Hart in 2020, and another child, her third, born in 2022.

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