Jennifer Connelly (born December 12, 1970) is an American actress. Although she has been working in the film industry since she was a teenager, she has only recently received critical acclaim for her work, most notably for Requiem for a Dream (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Connelly is married to the British actor Paul Bettany, with whom she has a son (born August 5, 2003). She has also a five-year-old son, Kai, from a previous relationship.
Connelly grew up in Brooklyn Heights, near the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, attending Saint Ann school, and for four years in Woodstock, New York. Her father was in the garment industry, and one his close friends through the trade was an advertising executive.
The executive friend suggested Jennifer audition at a modelling agency. At age of 10, her career started in newspaper and magazine ads, then moving to television commercials.
Her first role was in the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America, where she danced for the role of "a young girl" in Sergio Leone's gangster epic.
She began studying at Yale, but transferred two years later to Stanford. Her first TV role was the British series, Tales of the Unexpected. Her first real movie role after Once Upon a Time in America was in Dario Argento's 1985 film, Phenomena.
Around this time, Connelly had a strange career move, releasing Monologue of Love, a "charming" Japanese single, with a semi-classical instruments arrangement. The B-side of the tape is Message of Love, an interview with music in the background. Along with this odd Japanese single, she also did many Japanese TV commercials.