Ashley Judd is a celebrated and acclaimed actor who has starred in more than 20 films, both box office hits and independent treasures, as well as on Broadway and television. She has been nominated for Golden Globes and Emmys, and has won a variety of critical awards, including a 2012 Emmy nomination for her work in "Missing." In recent years, she has largely chosen to opt out of acting in order to focus on humanitarian work, including serving as board member, advocate and activist for poverty alleviation, public health, human rights, and social justice.
Judd's distinguished acting career includes starring roles in Double Jeopardy, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, De-Lovely, and Ruby in Paradise, for which won the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury prize. She has also turned unforgettable performances in powerful independent dramas such as Come Early Morning, Bug, and Helen, and starred on Broadway as Madge in the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Picnic, and the iconic Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
A dedicated humanitarian, Judd's work as an advocate and activist dates to her undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky. She actively supports a number of organizations, ranging from Women for Women International, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL to Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Tennessee Refugee and Immigration Reform Committee, and Heifer International. Her recent advocacy includes the DREAM Act, International Violence Against Women Act, and the Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Bill in the House, among others.
Judd has visited grassroots programs around the world, speaking truth to power and carrying the message of empowerment and equality to heads of state, donors, the private sector, and the media. A small sampling of her global advocacy work includes: giving the keynote address on the modern slave trade to the 2008 General Assembly of the United Nations; testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the urgent need to prevent the spread of HIV to girls and women; speaking to the National Press Club twice; appearing on major news programs; and filming three documentaries seen by over a billion people worldwide. She has served as an expert panelist/moderator at conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Women Deliver Conference, the International AIDS conference, and the Global Business Coalition to stop HIV, TB, and Malaria, amongst others.
Judd is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a major in French and minors in Anthropology, Art History, Theater, and Women's Studies. She also graduated from UK's Honor's Program. In 2009, she fulfilled her dream of going to graduate school. She graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government with an MPA. Among other achievements at Harvard, she was awarded the Dean's Scholar Award for her work in the Harvard Law class, "Gender Violence: Law and Social Justice."
Judd's bestselling memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, was released in April 2011. She currently resides on a farm in rural middle Tennessee with her husband, three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti, and a variety of beloved pets.
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