Ashley Judd is an American actress best known for her leading roles in a series of late 1990s and early 2000s movie thrillers, including Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy and High Crimes.
She is best known to television audiences for her starring role as ex-CIA agent Becca Winstone on the action thriller mystery drama series Missing, in 2012.
She began her career with a two-episode guest role as Ensign Lefler in Star Trek: The Next Generation, in 1991. She followed this up with the recurring role of Reed Halsey on seasons 2-4 of Sisters, appearing in 23 episodes from 1991-1994.
Those two shows were Judd's only scripted television until Missing in 2012, although she has appeared as herself on numerous shows in a guest capacity, including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, E! True Hollywood Story, The Daily Show, The View, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She also appeared in the made-for-TV movies Till Death Us Do Part (1992), Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) and The Ryan Interview (2000).
Judd's feature film debut was in the 1992 action comedy Kuffs. She turned down a larger role in Kuffs (1992) because she was asked to do nude scenes. She responded, "My mother worked too hard for me to take my clothes off in my first movie."
In 1993 she played the title role in Ruby in Paradise, and in 1994 played the role of Grace Mulberry in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, although her scenes were deleted.
In 1995 she appeared in three films: The Passion of Darkly Noon, Smoke and Heat, with Robert de Niro and Al Pacino.
In 1996 she played Matthew McConaughey's wife in the movie adaptation of the John Grisham thriller A Time To Kill. In the same year she also appeared in Dick Richards and Normal Life.
1997 began with a role in The Locusts, followed by her breakout role as Dr. Kate McTiernan in Kiss the Girls, with Morgan Freeman.
She ended the nineties with two major box office success, Eye Of The Beholder and Double Jeopardy, and began the new millennium with the romantic comedy Where The Heart Is.
Since then she has appeared in Someone Like You... (2001), High Crimes (2002), Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002), Frida (2002), Twisted (2004), De-Lovely (2004), Come Early Morning (2006), Bug (2006), Helen and Crossing Over (both in 2009), and Flypaper and Dolphin Tale, in 2011.
During the 1990s, Judd dated baseball player Brady Anderson, singers Lyle Lovett and Michael Bolton, and actors Matthew McConaughey and Robert de Niro.
She became engaged to Scottish CART, later Indy Racing League driver, Dario Franchitti, in December 1999, and the two were married at Skibo Castle, near Dornoch, Scotland, on December 12, 2001.
She and her husband divide their time between a home in Scotland and their farm in Tennessee.
When in Manhattan, she attends services at a charismatic Missionary Baptist Church. Judd regularly attends University of Kentucky basketball games, frequently sitting next to Donna Smith (wife of former UK Coach Tubby Smith), or in the student section.
She is frequently sought out for celebrity camera shots during televised games. At the request of her cousin, she posed for a poster wearing only a hockey jersey for fundraising purposes for their alma mater's hockey team.
She is also an avid practitioner of yoga, cooking and gardening.
In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas and stayed for 47 days. She was there because of personal issues, including depression and isolation.
Judd is active in humanitarian and political causes. She was appointed Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, an international organization promoting AIDS prevention and treatment, and speaks and demonstrates at pro-choice events.
Ashley was named one of "The 50 Most Beautful People In The World" by People Magazine in 1996, 2000 and 2002 and was ranked #20 in FHM Magazine's 100 "Sexiest Women in the World" in 2002.
She is a self-proclaimed feminist and etymologist. Her first screen kiss was with Wil Wheaton on Star Trek: The Next Generation.