Born and raised in New York, Jennifer Connelly started her modeling career when she was 10. It all started with head shots sent to Ford Modeling Agency and as we often hear, the rest is history.
Her first modelling gigs
Connelly’s first modelling gig was for Ford Motors. She graced magazine covers, romance books and even did TV commercials. Among her notable novel covers include Rock ‘n’ Roll Romance, The Two of US and Once in California. She appeared on the covers of Seventeen (five times) and Muppet Magazine. She also appeared in different music videos.
From magazine and television ads, Connelly was introduced to Director Sergio Leone who was looking for a young dancer for his gangster movie at the time. She was asked to do a ballet dance and eventually landed a small role in the movie once Upon a Time in America (1984). Despite having such short screen time, the movie opened the doors of acting for the young Jennifer.
Her first acting roles
After her short stint in Once Upon a Time in America, Connelly went on to star on another movie, this time as the lead role for Phenomena. It was followed by Seven Minutes in Heaven in the same year, and although these movies are not box office hits, it gave Jennifer Connelly the necessary media exposure she needs that lead to one movie role to another.
Connelly in Labyrinth
Labyrinth was directed by George Lucas and Connelly got the role after auditioning for it. The movie was a flop, but it became popular amoung the acult thanks to the wonderful portrayal of Connelly as Sarah. When the movie was released in 1986, some critics said that the poor performance of the movie in the box office was due to Connelly’s lack of conviction in her portrayal as Sarah. When Labyrinth started to have a popular cult following, praises for Connelly’s performance started to appear as well.
Connelly and her breakout role
Despite having starring roles in movies from 1986 onwards, Connelly’s performance only received worldwide attention after playing Marion Silver in Requiem for a Dream (2000). Connelly's portrayal of an addict and prostitute was praised by movie critics, and the following year, she starred as Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind alongside Russell Crowe. This is the highest grossing movie of Connelly to date.
After Requiem for a Dream and a Beautiful Mind
After Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind, Jennifer Connolly proved her versatility in acting and continued to show her craft by portraying different roles. After receiving nominations for her performance in Requiem for a Dream, she finally was awared in A Beautiful Mind. She bagged Best Supporting Actress awards from Academy Award, American Film Institute and BAFTA Awards. She won the the same award category from Broadcast Film Critics Association and Golden Globe Awards. She also went to star in less than 20 more movies including Hulk, Blood Diamond, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Dilemma, Winter’s Tale, American Pastoral and the upcoming Granite Mountain.