Robin Gayle Wright
April 8, 1966
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Other names||Robin Wright Penn|
(m. 1986; div. 1988)
(m. 1996; div. 2010)
|Children||2, including Dylan Penn|
|Relatives||Charlie Wright (nephew)|
Wright first gained attention for her role in the NBC Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara as Kelly Capwell from 1984 to 1988. She then made the transition to film, starring in the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride (1987). This role led her to further success in the film industry, with starring roles in films such as Forrest Gump (1994), the romantic drama Message in a Bottle (1999), the superhero drama-thriller Unbreakable (2000), the historical drama The Conspirator (2010), the biographical sports drama Moneyball (2011), the mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the biographical drama Everest (2015), the superhero film Wonder Woman (2017), and the neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
Wright starred as Claire Underwood in the Netflix political drama streaming television series House of Cards, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2013, becoming the first actress to win a Golden Globe for a streaming television series. Wright has received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for House of Cards (one for each season), and two nominations in the Outstanding Drama Series category in 2016 and 2017 as a producer on the show. She has also worked as a director on several episodes of House of Cards as well as on two episodes of the Netflix show Ozark (TV series) in its fourth season.
Wright is one of the highest paid actresses in the United States, earning US$420,000 per episode for her role in House of Cards in 2016.
Wright was born April 8, 1966, in Dallas to Gayle Wright (née Gaston), a cosmetics saleswoman for Mary Kay, and Fred Wright, a pharmaceutical company employee. She has an elder brother, Richard (b. 1962), who is a photographer. She grew up in Southern California, attending La Jolla High School in La Jolla and Taft High School in Los Angeles.
Wright began her career as a model, when she was 14. At the age of 18, she played Kelly Capwell in the NBC Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara, for which she received several Daytime Emmy Award nominations.
1980s–2000s: Transition into feature films
Wright transitioned into feature film work with a role in Hollywood Vice Squad in 1986, followed by her breakthrough role as Princess Buttercup in the cult film The Princess Bride in 1987. She gained critical acclaim in her role as Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump (1994), receiving Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1996, she starred in the lead role of the film adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1996), for which she received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama. She was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress for her role in She's So Lovely (1997), a film in which she co-starred with her then-husband Sean Penn. Wright received her third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her role in the television film Empire Falls (2005).
2013–2018: House of Cards
Since 2013, Wright has appeared in the Netflix political drama streaming television series House of Cards in the role of Claire Underwood, the ruthless wife of political mastermind Frank Underwood. On January 12, 2014, she won a Golden Globe for the role, becoming the first actress to win the award for a streaming television series; she was nominated for the same award the following year. She also received nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award in 2013 and 2014 for the same role. Following Season 4 in 2016, Wright stated that she felt Claire Underwood was the equal of Frank Underwood and demanded equal pay for her performance as her co-star Kevin Spacey; Netflix acquiesced. In 2017, for her performance in the fifth season, Wright was nominated for her fifth consecutive Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. For the years 2014, 2016, and 2017, Wright received Best Actress in a Drama Series nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Awards, with her being the only nomination for the show in December 2017.
In October 2017, she was set as the show's new lead for the final season, following the firing of Kevin Spacey due to sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey. For her last appearance as Underwood, her performance was acclaimed - described as a "commanding performance [that] is more than enough to keep [the final season] standing strong"  - earning her her final nominations for the role at the Screen Actors Guild and Primetime Emmy Awards in 2019. For the latter, she became one of seven women to be nominated for the category six or more times for the same show (the first in 10 years since Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).
Further film work
In 2017, Wright played General Antiope in Wonder Woman (2017) and its 2020 sequel alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. She appears in the Blade Runner sequel Blade Runner 2049 alongside Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto.
In April 2019, it was announced that she would make her feature film directorial debut in the film Land. Wright would also be starring as its lead, Edee Mathis, a lawyer who retreats in grief to the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. Sales for the film would start at Cannes the following month. Filming began by October that year and the movie was picked up by distributor Focus Features.
In April 2022, Wright joined the cast of Netflix's fantasy film Damsel directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
In 1989, Wright became involved with actor Sean Penn following his divorce from Madonna. Wright was offered the role of Maid Marian in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but turned it down because she was pregnant. Their daughter, Dylan Frances, was born in April 1991. She backed out of the role of Abby McDeere in The Firm (1993) due to her pregnancy with her second child, and their son, Hopper Jack, was born in August 1993.
After breaking up and getting back together, Wright and Penn married in 1996. Their on-and-off relationship seemingly ended in divorce plans, announced in December 2007, but the divorce petition was withdrawn four months later at the couple's request. In February 2009, Wright and Penn attended the 81st Academy Awards together, at which Penn won the Best Actor award. Penn filed for legal separation in April 2009, but withdrew the petition in May. On August 12, 2009, Wright filed for divorce, declaring she had no plans to reconcile. The divorce was finalized on July 22, 2010.
In February 2012, Wright began dating actor Ben Foster, and their engagement was announced in January 2014. The couple called off their engagement in November 2014, but reunited in January 2015. On August 29, 2015, they announced they were ending their second engagement. In 2017, Wright began dating Clément Giraudet, a Saint Laurent executive, and they secretly wed in August 2018 in La Roche-sur-le-Buis, France.
Philanthropy and activism
Wright is an activist for human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is the narrator and executive producer of the documentary When Elephants Fight which highlights how multinational mining corporations and politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo threaten human rights, and perpetuate conflict in the region. She also is a supporter of Stand With Congo, the human rights campaign behind the film. In 2016, Wright spoke publicly in support of the campaign at a film screening at the TriBeCa Film Institute in New York City, in media interviews, with journalists, and across her social media accounts.
Awards and nominations
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Dylan Frances Penn was born Saturday [April 13] at 10:49 p.m. at UCLA Medical Center.
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