Naomi Watts: Snapshot

Naomi Watts
Date of Birth
September 28, 1968
Birth Place
Shoreham, England
After her electrifying portrayal of a troubled lesbian in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001), Naomi Watts appeared to be an "overnight" success. In reality, it took nearly 20 years of auditions and bit parts before she "made it."

While struggling for her own big break, Watts watched her best friend, Nicole Kidman, become one of Hollywood's most in-demand actresses, without a hint of jealousy. But her fortunes changed when she starred in the horror remake, The Ring. She also showed her range with an Oscar-nominated performance in 21 Grams and the Fay Wray role in Peter Jackson's King Kong.

Offscreen, Watts, who dated the late Heath Ledger intermittently for two years, settled down with actor Liev Schreiber, with whom she has two sons.

Naomi Watts: Five Fun Facts

  1. Naomi Watts's father toured with Pink Floyd as their tour manager and sound engineer, and his manic laugh is recorded at the beginning of the band's The Dark Side of the Moon album.
  2. Naomi Watts scored her first comedic role as the ditzy blonde spokesperson in I Heart Huckabees after Gwyneth Paltrow dropped out of the film and Watts's pal Nicole Kidman had scheduling conflicts.
  3. In 1980, 11-year-old Naomi Watts saw the film Fame and realized she wanted to be an actress. "I wanted to dance on tabletops during math class with leg warmers," she told PEOPLE in 2002.
  4. Naomi Watts was one of the two people Kidman immediately called when she won her Oscar for best actress in 2003.
  5. When Tom Cruise moved out of his and Kidman's Pacific Palisades home in 2001, Naomi Watts moved in to support her heartbroken best friend.

Naomi Watts: Biography


Naomi Watts


Twice Bitten

When Watts reluctantly agrees to attend a weekend acting workshop, the acting bug bites her again. She quits her magazine job the following Monday and never looks back. Weeks later Watts is invited to the premiere of Kidman's Dead Calm and meets director John Duigan, who asks her to audition for a role in his upcoming film Flirting. She lands the part alongside Kidman and Thandie Newton. Watts will work with Duigan again in 1993's Wide Sargasso Sea.


Naomi Watts

January 29

Hollywood Bound

After moving to L.A., Watts lands her first Hollywood film gig. It's a bit part as an aspiring actress in the period comedy Matinee, starring John Goodman. She then stars as Jet Girl in the 1995 adaptation of the comic book Tank Girl. While the movie has a cult following, it barely makes a blip at the box office.


Naomi Watts


Who's That Girl?

After appearing in a long string of bit parts, Watts gives a breakthrough performance in David Lynch's Oscar-nominated noir-ish thriller Mulholland Drive, playing a troubled lesbian ingénue. Her performance establishes her as one of the most talented actresses nobody knew. Lynch tells the Los Angeles Times, "I saw someone that I felt had a tremendous talent, and I saw someone who had a beautiful soul, an intelligence, possibilities for a lot of different roles, so it was a beautiful package."

Read More on Naomi Watts' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Simon Upton/JBGPHOTO

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Samuel Goldwyn/Everett; SUZANNE TENNER/UNITED ARTISTS; Universal/Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Naomi Watts

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