Ashley Judd (born April 19, 1968)ashley was born as Ashley Tyler Ciminella in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael C. Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry.Ashley's elder half-sister, Wynonna, also is a country music singer. Her paternal grandfather was of Sicilian descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster which also makes her a distant cousin of Elisabeth and Andrew Shue as seen on Who Do You Think You Are?.At the time of her birth, her mother was unemployed and did not become well-known as a singer until the early 1980s. Judd's parents divorced in 1972, and in 1973 her mother took her back to her native Kentucky, where Judd spent the majority of her childhood.She also lived in Marin County, California, for two years during grade school.
Judd appeared as Ensign Robin Lefler, a Starfleet officer, in two 1991 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Darmok" and "The Game". From 1991 to 1994, she had a recurring role as Reed, the daughter of Alex (Swoosie Kurtz), on the NBC drama Sisters. She made her feature film debut with a small role in 1992's Kuffs. In 1993 Judd fought for and was cast in her first starring role playing the title character in Victor Nuñez's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winning, Ruby in Paradise. On her way to the audition, she was so nervous about getting a role that she felt defined her life, she nearly wrecked her car."From the first three sentences, I knew it was written for me," she told the San Jose Mercury News.She received rave reviews playing Ruby Lee Gissing, a young woman trying to make a new life for herself, and it was this performance that would launch her career as an actress. Nunez told author James L. Dickerson that the resonance of the character was Judd's creation: "The resonance, those moments, was not contrived. It was just a matter of creating the scene and trusting that it was worth telling."
Oliver Stone, who had seen her in Nuñez's film, cast Judd in Natural Born Killers, but her scenes were later cut from the version of the film released theatrically. The following year she gained further critical acclaim for her role as Harvey Keitel's estranged daughter in Wayne Wang's Smoke and also as Val Kilmer's wife in Michael Mann's Heat. That same year she also played the role of Callie in Philip Ridley's dark, adult fairy tale, The Passion of Darkly Noon.By the end of the 1990s, Judd had managed to achieve significant fame and success as a leading actress, after leading roles in several thrillers that performed well at the box office, including Kiss the Girls in 1997 and 1999's Double Jeopardy.
In June 2000, Judd flew to Austin, Texas to begin work on "Where the Heart Is," a film adapted from the novel of the same name by Billie Letts. Judd's co-star was Natalie Portman, the hottest up-and-coming actress at that time. When Judd spoke her emotionally painful lines about the abuse of her children, Portman became so engrossed that she almost lost her place in the script. It prompted Portman to tell a Nashville reporter that it was the best acting she'd seen up close.Critics agreed that it was Judd's best performance since "Ruby in Paradise."
Several of her early 2000s films, including 2001's Someone Like You and 2002's High Crimes, received only mixed reviews and moderate box office success;although, she did receive positive recognition, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, for her performance in the 2004 biography of Cole Porter, De-Lovely, opposite Kevin Kline.
Judd is currently the magazine advertising "face" of American Beauty, an Estée Lauder cosmetic brand sold exclusively at Kohl's department stores, and H. Stern jewelers. In June 2007, Goody's Family Clothing announced they were going to be releasing three fashion clothing lines with Judd in the Fall to be called – "AJ", "Love Ashley" and "Ashley Judd." Regarding the clothing line, Judd said, "I'm thrilled to be involved in a clothing line that provides simple, lovely solutions for women's wardrobes. I've always loved items that you can throw on easily and know that you'll feel and look good. This line does just that, while keeping with the best of current styles and trends."
On April 5, 2011, Judd released her memoir All That is Bitter and Sweet where she talks about her trials and tribulations from adolescence to adulthood.Judd has also run into controversy after comments she made about Hip Hop being a "rape culture". Artists such as ?uestlove and Russell Simmons have their own opinions about the motivation behind Judd's comments.Judd asserts that she was just basing her comments off of observation and was not trying to offend anyone within the Hip Hop community.