Born in England and raised in Australia, Watts put in 15 years of hard work to become a Hollywood success. She began studying acting Down Under and befriended Nicole Kidman at a commercial audition when the two were just teens. In their twenties they both appeared in the boarding-school drama Flirting
, but Kidman's star rose much more quickly than Watts'. Throughout the 1990s, Watts languished in supporting parts that failed to showcase her versatility and knack for accents. But she stuck it out and finally got her big break in 2001's Mulholland Dr
. Originally conceived as a TV series, this offbeat chronicle of an L.A. starlet was released as a movie that featured Watts in two powerhouse parts. Audiences and critics immediately took notice of her talent, and the next year she finally hit the big time with the horror flick The Ring
and made the tabloids because of her romance with Heath Ledger, 10 years her junior. Watts continued her hot streak with an Oscar-nominated turn in 2003's 21 Grams
and soon signed on to play an ape's best gal in the 2005 remake of King Kong. After her relationship with Ledger ended in 2004, she found new love with her Painted Veil
costar Liev Schreiber. The pair had sons in 2007 and 2008. And, in a film slated for possible 2010 release, Watts teamed up with Sean Penn---with whom she starred in 21 Grams
---in Fair Game
, about the controversy over Valerie Plame, outed CIA operative. Off the screen, Watts is a goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS and participates in fund-raising and public events for the organization.Naomi Watts Fast Facts:
- Her father provided the maniacal laughter on Pink Floyd's track "Brain Damage," featured on the band's landmark 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon.
- Met best friend Nicole Kidman during auditions for a TV commercial in Australia in 1982 (neither was hired), and the two acted together nine years later in the coming-of-age tale Flirting.
- Played a small role as a "shopping cart starlet" in her first Hollywood movie, Matinee (1993).
- Was ranked by Forbes as the top actress to provide movie studios the highest return on investment. As of 2009, her last three films earned $44 at the box office for every dollar that Watts was paid.
- Describes herself as a "total tomboy" at heart.
- Took on role of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame in the film Fair Game, slated for possible 2010 release. The fact-based film also stars Sean Penn, with whom she starred in the acclaimed 2003 drama 21 Grams.
- Naomi Watts Relationships:
- Samuel Kai Schreiber - Son
- Heath Ledger - Ex-significant Other
- Myffanwy 'Miv' Watts - Mother
- Peter Watts - Father
- Ben Watts - Brother
- Liev Schreiber - Significant Other
- Alexander Pete Schreiber - Son
- Naomi Watts Awards:
- 2013 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama - Nominee
- 2012 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2003 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2003 BAFTA Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee