Ashley Judd, born Ashley Tyler Ciminella, is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists. She is the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fun facts about Ashley Judd.
1. While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades, she has increasingly become involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism.
2. She starred as Rebecca Winstone in the 2012 television series “Missing,” for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
3. In 2010, she earned a one-year mid-career master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
4. Judd was born in Granada Hills, Los Angeles.
5. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry.
6. Ashley’s elder sister, Wynonna, is also a country music singer.
7. Her paternal grandfather was of Sicilian descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster.
8. At the time of her birth, her mother was a homemaker; she did not become well known as a singer until the early 1980s. Judd’s parents divorced in 1972.
9. The following year, her mother took Ashley back to Naomi’s native Kentucky, where Judd spent the majority of her childhood.
10. Judd attended 13 schools before college, including the Sayre School, in Lexington, Kentucky, Paul G. Blazer High School, in Ashland, Kentucky, and Franklin High School, in Tennessee.
11. She briefly tried modeling in Japan during a school break.
12. An alumna of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky, she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater, and women’s studies.
13. She spent a semester studying in France as part of her major.
14. She graduated from the UK Honors Program and was nominated to Phi Beta Kappa but did not graduate with her class.
15. Forgoing her commitment to join the Peace Corps, after college she drove to Hollywood, where she studied with acting teacher Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West.
16. During this time, she worked as a hostess at The Ivy restaurant and lived in a Malibu rental house, which burned down in 1993.
17. Around that time, her half-sister Wynonna Judd leased her a historic farmhouse and 10 acres of land in Williamson County, Tennessee.
18. She moved to Tennessee and lived near her mother Naomi and sister Wynonna.
19. 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”. Goody’s declared bankruptcy a year later due to slow sales and its last store closed in February 2009.
20. 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 early 2012, however, her image suddenly disappeared from American Beauty’s website.
21. In 2011, Judd co-starred with Patrick Dempsey in the film “Flypaper.” It grossed only $1,100 total in its very limited theatrical release and received a 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
22. In 2014, Judd appeared as Natalie Prior in “Divergent,” which she reprised in the 2015 sequel “Insurgent.”
23. In 2014, Judd was the narrator of the documentary film about Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, “Love is a Verb,” directed by Terry Spencer Hesser.
24. In 2015, Judd became the first woman to narrate the opening for the telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
25. In December 1999, Judd became engaged to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti, who was driving in the Champ Car World Series.
26. Since the demise of the Champ Car World Series, Franchitti has raced in IndyCar and NASCAR. They married in December 2001 at Skibo Castle in Scotland.
27. They had no children together, with Judd telling the Sunday Mail that “it’s unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries”.
28. They divorced in 2013.
29. In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas, and stayed for 47 days.
30. She was there for treatment of depression, insomnia, and codependency.