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Ashley Judd's Personal and Showbiz Life

Ashley Judd was born Ashley Tyler Ciminella on April 19, 1968, in California, though she lived most of her youth in Kentucky. In fact, she supports Kentucky sports teams and considers herself an eighth-generation Kentuckian despite the fact that she wasn't born there. Kentucky must love her back because the state bestowed her with the highest title of honor a Kentuckian can receive when she was made a Kentucky Colonel.
Her mother, famous country singer Naomi Judd, moved the family to Kentucky after her divorce from Ashley's father, Michael Ciminella, who is a marketing analyst. She was named after the city of Ashland, where her older sister Wynonna was born, further tying her to the state. Both she and Wynonna took their mother's maiden name after the divorce, solidifying the future showbiz family's famous name. After moving from California to Kentucky, Judd attended a total of thirteen schools before she eventually went to college. In her 2011 autobiography "All That Is Bitter and Sweet," Judd explained that she pulled in and out of schools and was sometimes even left alone while her mother and sister went on tour as the famous country duo The Judds. This caused friction with her famous family, though all three women have professed their love for each other despite their frequent and often public squabbles.
After her high school graduation, Judd initially went to college and spent a semester abroad in France, where she learned to speak French fluently. For a short time, she even considered joining the Peace Corps before she finally decided to head back to the state of her birth to try and make it as an actress. Her first role came in 1991 on the sci-fi hit "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as Ensign Robin Lefler for two episodes. In this first screen role, she had her first on-screen kiss, with her costar Wil Wheaton, who was a series regular. Though Judd never reprised this role, her character was popular enough to be featured on the cover of a future Star Trek novel.
After her big splash on network television, she was quickly offered the recurring role of Reed on the hour-long NBC drama "Sisters" starring Swoosie Kurtz. During her breaks from the show, she tried to break into movies, succeeding by landing the title role in "Ruby in Paradise." The indie film was a critical smash, earning Judd the rave reviews that got her noticed by casting directors all over Hollywood. In short order, she was offered roles in films by such noted filmmakers as Michael Mann and Oliver Stone.
After "Sisters" was cancelled, Judd was free to become a full-time movie actress, even turning down a role on the popular sitcom "Home Improvement" to focus on films. She then went on to become a mainstay in dramas and thrillers, including the box-office hits "Kiss the Girls," "Where the Heart Is," and "Double Jeopardy." She was soon a household name and was commanding millions of dollars per film.
In 1999, as she was reaching the height of her career, Judd announced her engagement to race car driver Dario Franchitti. The pair married two years later in his native country, Scotland, at the same castle where pop superstar Madonna married Guy Ritchie. Judd accompanied her famous husband to several races, including his victories in the Indianapolis 500, the biggest race of the season. Unfortunately, they announced in early 2013 that they had separated after twelve years of marriage.
Not long after, Judd announced that she had decided to forgo a rumored run for office from her home state of Kentucky. Many asked that she try and run on the Democratic ticket for a U.S. Senate or House of Representatives seat-a plea that she considered for quite some time. Judd had been politically and socially active for years, and her supporters thought she would make a great politician. Though she ruled out a run in the near future, many supporters still feel she could make a successful Senate or House bid in the future.
More than a handful of Hollywood stars are better known for their personal problems instead of their talents. Though Ashley Judd has had some very public personal issues, her talent is too great to be overshadowed by family history. No matter what roles Judd takes in the future, including in politics or activism, she will arguably be remembered just as much for being an actress.

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