Thanks to the success of 2008's "Iron Man" and the expected success of "Iron Man 2" — finally out today!! — Gwyneth Paltrow has had a major comeback. The actress best known for her Oscar-winning turn in "Shakespeare in Love" and as the young blonde who dated Brad Pitt in the '90s is now happily married to Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin as well as the object of nerd affection worldwide.
Born on Sept. 27, 1972 as the daughter of Hollywood royalty Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth made her onscreen debut in 1991's "Shout" opposite John Travolta. That same year, she also appeared in the Robin Williams classic "Hook" as Young Wendy.
She continued getting small roles in films like 1993's "Malice" and "Flesh and Bone," but didn't get her first big break until 1995's "Se7en" opposite Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. She and Brad started dating after working on the film, and got engaged before breaking it off in 1997. During that time, she also played the title character in "Emma" which earned her more critical acclaim.
Fortunately, Gwyneth got a good pick-me-up after her break up with Brad with 1998's "Shakespeare in Love." It was a massive success, and she was heralded as one of the best parts of the film, which helped buoy her to her first and only Oscar win. During the time of "Shakespeare in Love's" filming, she met Ben Affleck, who she dated on and off until 2000.
After the success of "Shakespeare in Love," Gwyneth starred in a serious of critical hits like 1999's "The Talented Mr. Ripley," 2000's "Duets" and "Bounce," and 2001's "The Royal Tenenbaums," as well as the box office hit s"Shallow Hal," 2002's "Austin Powers in Goldmember," and 2003's "View from the Top."
On December 5, 2003, Gwyneth married Chris Martin in a ceremony at a hotel in Southern California. They had their first child, Apple Blythe Alison, on May 14, 2004, and their second, Moses Bruce Anthony, on April 8, 2005. We found out recently that Gwyneth is having some difficulty deciding which of her films she will show her children first.
She took some time off of work after she had her children, starring in 2004's "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," 2005's "Proof," and 2006's "Running with Scissors." She didn't get her next big break until 2008's "Iron Man," and has held off on following up that success in recent years. Other than "Iron Man 2," Gwyneth is starring in the upcoming 2010 flick "Love Don't Let Me Down" opposite Leighton Meester and 2011's "Contagion" and "Marlene Dietrich."
Are you a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow? Are you glad she gave up pursuing possible fame to be closer with her family?