Actress. Born on November 12, 1982, in Brooklyn, New York. The daughter of an actress and a lawyer, Hathaway grew up in Millburn, New Jersey. She excelled at performing early on, becoming the first and only teenager accepted to The Barrow Group, a theater company and acting school in New York City.
In 1999, Hathaway got her first big break on the short-lived television series Get Real, which only lasted one season. She played the oldest daughter, Meghan, on the family drama. Her work on the series earned her a Teen Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama.
Shortly after the series ended, Hathaway took on the role that made her famous. In The Princess Diaries (2001), she starred as Mia Thermopolis, a smart, klutzy teen who learns she is actually a princess of a small country called Genovia. Her grandmother, played by Julie Andrews, instructs her in all things royal. While reviews were mixed, the film scored big with audiences, earning approximately $108 million at the box office. She earned another Teen Choice Award nomination for her work on the film.
Hathaway returned to the role for the 2004 sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. That same year, she played the title character in Ella Enchanted, a twist on the Cinderella story. The film received mostly positive reviews with critic Roger Ebert describing her as "beautiful" and "luminous."
In 2005, Hathaway departed from making family friendly films with Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. In the independent film Havoc, she played a privileged Los Angeles teen who drawn to the city's grittier side. The Academy Award-winning Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, featured Hathaway in a supporting role as Lureen, a wife whose husband is in love with another man. She earned strong reviews for her portrayal of a tough, sexy Texan.
Her big-screen success continued with The Devil Wears Prada (2006), a film adaptation of the best-selling novel. Hathaway played a struggling journalist who takes a job at a fashion magazine out of desperation, and finds herself working as an assistant for the publication's difficult and demanding editor in chief. The character of her boss, played by Meryl Streep, is said to have been based on Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue.
For her next role, Hathaway took on an English accent to play literary legend Jane Austen. The historical romance, Becoming Jane (2007), focuses on the relationship between Austen and a young Irish lawyer, played by James McAvoy. Hathaway demonstrated her range on this and other films, including a big-screen adaptation of the hit television comedy, Get Smart (2008) opposite Steve Carell, as well as the thriller Passengers (2008). Her most recent film role, as Kym in the movie Rachel Getting Married (2008), earned her an Academy Award nod for Best Actress.
Hathaway returned to lighter fare with the romantic comedy Bride Wars in 2009, starring opposite Kate Hudson. The film received a lukewarm reception from movie goers, earning more than $58 million at the box office. The following year, Hathaway had a supporting role in the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day, which also featured Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, and Jessica Biel.
Tackling a famous literary character in her next project, Hathaway played the White Queen in Tim Burton's reimagining of the famous children's tale Alice in Wonderland. The film, starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, proved to be a huge commercial and critical success. Hathaway will also appear in the upcoming satire of the pharmaceutical industry, Love and Other Drugs, with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Hathaway dated Italian real estate developer Raffaello Follieri. The couple split in June of 2008, after law officials accused Follieri of swindling investors out of millions and falsely claiming the Vatican appointed him to manage its financial affairs. She is currently linked to actor Adam Shulman.
In addition to acting, Hathaway supports several charities, including the Step Up Women's Network and the Lollipop Theater Network. She currently lives in New York City.