Naomi Watts Biography

Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968, in Kent, England. She spent the majority of her adolescence growing up in England, where her father worked as a road manager and sound engineer with legendary ‘70s prog-rock band Pink Floyd. After the separation of her parents -- followed by the death of her father -- Naomi Watts eventually went to live in Australia with her mother and brother, and it was there that she discovered her passion for acting.

It was while attending an Australian acting class that Naomi Watts first met Nicole Kidman, and the two remain close friends to this day. In 1986, Naomi Watts traveled to Japan in the hopes of launching a career in modeling -- though her efforts quickly proved fruitless and she was forced to return home just a few months later. After spending a few years working at an Australian fashion magazine, Naomi Watts decided to throw herself into acting full-time and she was soon working regularly on a variety of locally shot projects (including beloved Australian soap Home and Away).

naomi watts in tank girl

Naomi Watts worked steadily throughout the early part of the 1990s; in 1993 alone, she appeared in four films (including the John Goodman comedy Matinee), though it wasn’t until 1995 that she got her first taste of mainstream success. Cast opposite Lori Petty and Ice-T in the big-budget comic-book adaptation Tank Girl, Naomi Watts’ time on the $25 million spectacle (and subsequent bomb) proved to be an educational experience for the relatively green actress. She spent the remainder of the decade working almost exclusively in small independent efforts, including 1996’s dark noir Persons Unknown (alongside fellow up-and-comer Jon Favreau) and 1998’s period piece Dangerous Beauty.

naomi watts in mulholland dr.

Naomi Watts marked the turn of the century by successfully landing a role in Mulholland Dr., which was initially filmed as the pilot episode of a new TV show. After it became clear that no network wanted it, director David Lynch added new scenes and turned it into one of the most talked-about movies of 2001. Naomi Watts instantly found herself the center of a worldwide media storm, and it was her decision to follow-up her Mulholland role with 2002’s The Ring that catapulted her to the A-list.

Naomi Watts' desire to prove herself as a serious actress resulted in a string of critically acclaimed yet financially underwhelming efforts, such as 2003’s searing 21 Grams (although it did garner her an Oscar nomination), 2004’s baffling I Heart Huckabees and the 2006 costume drama The Painted Veil.

naomi watts is named no. 82 in's 2008 top 99

Naomi Watts’ appearance in Peter Jackson’s big-budget 2005 remake of King Kong cemented her status as one of Hollywood’s top actresses, and she received recognition for her expectedly first class work in the Viggo Mortensen thriller Eastern Promises.

In July 2007, Naomi Watts gave birth to her first child, son Alexander, with Liev Schreiber.

In 2008, she signed on to star in Funny Games and The International, Need, and in '09 she appears in Kicked, Bitten and Scratched, Angles and Demons and The Birds.