Michelle Williams on screen and stage

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Michelle Williams is gently smiling for the camera.
Williams at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con

Michelle Williams is an American actress who has appeared in film, television, and stage. Her first screen appearance was at the age of 13 in a 1993 episode of the television series Baywatch, and she made her film debut as the love interest of a teenage boy in Lassie (1994).[1][2] She subsequently had guest roles in the television sitcoms Step by Step and Home Improvement, and played the younger version of Natasha Henstridge's character in the science fiction film Species (1995).[3][4] Greater success came to Williams when she began starring as the sexually troubled teenager Jen Lindley in the teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003).[1][3] In 1999, she made her stage debut with the Tracy Letts-written play Killer Joe, in which she played the naive young daughter of a dysfunctional family.[1]

In the 2000s, Williams eschewed parts in big-budget films in favor of roles with darker themes in independent productions.[5] She starred opposite Anna Friel in the psychological thriller Me Without You (2001), played a drug addict in Prozac Nation (2001), and featured as the grieving sister of a murdered boy in The United States of Leland (2003).[6][7] Despite positive reviews, these films were not widely seen.[8][9] This changed in 2005 when Williams played the neglected wife of Heath Ledger's character in Brokeback Mountain, a drama about star-crossed gay lovers, which became a critical and commercial success; Williams gained a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[10][11][12] She did not find success in the dramas The Hottest State (2006) and Incendiary (2008), but Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy (2008), in which she featured as a drifter searching for her missing dog, was critically acclaimed.[8][9][13]

Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island (2010), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in which Williams had a supporting part, became her most widely seen film to that point.[9][12] She went on to receive two consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Actress for her roles in Blue Valentine (2010) and My Week with Marilyn (2011); she also won a Golden Globe Award for the latter.[14][15][16] In the former, she played a woman struggling with an unhappy marriage, and in the latter, she portrayed the actress Marilyn Monroe.[17][18] Williams' highest-grossing release came in 2013 with the role of Glinda in the $493 million-grossing fantasy feature Oz the Great and Powerful.[19][20] She made her Broadway debut with the role of Sally Bowles in a revival of the musical Cabaret in 2014, and played a victim of sexual abuse in a revival of the play Blackbird in 2016.[21] For the latter, she gained a Tony Award for Best Actress nomination.[22] Also in 2016, Williams took on the role of a grieving mother in Manchester by the Sea, for which she received her fourth Academy Award nomination.[23]

Film

Michelle Williams looks away from the camera.
Williams at the premiere of Manchester by the Sea in 2016
Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Title Year[a] Role Director(s) Notes Ref
Lassie 1994 April Porter Daniel Petrie [2]
Timemaster 1995 Annie James Glickenhaus [24]
Species 1995 Young Sil Dennis Feldman [25]
Thousand Acres, AA Thousand Acres 1997 Pammy Jocelyn Moorhouse [26]
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later 1998 Molly Cartwell Steve Miner [27]
Dick 1999 Arlene Lorenzo Andrew Fleming [28]
But I'm a Cheerleader 1999 Kimberly Jamie Babbit [29]
Perfume 2001 Halley Hunter Carson
Michael Rymer
[30]
Me Without You 2001 Holly Sandra Goldbacher [6]
Prozac Nation 2001 Ruby Erik Skjoldbjærg [7]
United States of Leland, TheThe United States of Leland 2003 Julie Pollard Matthew Ryan Hoge [31]
Station Agent, TheThe Station Agent 2003 Emily Tom McCarthy [32]
Land of Plenty 2004 Lana Wim Wenders [33]
Imaginary Heroes 2004 Penny Travis Dan Harris [34]
Hole in One, AA Hole in One 2004 Anna Watson Richard Ledes [35]
Baxter, TheThe Baxter 2005 Cecil Mills Michael Showalter [36]
Brokeback Mountain 2005 Alma Beers del Mar Ang Lee [37]
Hawk Is Dying, TheThe Hawk Is Dying 2006 Betty Julian Goldberger [38]
Hottest State, TheThe Hottest State 2006 Samantha Ethan Hawke [39]
I'm Not There 2007 Coco Rivington Todd Haynes [40]
Deception 2008 S Marcel Langenegger [41]
Incendiary 2008 Young Mother Sharon Maguire [42]
Synecdoche, New York 2008 Claire Charlie Kaufman [43]
Wendy and Lucy 2008 Wendy Carrol Kelly Reichardt [44]
Mammoth 2009 Ellen Vidales Lukas Moodysson [45]
Blue Valentine 2010 Cindy Derek Cianfrance Also executive producer [17]
Shutter Island 2010 Dolores Chanal Martin Scorsese [46]
Meek's Cutoff 2010 Emily Tetherow Kelly Reichardt [47]
My Week with Marilyn 2011 Marilyn Monroe Simon Curtis [18]
Take This Waltz 2011 Margot Sarah Polley [48]
Oz the Great and Powerful 2013 Annie / Glinda[b] Sam Raimi [50]
Suite Française 2015 Lucille Angellier Saul Dibb [51]
Manchester by the Sea 2016 Randi Kenneth Lonergan [52]
Certain Women 2016 Gina Lewis Kelly Reichardt [53]
Wonderstruck 2017 Elaine Todd Haynes [54]
The Greatest Showman 2017 Charity Barnum Michael Gracey [55]
All the Money in the World 2017 Gail Harris Ridley Scott [56]
I Feel Pretty Film has yet to be released 2018 Avery LeClaire Abby Krohn
Marc Silverstein
Post-production [57]
Venom Film has yet to be released 2018 Ann Weying Ruben Fleischer Filming [58]

Television

Title Year Role Notes Ref(s)
Baywatch 1993 Bridget Episode: "Race Against Times: Part 1" [59]
Step by Step 1994 J.J. Episode: "Something Wild" [60]
Home Improvement 1995 Jessica Lutz Episode: "Wilson's Girlfriend" [61]
Raising Caines 1995 Trish Caines Main role; season 1 [62]
My Son Is Innocent 1996 Donna Winston Television movie [63]
Killing Mr. Griffin 1997 Maya Television film [64]
Dawson's Creek 1998–2003 Jen Lindley Main role; 6 seasons [65]
If These Walls Could Talk 2 2000 Linda Television film [66]
Cougar Town 2013 Laurie's foster sister Episode: "Blue Sunday" [67][68]

Stage

Production Year Role Theater Ref
Killer Joe 1999 Dottie SoHo Playhouse [69]
Smelling a Rat 2002 Melanie-Jane Samuel Beckett Theatre [70]
The Cherry Orchard 2004 Varya Williamstown Theatre Festival [71]
Cabaret 2014 Sally Bowles Studio 54 [72]
Blackbird 2016 Una Belasco Theatre [73]

Music video

Title Year Performer(s) Director Album Ref.
"Paradise" 2012 Wild Nothing Matt Amato Nocturne [74]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Refers to the film's earliest release
  2. ^ She played a dual role in the film.[49]

References

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