Ashley Judd

Exhibiting both beauty and intelligence, actress Ashley Judd stepped out from the shadows of her country music star mother and sister to become one of the more sought-after female leads of the late 1990s. After a pair of early performances on the science fiction franchise "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated, 1987-1994), she landed her breakthrough role in the inspirational drama "Ruby in Paradise" (1993). Soon after, Judd played Val Kilmer's put-upon wife in the crime thriller "Heat" (1995), and essayed a pre-fame Marilyn Monroe in "Norma Jean & Marilyn" (HBO, 1996). However, it was as a kidnap victim who eludes her psychotic captor in "Kiss the Girls"(1997) that the actress' Hollywood stock rose dramatically. Although future projects met with varying degrees of success, Judd still managed to deliver strong performances as complex women in films like the adaptation of the best-selling novel "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002), and the creepy-crawly horror feature "Bug" (2006).Judd published her cathartic memoir All That is Bitter & Sweet in 2011, a less-than glamorous portrait of her famous family. While not maintaining the A-list profile of film contemporaries like Sandra Bullock, Judd continued to seek out roles that were both challenging and accessible, balanced by her personal life far from the lights of Hollywood.