When I was flicking through channels on my TV I came across a new show on ABC called Missing (see official show synopsis below) starring Ashley Judd. I remember watching Ashley in one of my all time favorite TV series Sisters which also starred the lovely Sela Ward (Theodora “Teddy” Reed) & Patricia Kalember (Georgiana “Georgie” Reed Whitsig). Ashley played Reed Halsey Philby, daughter to Alex (Swoosie Kurtz) and Wade (David Dukes). Ashley was on the show from 1991-1994. After winning critical acclaim for the film Ruby in Paradise in 1994 she decided to leave the show and concentrate on her film career.
Two great movies of Ashley’s that stand out for me were Kiss the Girls starring Morgan Freeman & Cary Elwes (loved Cary in The Princess Bride along side the beautiful Robin Wright, some might remember Robin back in the day, when she was on the soap opera Santa Barbara, she played Kelly Capwell, loved that show!) and the other movie was Double Jeopardy starring along side Ashely in this film was Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive). Other good films of her’s are Norma Jean & Marilyn, Where the Heart Is with Natalie Portman and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (this film had a wonderful cast which included the likes of Ellen Burstyn, Sandra Bullock, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner, Shirley Knight and Maggie Smith (I just watched Maggie in Downton Abbey, I recommend this critically acclaimed drama, not to mention Maggie won an Emmy Award for her role as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham in the show!). The 2011 film Dolphin Tale once again finds Ashley teamed up with Morgan Freeman (he is a fantastic actor!). I have yet to see this film but it looks like a good one, although I must say I have probably not seen it because I cannot stand watching anything where animals are hurt or suffering, even if the situation turns out good or for the best, I know I am a sap, lol!
The last movie I saw Ashley in was Helen. The film is about a seemingly-happy music professor named Helen (Ashley Judd) who, unbeknownst to her husband (Goran Visnjic) and 13-year-old daughter (Alexia Fast), suffers from severe depression. When Helen relapses, her life begins to unravel. She finds solace in one of her young students, Mathilda (Lauren Lee Smith), who is afflicted with the same disease. Ashley’s role in this film was like an example of art-imitating-life, Ashley herself has had her own battle with depression in 2006. In an interview for this film Ashley was asked, How did your own experience inform the way you approached the role of ‘Helen?’ her response, “Well, it certainly made me love Helen in a special way, and I think those of us who have been there can understand like few others can. When I started reading the script and, on a pretty deep, intuitive level, understand what it was about, I started to weep. “But for the grace of god go I” was the constant refrain in my mind, because it very easily could have been me if I had not gotten the kind of help I did when I got it. I was on an airplane when I was reading the script and as soon as I landed, I called two of my mentors and said, “I have to send you this screenplay. Do you think I can play the disease without being ‘in’ the disease?” And they said, “How dare you not. You of all people, you can carry the message of recovery because, in a way, you’re uniquely qualified.” I identified a lot with Helen’s story. Some of the major things were different but the essence was the same. This is going to sound perverse, but it was really fun. I got to play the disease without myself being in it. From an artistic point of view, there was something really incredible about that.”
On Ashley’s personal life, she was born on April 19, 1968 in California and her real name is Ashley Tyler Ciminella. Her mom is country singer and motivational speaker Naomi Judd and her dad is Michael C. Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horse racing industry. Ashley’s elder half-sister is country singer Wynonna Judd. Ashley spent the majority of her childhood in her mom’s native Kentucky. Ashley attended 12 schools in 13 years before going to college. She briefly tried modeling in Japan during a school break. She earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010. Ashley married Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti in 2001, at Skibo Castle near Dornoch, Scotland. They currently live near Franklin, Tennessee. Ashley enjoys yoga, cooking, and gardening.
I just recently saw Ashley interviewed on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on ABC where she chatted about her experience with the University of Kentucky’s NCAA Championship Season and how her favorite date to go to the games with was Uncle Mark, she said he is a very modest, soft spoken and extremely gentle man, who is minister. She said he could heckle a referee like you would not believe! And he did so at the last Final Four Games where thereafter she said he kind of became famous! LOL She also talked about her new TV Show Missing and how they filmed the series all over Europe. Prague was their base camp, so that’s where she had her apartment for four and a half months. Jimmy Kimmel read a quote she had once said, “I have a rule with myself where if I see a good creek I have to get in it, it’s disrespectful to the creek not to get in.” She said she loves beautiful, clear running water with a shale bottom creek, that’s what there is in Eastern Kentucky. Jimmy asked her if she carried a bathing suit with her, she said at all times she had her bathing suit on and she had been born in it. So funny! Sounds like my kind of girl who loves the simple things in life!
On April 5, 2011, Ashley released her memoir All That is Bitter and Sweet where she talks about her troubled childhood, anger and forgiveness, depression and activism. Here is a beautiful quote from Marianne Williamson about Ashley’s book – “Ashley Judd has lived an extraordinary life. She has learned from it and turned it into a blessing and a call to action for others. Her journey is both moving and inspiring, unique and universal. Reading about it makes your own life make more sense.”
Ashley Judd Tidbits:
-She appeared on an April 8, 2011 episode of the NBC television show, Who Do You Think You Are?
-She is currently the magazine advertising “face” of American Beauty, an Estée Lauder cosmetic brand sold exclusively at Kohl’s department stores, and H. Stern jewelers.
-She has a fashion clothing line called – “AJ”, “Love Ashley” and “Ashley Judd.”
-She co-starred with the two stars of the original Beverly Hills 90210, Jason Priestley (who played Brandon) and Luke Perry (Dylan) in different movies. Jason Priestley played in Eye of the Beholder while Luke did Normal Life with her.
-She co-starred with two of The Mentalist’s guest actors: Michael Gaston (plays Gale Bertram on the show) appeared in the movie High Crimes with her, while Pruitt Taylor Vince, who played LaRoche in The Mentalist, did Flypaper with her.
-In 2006, she starred in the romantic drama Come Early Morning, written and directed by her friend Joey Lauren Adams. She co-starred with Tim Blake Nelson, who also co-starred with her in the 2011 action/comedy Flypaper.
-Some of her impressive list of co-stars include Jim Caviezel, Morgan Freeman, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Michael Gaston (High Crimes), Tommy Lee Jones (Double Jeopardy), Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin, Marisa Tomei (Someone Like You), Patrick Dempsey (Flypaper), Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush (Frida), Ewan McGregor (Eye of the Beholder), Oliver Platt (Simon Birch), Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Spacey (A Time to Kill), Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls), Brendan Fraser, Viggo Mortensen (The Passion of Darkly Noon), Harvey Keitel, William Hurt (Smoke), Milla Jovovich, Christian Slater (Kuffs), Kevin Kline (De-Lovely), Michael Shannon (Bug), Tim Blake Nelson (Come Early Morning), Natalie Portman, Stockard Channing (Where the Heart Is), Vince Vaughn, Paul Rudd, Kate Capshaw (The Locusts), Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore (Heat), Luke Perry (Normal Life), Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Jim Sturgess (Crossing Over), Andy Garcia, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Angus Macfadyen, James Garner.
TV Series MISSING official ABC synopsis: Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) learns that her son, Michael, disappears while studying abroad, and it’s a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. A surprising turn of events reveals just how far one mother will go to protect her family. Exotic locations and thrilling twists will keep you riveted in Missing.
How far would you go to save the only thing you have left in the world? At 8 years old, Michael watched as his father, CIA Agent Paul Winstone, was murdered. Now 10 years later, Paul’s wife, Becca, is faced with the reality of her son growing up. When Michael is afforded the opportunity to study abroad, his mother reluctantly agrees it’s time to let him go. Just a few weeks into his trip Michael disappears, and Becca immediately suspects foul play. When she arrives in Rome, she begins piecing together the clues left behind. It isn’t long before the kidnappers realize they’ve picked a fight with the wrong woman. Becca Winstone has a secret of her own — before Paul’s death, she was also a lethal CIA Agent. But if she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends and reopen old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.
Missing seems to be doing go in the ratings, so hopefully it will stick around for a while…
Hey, if you have some extra time check out my Ashley Judd clippings I have for sale at Naturesjoy’s Celebrity Clippings & Pinups where you will also find a variety of other Celebrity clippings and pinups for sale.