Robin Wright

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For the journalist, see Robin Wright (author).
Robin Wright
Robin Wright 2009.jpg
Born Robin Gayle Wright
(1966-04-08) April 8, 1966 (age 48)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Other names Robin Wright Penn
Occupation Actress
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Dane Witherspoon (m. 1986; div. 1988)
Sean Penn (m. 1996; div. 2010)
Children 2 (including Dylan Penn)

Robin Gayle Wright[1] (born April 8, 1966) is an American actress and television director. She was previously credited as Robin Wright Penn. Wright first gained attention when starring in the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara as Kelly Capwell from 1984 to 1988, for which she received three Daytime Emmy nominations. She made the transition to film, starring in the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride (1987), the fantasy-comedy Toys (1992), the epic romantic-comedy-drama Forrest Gump (1994) (earning her a Golden Globe Award nomination), the romantic drama Message in a Bottle (1999), the superhero drama-thriller Unbreakable (2000), the historical drama The Conspirator (2010), the biographical sports drama Moneyball (2011), and the mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

She also stars as Claire Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards, for which she has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series twice, and for which she won the Golden Globe in 2014 for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, making her the first actress to win a Golden Globe for an online-only web television series. From 1996 to 2010, Wright was married to actor Sean Penn, with whom she has two children.

Early life[edit]

Wright was born in Dallas, Texas, to Gayle Gaston, a cosmetics saleswoman, and Freddie Wright, a pharmaceutical-company employee.[1][2] She was raised in San Diego, California. She attended La Jolla High School and Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[3]


She was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1986" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38. [1986]. Wright first became famous on television, playing Kelly Capwell on the soap opera Santa Barbara, which earned her three Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

It wasn't until early to mid-1990s that she rose to fame after her roles as Buttercup in The Princess Bride and Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump, the latter role garnering her Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Wright was offered the role of Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but turned it down because she was pregnant. She backed out of the role of Abby McDeere in The Firm (1993), with Tom Cruise, upon discovering that she was pregnant with her second child, son Hopper Penn.[3]

In 1996, she married actor Sean Penn and changed her name to Robin Wright Penn. The same year, she starred in the film adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders for which she received a Satellite Nomination for Best Actress in a Drama. She went on to co-star with her husband in the 1997 film She's So Lovely, for which she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. One of her most recent successes was a supporting role in the television film Empire Falls as Grace Roby, mother of Ed Harris's character Miles Roby. Wright received her third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for this role.

In 2013, Wright starred in Netflix's series House of Cards, as Claire Underwood, the spouse of Kevin Spacey's character, Congressman Francis Underwood. On July 18, 2013, Netflix earned the first Primetime Emmy Award nominations for original online only web television for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.[4] Among those nominations was Wright's portrayal of Claire Underwood for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as well as Kevin Spacey's portrayal of Frank Underwood for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Jason Bateman's portrayal of Michael Bluth in Arrested Development for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, making these three roles the first three leading roles to be Primetime Emmy Award-nominated from a web television series.[4] On January 12, 2014, she became the first actress to win a Golden Globe Award for an online-only web television series.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Wright with then husband Sean Penn in September 2006

From 1986 to 1988, Wright was married to actor Dane Witherspoon, whom she met in 1984 on the set of the soap-opera Santa Barbara.[6]

In 1989, Wright became involved with actor Sean Penn following his divorce from Madonna. Their daughter Dylan Frances was born in April 1991.[7] Their son Hopper Jack Penn was born in August 1993.[8] Wright and Penn married in 1996.[9] Their on-and-off relationship seemingly ended in divorce plans, announced in December 2007,[9] but the divorce petition was withdrawn upon the couple's request four months later.[10] In February 2009, Wright and Penn attended the 81st Academy Awards together, at which Penn won Best Actor. Penn subsequently filed for legal separation in April 2009,[11] but withdrew the petition in May.[12] On August 12, 2009, Wright filed for divorce once more,[13] declaring she had no plans to reconcile.[14] She also dropped "Penn" from her professional name.[15] The divorce was finalized on July 22, 2010.[16]

In February 2012, it was reported that Wright had begun dating actor Ben Foster.[17] Their engagement was announced in January 2014.[18][19] The couple have split and they called off their engagement on November 12, 2014.[20]

She is the Honorary Spokesperson for the Dallas, Texas-based non-profit The Gordie Foundation.[21] Robin has also been an advocate for the Enough Project. In 2014, she co-partnered with two California based companies called Pour Les Femmes[22] and The SunnyLion[23] The SunnyLion gives a portion of its profit back to the Raise Hope For Congo Movement.



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Hollywood Vice Squad Lori Stanton
1987 The Princess Bride Buttercup
1990 Denial Sara/Loon
1990 State of Grace Kathleen Flannery
1992 The Playboys Tara Maguire
1992 Toys Gwen Tyler
1994 Forrest Gump Jenny Curran
1995 The Crossing Guard Jojo
1996 Moll Flanders Moll Flanders
1997 Loved Hedda Amerson
1997 She's So Lovely Maureen Murphy Quinn
1998 Hurlyburly Darlene
1999 Message in a Bottle Theresa Osborne
2000 How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog Melanie McGowan
2000 Unbreakable Audrey Dunn
2001 The Pledge Lori
2001 The Last Castle Rosalie Irwin Uncredited
2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself Documentary
2002 White Oleander Starr Thomas
2003 The Singing Detective Nicola/Nina/Blonde
2003 Virgin Mrs. Reynolds
2004 A Home at the End of the World Clare
2005 Nine Lives Diana
2005 Sorry, Haters Phoebe
2005 Max Mother Short subject
2005 Empire Falls Grace Roby Television film
2006 Breaking and Entering Liv
2006 Room 10 Frannie Short film
2007 Hounddog Stranger Lady
2007 Beowulf Wealthow
2008 What Just Happened Kelly
2008 New York, I Love You Anna
2009 State of Play Anne Collins
2009 The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Pippa Lee
2009 A Christmas Carol Fan Scrooge/Belle
2010 The Conspirator Mary Surratt
2011 Moneyball Sharon
2011 Rampart Linda Fentress
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Erika Berger
2013 The Congress Robin Wright Played herself
2013 Adore Roz
2014 A Most Wanted Man Martha Sullivan
2015 Everest Peach Weathers Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1983–1984 The Yellow Rose Barbara Anderson 2 episodes
1984–1988 Santa Barbara Kelly Capwell 509 episodes
2011 Saturday Night Live Jenny Curran 1 episode, "Tina Fey/Ellie Goulding"
2011 Enlightened Sandy 2 episodes
2013–present House of Cards Claire Underwood 39 episodes; also directed three episodes: "Chapter 23", "Chapter 35" and "Chapter 38"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1986 Daytime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series

Santa Barbara Nominated
1987 Nominated
1988 Nominated
Saturn Awards

Best Actress

The Princess Bride Nominated

Best Supporting Actress

Toys Nominated
1995 Forrest Gump Nominated
Golden Globe Awards

Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

SAG Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

1997 Satellite Awards

Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

Moll Flanders Nominated
1998 IS Awards

Best Female Lead

Loved Nominated
SAG Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

She's So Lovely Nominated
2000 BE Awards

Favorite Actress – Drama/Romance

Message in a Bottle Nominated

Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense

Unbreakable Nominated
2005 Gotham Awards

Best Cast

Nine Lives Nominated
Locarno IFF

Best Actress

Satellite Awards

Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

2006 IS Awards

Best Supporting Female

BIF Awards

Best Actress

Breaking and Entering Nominated
SAG Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Empire Falls Nominated
2007 IS Awards

Best Female Lead

Sorry, Haters Nominated
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

House of Cards Nominated
2014 Golden Globe Awards

Best Actress – TV Series Drama

Satellite Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Won
Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

2015 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Golden Globe Awards

Best Actress – TV Series Drama

Satellite Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Pending

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Robin Wright Biography (1966-)". Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Robin Wright- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Stelter, Brian (July 18, 2013). "Netflix Does Well in 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hyman, Vicki (January 12, 2014). "2014 Golden Globes: Robin Wright wins best actress for online-only 'House of Cards'". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ Grossberg, Josh (2007-12-28). "Penn, Wright Splitsville". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. 
  7. ^ MacMinn, Aleene (April 17, 1991). "Cradle Watch". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2014. Dylan Frances Penn was born Saturday [April 13] at 10:49 p.m. at UCLA Medical Center. 
  8. ^ Kelly, Richard T. (2004). Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Canongate U.S. p. 274. ISBN 978-1841956237. 
  9. ^ a b White, Nicholas (2007-12-27). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn Divorcing". People. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  10. ^ Orloff, Brian (2008-04-09). "Sean Penn & Robin Wright Stop Divorce Action". People. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  11. ^ "Sean Penn Files for Legal Separation". People. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  12. ^ "Sean Penn withdraws separation filing". USA Today. 2009-05-22. 
  13. ^ Lee, Ken (2009-08-18). "Robin Wright Penn Files for Divorce". People. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  14. ^ Breslau, Karen (September 2009). "Robin Wright Penn Goes It Alone". More. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  15. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (2009-11-16). "Big changes for Robin Wright". CBS News. 
  16. ^ Oh, Eunice (2010-08-04). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Finalize Their Divorce". People. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  17. ^ "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Get Cozy". People. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Robin Wright 47 gets engaged boyfriend Ben Foster 33 flashes sparkler fashion bash". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Loinaz, Alexis L. (January 11, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster are engaged". People. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ Marquina, Sierra (November 12, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Split, Call Off 10-Month Engagement -- Find Out What Went Wrong". Us Weekly. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Gordie Foundation Announces HAZE Documentary and Robin Wright Penn as Part of the 2009 AFI DALLAS International Film Festival" 3/19/2009, Foundation web site
  22. ^ "Letter from Robin Wright - Pour Les Femmes is so much more than a women's sleepwear company -- this is something I believe in because we help address the basic right of a woman to feel safe in her environment."
  23. ^ "Proud to be a partner of The Sunny Lion #wovenearphones. Portion of sales support @raisehopeforcongo #humanrights!"

External links[edit]