Michelle Williams: Small Town Girl Taking Hollywood by Storm

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Known for her bright smile and soft-spoken ways, Michelle Williams has stolen the hearts of fans and dazzled critics left and right.
From winning over audiences with her girlish mop of blond curls and slight smiles in the nineties to dazzling crowds with her sleek, mature bob and regal ways nowadays, Williams has made a splash both on screen and on red carpets.
Her career has been incredibly diverse, and this talented actress has proven herself time and time again with her seemingly endless talent.
Williams was born on Sept.
9, 1980, in the small city of Kalispell, Montana, to a homemaker mother and a stock and commodities trading father.
When she was nine, Williams' family relocated to San Diego, California, where she became interested in acting.
This passion for acting led her to legally emancipate herself from her parents at the age of fifteen to pursue a career in Hollywood.
Like most actors and actresses, Williams' career began with smaller guest roles on the small screen in favorites like "Home Improvement" and "Step by Step.
" Her leap to the big screen started with "Lassie" in 1994 and was followed by a role in the film "Species.
" Her big break came when she nailed a role on teen television drama "Dawson's Creek" as the naughty Jen Lindley.
She went on to hold the role from 1998 to 2003, relating a lot to her character, a young girl who was growing up too fast.
"Dawson's Creek" thrust the young actress into the limelight and garnered her enough notice to land roles in films like 1998's "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" and 1999's "Dick," a comedy she starred in with Kirsten Dunst.
The film also gave her an opportunity to spread her wings to more complex projects, like Jamie Babbit-directed film "But I'm a Cheerleader," a satirical tale of a girl forced into an intervention for being gay when she believes she's straight.
Eager to diversify her résumé and branch out from television gigs, Williams jumped head first into independent film roles and more complex characters.
She rolled the dice by starring alongside Chloe Sevigny in 2000's "If These Walls Could Talk 2," playing a young lesbian struggling in the 70s feminist movement.
She then went on to play in a slew of indie flicks like "Prozac Nation.
" When "Dawson's Creek" ended in 2003, she continued to take on roles that were more complicated than the growing girl she'd grown accustomed to playing on the hit show.
In 2005, she appeared in the critically acclaimed film "Brokeback Mountain," playing Alma, the wife of Heath Ledger's character Ennis, a man struggling with his desires for a man.
Her powerful performance earned her a nomination for an Oscar for best supporting actress.
The film also introduced her to Ledger, and the two began a relationship that produced their beautiful daughter Matilda Rose on Oct.
28, 2005.
While the romance between herself and Ledger eventually dimmed out, Matilda quickly became the center of Williams' universe.
While her love for motherhood and devotion to her daughter are well known, Williams didn't give up acting.
In fact, she went right back to work soon after having her daughter, appearing in "The Hottest State.
" Projects were fewer and farther between, but Williams maintained her career and nurtured it alongside her daughter.
Tragically, in 2008, Williams' ex-fiancé Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose, shocking the world and leaving her alone to parent young Matilda.
In a cruel twist, the formerly low-key Williams suddenly became a favorite target of the paparazzi and media, leading her to take a step back from interviews and focus on herself and her daughter.
While devastated by the loss, Williams kept her head high and remained strong for her daughter.
Since Ledger's death, Williams has held her own and has appeared in a sea of film favorites from "Shutter Island" to "My Week with Marilyn," all while raising her daughter herself.
Her delicate looks and soft ways won her the role of Annie/Glinda in 2013's "Oz: the Great and Powerful," a mega hit prequel of the classic "Wizard of Oz.
" Audiences are eating her up, as she perfectly fits the role of the Good Witch.
This gorgeous starlet has certainly come a long way since playing the stereotypical high school girl in "Dawson's Creek.
" She's blossomed from an everyday girl to a chic, sophisticated woman waiting to grace the next premier.
With her solid foundation of lesser-known films and hard work, Michelle Williams has built a reputation as a talented actress who can tackle just about any role.
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