Robin Wright

For the journalist, see Robin Wright (author). For the rugby player, see Robin Wright (rugby player).
Robin Wright

Born Robin Gayle Wright
(1966-04-08) April 8, 1966
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other names Robin Wright Penn
Occupation Actress, director
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Dane Witherspoon (m. 1986; div. 1988)
Sean Penn (m. 1996; div. 2010)
Children Dylan Penn
Hopper Penn

Robin Gayle Wright[1] (born April 8, 1966) is an American actress and director. She currently stars as Claire Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2014, making her the first actress to win a Golden Globe for a web television series. Wright received Primetime Emmy nominations for House of Cards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Wright first gained attention for her role in the NBC Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara, as Kelly Capwell from 1984 to 1988. She then made the transition to film, starring in the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride (1987). She has since enjoyed a successful career in the film industry, starring in various films, including the epic romantic comedy-drama Forrest Gump (1994), 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), the mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and the biographical drama Everest (2015). She will next appear in the superhero film Wonder Woman (2017) and will appear in the upcoming film Blade Runner 2049 opposite Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, slated for a 2017 release.

Early life

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


Wright started her career as a model, when she was 14.[4] She first became popular for playing Kelly Capwell on the NBC television soap opera Santa Barbara at age 18, which earned her several Daytime Emmy Award nominations.[5]

1990s–2000s: Transition into feature film work

She transitioned into feature film work as Buttercup in the cult hit The Princess Bride (1987), and as Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump in (1994). The latter role garnered her widespread critical acclaim as well as Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1996 she starred in the film adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1996), for which she received a Satellite Nomination for Best Actress in a Drama. She went on to co-star with her then-husband in the film She's So Lovely (1997), for which she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. Wright received her third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her role in the television film Empire Falls (2005).

2013–present: House of Cards, further film work

Since 2013, Wright has portrayed Claire Underwood, political mastermind Frank Underwood's equally ruthless wife, in the Netflix series House of Cards. On January 12, 2014, she won a Golden Globe for the role, becoming the first actress to win the award for an online-only web television series;[6] she was nominated for the same award the following year. She received nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award in 2013 and 2014 for the same role. Following season 4 in 2016, Wright stated that she felt Claire Underwood was the equal of Frank Underwood and demanded equal pay for her performance. Netflix acquiesced.[7]

Wright has been cast in the live action Wonder Woman film alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner sequel.

Personal life

Wright with 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.[8]

In 1989, Wright became involved with actor Sean Penn following his divorce from Madonna. Wright was offered the role of Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but turned it down because she was pregnant. Their daughter Dylan Frances Penn was born in April 1991.[9] She backed out of the role of Abby McDeere in The Firm (1993), with Tom Cruise, upon discovering she was pregnant with her second child, son Hopper Penn.[3] Their son, Hopper Jack Penn, was born in August 1993.[10]

After breaking up and getting back together,[11] Wright and Penn married in 1996, and Wright changed her name to Robin Wright Penn.[12] Their on-and-off relationship seemingly ended in divorce plans, announced in December 2007,[12] but the divorce petition was withdrawn upon the couple's request four months later.[13] 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,[14] but withdrew the petition in May.[15] On August 12, 2009, Wright filed for divorce once more,[16] declaring she had no plans to reconcile.[17] She also dropped "Penn" from her professional name.[18] The divorce was finalized on July 22, 2010.[19]

In February 2012, Wright began dating actor Ben Foster.[20] Their engagement was announced in January 2014.[21][22] The couple split and called off their engagement in November 2014,[23] but reunited as a couple in January 2015.[24] However, on August 29, 2015, they announced they were ending their second engagement.[25]

Philanthropy and Activism

She is the Honorary Spokesperson for the Dallas, Texas-based non-profit The Gordie Foundation.[26] Wright has also been an advocate for the Enough Project.

In 2014, she co-partnered with two California based companies; Pour Les Femmes[27] and The SunnyLion.[28] The SunnyLion donates a portion of its profits back to the Raise Hope For Congo Movement.

Wright continues her activism for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is narrator and executive producer of the documentary When Elephants Fight.[29] This film highlights how the complicity of multinational mining corporations and corrupt politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo threatens human rights and perpetuates the most deadly conflict since World War II.[30] Wright is an ardent supporter of the human rights campaign behind this film, Stand With Congo (#StandWithCongo).[31] She spoke publicly in support of this campaign in 2016 at a film screening at the TriBeCa Film Center in New York City,[32] in media interviews,[33][34] [35][36] with journalists,[37][38][39] and across her social media accounts.[40][41][42]



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 film
2005 Empire Falls Grace Roby Television film
2006 Breaking and Entering Liv
2006 Room 10 Frannie Short film
2007 Hounddog Stranger Lady
2007 Beowulf Wealtheow
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
2013 Adore Roz
2014 A Most Wanted Man Martha Sullivan
2015 Everest Peach Weathers
2017 Wonder Woman General Antiope Post-production
2017 Blade Runner 2049 Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1983–84 The Yellow Rose Barbara Anderson 2 episodes
1984–88 Santa Barbara Kelly Capwell 524 episodes
2011 Saturday Night Live Jenny Curran Episode: "Tina Fey/Ellie Goulding"
2011 Enlightened Sandy 2 episodes
2013–present House of Cards Claire Underwood 52 episodes


Year Title Notes
2014–present House of Cards 7 episodes


Year Title Notes
2016 House of Cards 13 episodes

Awards and nominations

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
1993 Best Supporting Actress Toys Nominated
1995 Forrest Gump Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
SAG Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
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
2001 Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense Unbreakable Nominated
2005 Gotham Awards Best Cast Nine Lives Nominated
Locarno IFF Best Actress Won
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
2006 IS Awards Best Supporting Female Nominated
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 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama House of Cards Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
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 Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – TV Series Drama Nominated

See also


  1. 1 2 Archived July 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "Robin Wright Biography (1966-)". Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  3. 1 2 "Robin Wright - Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  4. "Robin Wright as Claire Underwood". TV3.
  5. Cameron-Wilson, James (1994). Young Hollywood. Batsford. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7134-7266-0.
  6. 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.
  7. Peck, Emily (May 18, 2016). "Robin Wright Demanded The Same Pay As Kevin Spacey For 'House of Cards'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  8. Grossberg, Josh (2007-12-28). "Penn, Wright Splitsville". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01.
  9. MacMinn, Aleene (April 17, 1991). "Cradle Watch". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2014. Dylan Frances Penn was born Saturday [April 13] at 10:49 p.m. at UCLA Medical Center.
  10. Kelly, Richard T. (2004). Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Canongate U.S. p. 274. ISBN 978-1841956237.
  12. 1 2 White, Nicholas (2007-12-27). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn Divorcing". People. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  13. Orloff, Brian (2008-04-09). "Sean Penn & Robin Wright Stop Divorce Action". People. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  14. "Sean Penn Files for Legal Separation". People. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  15. "Sean Penn withdraws separation filing". USA Today. 2009-05-22.
  16. Lee, Ken (August 18, 2009). "Robin Wright Penn Files for Divorce". People. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  17. Breslau, Karen (September 2009). "Robin Wright Penn Goes It Alone". More. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  18. Derschowitz, Jessica (2009-11-16). "Big changes for Robin Wright". CBS News.
  19. Oh, Eunice (August 4, 2010). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Finalize Their Divorce". People. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  20. "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Get Cozy". People. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  21. "Robin Wright 47 gets engaged boyfriend Ben Foster 33 flashes sparkler fashion bash". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  22. Loinaz, Alexis L. (January 11, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster are engaged". People. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  23. 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.
  24. Lee, Esther (March 10, 2015). "Robin Wright Talks Sex Life With Ben Foster After Sean Penn Divorce: "I've Never Been Happier"". Us Weekly. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  25. Webber, Stephanie (August 29, 2015). "Robin Wright, Ben Foster Call Off Engagement For the Second Time". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  26. Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. "Pour Les Femmes". Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  28. "Giving Back - The SunnyLion and Raise Hope for Congo". June 20, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  29. "When Elephants Fight (2015)". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  30. "Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An Ongoing Crisis" (PDF). International Rescue Committee. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  31. "#StandWithCongo | A Stier Forward Campaign". Stand With Congo. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  32. "LIVE NYC Screening4Action at TriBeCa". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  33. "Live with Robin Wright". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  34. "Congo: The High Cost of Mineral Riches". WNYC (NPR). Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  35. "Actress Robin Wright Talks About Her New Documentary". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  36. "'Making Noise': The Path Towards Global Equality". Rockefeller Foundation. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  37. "The Paradox Of Congo: How The World's Wealthiest Country Became Home To The World's Poorest People". ThinkProgress. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  38. "Robin Wright Makes a Powerful Political Statement — It's Not Related to 'House of Cards'". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  39. "Robin Wright: A-lister who's playing for high stakes off screen". The Guardian. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  40. "Robin Wright Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  41. "Robin Wright Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  42. "Robin Wright Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
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