She first became known as Jen Lindley on the popular "Dawson's Creek," now Michelle Williams, 30, has a noteworthy acting resume, having starred in such films as "The Station Agent," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Shutter Island." The actress has often appeared in dramatic and serious indie films that have frequently been under the radar.
In 2005, Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2005's "Brokeback," and five years later received another nod for "Blue Valentine," this time as Best Actress.
Discover Michelle's rise to stardom!
Oscar Nominee Trivia File: Michelle Williams
Montana to Hollywood
Born in Kalispell, Montana on September 9, 1980, Michelle Williams was interested in acting at an early age. When she was 9, her family relocated to San Diego. At 15, Williams emancipated from her parents due to their disapproval of her desire to act. In her freshman year of high school, she left to begin her career in "Dawson's Creek."
TV to Film
The actress got her first taste of television roles in the 1990s version of "Lassie," "Baywatch," "Step-by-Step" and "Home Improvement." Shortly after her TV appearances, she was cast in the Jessica Lange/Michelle Pfeiffer film, "A Thousand Acres."
Starring alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Josh Harnett, Williams was cast in the 1998 slasher flick and seventh installment of the horror franchise, "Halloween," titled "Halloween H2O, 20 Years Later." The actress was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance for her role as April Porter in "H2O."
Michelle's hard work paid off when she landed a steady gig playing one of the lead characters in the teen drama, "Dawson's Creek." The show lasted six seasons -- from 1998 to 2003.
A Star is Born
She appeared in several films during the course of "Dawson's Creek," landing her first starring role as a ditzy girl named Arlene in "Dick," a satirical movie about the Watergate scandal. The actress co-starred with Kirsten Dunst.
In the 1999 romantic comedy "But I'm a Cheerleader" starring Natasha Lyonne, Michelle played the head cheerleader and main character's friend. In the film, she suspects Lyonne's character is a lesbian.
In the Emmy-winning HBO TV movie "If These Walls Could Talk 2," Williams is Linda, a young student who shares a house with three lesbian friends.
Michelle plays Ruby in the autobiographical film "Prozac Nation." The actress starred with real-life roommate Christina Ricci in a true story that dealt with depression and the prescription drug that helped remedy it.
In the 2003 drama from producer Kevin Spacey, "The United States of Leland" the actress stars with Ryan Gosling in a film about a shocking murder.
Williams, along with the entire cast of "The Station Agent," received a SAG Award nomination for Best Acting Ensemble.
The 2004 drama "Imaginary Heroes" focuses on how a family is traumatized after the eldest son commits suicide. Michelle was cast in an A-list ensemble including Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch and Jeff Daniels.
In Ang Lee's romantic drama "Brokeback Mountain," Williams was praised for her performance and won both a Critics' Choice Award and a Golden Globe. She also received Best Supporting Actress nominations for Oscar and a BAFTA. Williams met Heath Ledger on the set of "Brokeback" and a few years later had a daughter named Matilda.
In 2006 the actress starred next to Paul Giamatti in the film, "The Hawk is Dying," about an unhappy auto upholsterer who seeks solace in training a wild hawk.
I'm Not There
Michelle starred in the 2007 biographical musical film, "I'm Not There," that used non-traditional narrative techniques to explore the different phases of Bob Dylan's life. The star-studded cast depicting the singer's six stages of life included Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw.
In Scorsese's psychological thriller "Shutter Island," Williams plays Leonardo DiCaprio's deranged wife.
Man's Best friend
Michelle is Wendy Carroll in "Wendy and Lucy," a film directed by Kelly Reichardt, which focuses on Wendy, who relocates to Alaska by car with her dog Lucy.
From the creative mind of Charlie Kaufman's film "Synecdoche, New York," Williams stars with Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a story about a depressed man coping with a failed marriage. The film premiered in competition at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival in May of 2008.
Be My Valentine
The actress was again nominated for Oscar her part in the romance film "Blue Valentine" opposite Ryan Gosling. The film depicts a married couple and gives a non-linear past and present telling of their courtship and breakup of their marriage. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
In another film directed by Kelly Reichardt, Michelle stars in a western film called "Meek's Cutoff." The film was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 67th Venice Film Festival.
My Week with Marilyn
Showcasing her blond locks, Michelle plays Marilyn Monroe in a British film about a 7-day escapade with an assistant on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl." The story is based on two books by author Colin Clark and will be released in 2011.