Robin Wright

Robin Gayle Wright[1] (born April 8, 1966) is an American actress and director. She has won a Golden Globe Award and a Satellite Award, as well as earned eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her work in television.

Robin Wright
Wright in 2009 Cannes Film Festival
Robin Gayle Wright

(1966-04-08) April 8, 1966
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other namesRobin Wright Penn
OccupationActress, director
Years active1983–present
Dane Witherspoon
(m. 1986; div. 1988)

(m. 1996; div. 2010)

Clément Giraudet
(m. 2018)
Children2, including Dylan Penn
RelativesCharlie Wright (nephew)

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). This role led Wright to further success in the film industry, with starring roles in films such as 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), the biographical drama Everest (2015), the superhero film Wonder Woman (2017), and the neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner 2049 (2017).

Wright starred as Claire Underwood in the Netflix political drama streaming television series House of Cards, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2013, becoming the first actress to win a Golden Globe for a streaming television series. Wright has received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for House of Cards (one for each season), and two nominations in the Outstanding Drama Series category in 2016 and 2017 as a producer on the show.

Wright is one of the highest paid actresses in the United States, earning US$420,000 per episode for her role in House of Cards in 2016.[2]

Early life

Wright was born April 8, 1966, in Dallas, Texas, to Gayle, a cosmetics saleswoman for Mary Kay, and Fred Wright, a pharmaceutical company employee. Wright was raised in San Diego, California. She attended La Jolla High School in La Jolla and Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[1][3]

Film career

Wright began her career as a model, when she was 14.[4][5] At the age of 18, she played Kelly Capwell in the NBC Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara, for which she received several Daytime Emmy Award nominations.[6]

1980s–2000s: Transition into feature films

She transitioned into feature film work with a role in Hollywood Vice Squad in 1986, followed by her breakthrough role as Princess Buttercup in the cult film The Princess Bride in 1987. She gained critical acclaim in her role as Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump (1994), receiving Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

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

2013–2018: House of Cards

Wright attending the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival

Since 2013, Wright has appeared in the Netflix political drama streaming television series House of Cards in the role of Claire Underwood, the ruthless wife of political mastermind Frank Underwood. On January 12, 2014, she won a Golden Globe for the role, becoming the first actress to win the award for a streaming television series;[7] she was nominated for the same award the following year. She also 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 as her co-star Kevin Spacey; Netflix acquiesced.[8] In 2017, for her performance in the fifth season, Wright was nominated for her fifth consecutive Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. For the years 2014, 2016, and 2017, Wright received Best Actress in a Drama Series nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Awards, with her being the only nomination for the show in December 2017.

In October 2017, Wright was set as the show's new lead, following sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, which resulted in him being fired from the sixth and final season. For her last appearance as Underwood, her performance was acclaimed - described as a "commanding performance [that] is more than enough to keep [the final season] standing strong" [9] - earning her her final nominations for the role at the Screen Actors Guild and Primetime Emmy Awards in 2019. For the latter, she became one of seven women to be nominated for the category six or more times for the same show (the first in 10 years since Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ).[10]

Further film work

Wright attending the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

In 2017, Wright played General Antiope in Wonder Woman (2017) and its 2020 sequel alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. She appears in the Blade Runner sequel Blade Runner 2049 alongside Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto.

In April 2019, it was announced that Wright would make her feature film directorial debut in the film Land.[11] Wright would also be starring as its lead, Edee Mathis, a lawyer who retreats in grief to the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. Sales for the film would start at Cannes the following month.[11] Filming began by October that year and the film was picked up by distributor Focus Features.[12]

Personal life

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.[13]

In 1989, Wright became involved with actor Sean Penn following his divorce from Madonna. Wright was offered the role of Maid Marian in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but turned it down because she was pregnant.[14] Their daughter, Dylan Frances, was born in April 1991.[15] She backed out of the role of Abby McDeere in The Firm (1993) due to her pregnancy with her second child,[1] and their son, Hopper Jack, was born in August 1993.[16]

After breaking up and getting back together,[17] Wright and Penn married in 1996. Their on-and-off relationship seemingly ended in divorce plans, announced in December 2007,[18] but the divorce petition was withdrawn four months later at the couple's request.[19] In February 2009, Wright and Penn attended the 81st Academy Awards together, at which Penn won Best Actor. Penn filed for legal separation in April 2009,[20] but withdrew the petition in May.[21] On August 12, 2009, Wright filed for divorce, declaring she had no plans to reconcile.[22][23][24] The divorce was finalized on July 22, 2010.[25]

In February 2012, Wright began dating actor Ben Foster,[26] and their engagement was announced in January 2014.[27] The couple called off their engagement in November 2014,[28] but reunited in January 2015.[29] On August 29, 2015, they announced they were ending their second engagement.[30] In 2017, Wright began dating Clément Giraudet, a Saint Laurent executive, and they secretly wed in August 2018 in La Roche-sur-le-Buis, France.[31]

Philanthropy and activism

Wright is the honorary spokesperson for the Dallas, Texas-based non-profit The Gordie Foundation.[32]

In 2014, Wright co-partnered with two California-based companies; Pour Les Femmes[33] and The SunnyLion.[34] The SunnyLion donates a portion of its profits to the Raise Hope For Congo movement.

Wright is an activist for human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is the narrator and executive producer of the documentary When Elephants Fight[35] which highlights how multinational mining corporations and politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo threaten human rights, and perpetuate conflict in the region.[36] Wright is a supporter of Stand With Congo, the human rights campaign behind the film.[37] In 2016, she spoke publicly in support of the campaign at a film screening at the TriBeCa Film Institute in New York City,[38] in media interviews,[39][40][41][42] with journalists,[43][44][45] and across her social media accounts.[46][47][48]



Year Title Role Notes
1986Hollywood Vice SquadLori Stanton
1987The Princess BrideButtercupNominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1990DenialSara / Loon
1990State of GraceKathleen Flannery
1992The PlayboysTara Maguire
1992ToysGwen TylerNominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1994Forrest GumpJenny CurranNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
1995The Crossing GuardJojo
1996Moll FlandersMoll FlandersNominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture
1997LovedHedda AmersonNominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1997She's So LovelyMaureen Murphy QuinnNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
1999Message in a BottleTheresa OsborneNominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Drama/Romance
2000How to Kill Your Neighbor's DogMelanie McGowan
2000UnbreakableAudrey DunnNominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Suspense
2001The PledgeLori
2001The Last CastleRosalie IrwinUncredited
2002Searching for Debra WingerHerselfDocumentary
2002White OleanderStarr Thomas
2003The Singing DetectiveNicola / Nina / Blonde
2003VirginMrs. Reynolds
2004A Home at the End of the WorldClare
2005Nine LivesDianaLocarno International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2005Sorry, HatersPhoebe TorrenceNominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
2005MaxMotherShort film
2006Breaking and EnteringLiv UllmannNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
2006Room 10Frannie JonesShort film
2007HounddogStranger Lady
2007BeowulfQueen Wealtheow
2008What Just HappenedKelly
2008New York, I Love YouAnna
2009State of PlayAnne Collins
2009The Private Lives of Pippa LeePippa Lee
2009A Christmas CarolFan Scrooge / Belle
2010The ConspiratorMary Surratt
2011MoneyballSharon Beane
2011RampartLinda Fentress
2011The Girl with the Dragon TattooErika Berger
2013The CongressRobin Wright
2014A Most Wanted ManMartha Sullivan
2015EverestPeach Weathers
2017Wonder WomanGeneral Antiope
2017Blade Runner 2049Lieutenant Joshi
2017Justice LeagueGeneral AntiopeUncredited cameo
2018André the GiantHerselfDocumentary
2020Wonder Woman 1984General Antiope
2021LandEdee MathisAlso director
2021Zack Snyder's Justice LeagueGeneral Antiope


Year Title Role Notes
1983–84The Yellow RoseBarbara Anderson2 episodes
1984–88Santa BarbaraKelly Capwell538 episodes
Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Heroine
Nominated – Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Younger Lead Actress
Nominated – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series (1986–1988)
2005Empire FallsGrace RobyNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2011EnlightenedSandy2 episodes
2013–2018House of CardsClaire UnderwoodMain role (73 episodes), executive producer (Seasons 4–6) and director (10 episodes)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Gold Derby Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2014, 2016, 2018)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2015–2016)
Nominated – Gold Derby Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2014–2015)
Nominated – Online Film and Television Association Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2013–2016)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2013–2017, 2019)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series
Nominated – Producers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Drama
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2015–2016)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2014–2018)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2015–2016)

See also

  • List of American film actresses
  • List of Santa Barbara cast and characters


  1. "Robin Wright – Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  2. Placido, Dani Di (May 19, 2016). "Robin Wright Is The Real Deal". Forbes. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  3. "Robin Wright". (FYI/A&E Networks). Retrieved July 12, 2021.
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  5. Broadbent, Lucy (February 9, 2014). "Robin Wright on House of Cards, Botox and getting married again". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  6. Cameron-Wilson, James (1994). Young Hollywood. Batsford. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7134-7266-0.
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  10. "Robin Wright ('House of Cards') just became the first actress in 10 years to pull off this rare Emmy stat". Gold Derby. Penske Media Corporation. July 17, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  11. Clarke, Stewart (April 30, 2019). "Robin Wright Heads Into Wilderness for Directorial Film Debut 'Land,' With Sales to Start at Cannes". Variety. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  12. Reimann, Tom (October 18, 2019). "Filming Begins on Robin Wright's Directorial Debut 'Land'". Collider. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
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  14. Mell, Eila (2005). Casting Might-Have-Beens: A film by film directory. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 204. ISBN 978-0786420179.
  15. 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.
  16. Kelly, Richard T. (2004). Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Canongate U.S. p. 274. ISBN 978-1841956237.
  17. "The Insider – Vol. 45 No. 12". March 25, 1996.
  18. White, Nicholas (December 27, 2007). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn Divorcing". People. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  19. Orloff, Brian (April 9, 2008). "Sean Penn & Robin Wright Stop Divorce Action". People. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  20. Laudadio, Marisa; Lee, Ken (April 29, 2009). "Sean Penn Files for Legal Separation". People. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  21. "Sean Penn withdraws separation filing". USA Today. May 22, 2009.
  22. Lee, Ken (August 18, 2009). "Robin Wright Penn Files for Divorce". People. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  23. Breslau, Karen (September 2009). "Robin Wright Penn Goes It Alone". More. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  24. Derschowitz, Jessica (November 16, 2009). "Big changes for Robin Wright". CBS News. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  25. Oh, Eunice (August 4, 2010). "Sean Penn and Robin Wright Finalize Their Divorce". People. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  26. "Robin Wright and Ben Foster Get Cozy". People. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  27. Loinaz, Alexis L. (January 11, 2014). "Robin Wright and Ben Foster are engaged". People. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Webber, Stephanie (August 29, 2015). "Robin Wright, Ben Foster Call Off Engagement For the Second Time". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  31. Jones, Tashara (August 13, 2018). "Robin Wright and Clément Giraudet wed". New York Post. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
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  33. "Pour Les Femmes". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  34. "Giving Back – The SunnyLion and Raise Hope for Congo". June 20, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  35. "When Elephants Fight (2015)". IMDb. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  36. "Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An Ongoing Crisis" (PDF). International Rescue Committee. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  37. "#StandWithCongo | A Stier Forward Campaign". Stand With Congo. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  38. "LIVE NYC Screening4Action at TriBeCa". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
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  40. "Congo: The High Cost of Mineral Riches". WNYC (NPR). Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  41. "Actress Robin Wright Talks About Her New Documentary". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  42. "'Making Noise': The Path Towards Global Equality". Rockefeller Foundation. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  43. "The Paradox Of Congo: How The World's Wealthiest Country Became Home To The World's Poorest People". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  44. "Robin Wright Makes a Powerful Political Statement — It's Not Related to 'House of Cards'". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  45. "Robin Wright: A-lister who's playing for high stakes off screen". The Guardian. May 22, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
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  48. "Robin Wright Instagram". Instagram. March 13, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
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