Actors who played gay roles

A list of actors and actresses that have impersonated either gay or lesbian roles in no particular order...
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1.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington...
 
2.
Amanda Seyfried
Actress, Mamma Mia!
Amanda Seyfried was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Ann (Sander), an occupational therapist, and Jack Seyfried, a pharmacist. She is of German, and some English and Scottish, ancestry. She began modeling when she was eleven, and acted in high school productions as well as taking singing lessons...
 
3.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, Inception
Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His parents worked for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM and his maternal grandfather...
 
4.
Jude Law
Jude Law is a talented and versatile actor. Law has been nominated for two Academy Awards and continues to build a prolific body of work that spans from early successes such as Gattaca and The Talented Mr. Ripley to more recent turns as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, as Hugo's father in Hugo and in the titular role in Dom Hemingway...
 
5.
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi was born and raised in Geelong, Australia. Originally born Amanda Rogers, at 15 she changed her name to Portia, saying that it was the most daring thing she had ever done up until that point. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Melbourne, and studied law...
 
6.
Pau Masó
Pau Masó was born in Girona, Girona, Catalonia, Spain as Pau Masó Coromina. He is an actor, writer, director and producer. Known as a "self-made man", he is hard working, dedicated and persevering. To date, Pau has appeared in different productions, including Aleksandr's Price and El Arte de Perder.
 
7.
Gale Harold
Gale Harold was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. After studying photography and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, Harold began studying acting at the suggestion of writer and producer Susie Landau Finch, who at the time was working at American Zoetrope. After three years of training and theatre work...
 
8.
Elizabeth Reaser
Elizabeth Ann Reaser was born June 15, 1975 in Bloomfield, Michigan, to Karen (Weidman) and John Reaser. As the middle child in a trio of sisters, she grew up in rural Milford, MI. Her mother, a homemaker, and her father, an attorney turned restaurateur turned substitute teacher, divorced, and her stepfather was businessman Bill Davidson...
 
9.
Sean Penn
Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints. Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the second son of actress Eileen Ryan (née Annucci) and director...
 
10.
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne (Love), a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the U.S. in 1951, from Greenock, Scotland. Her father, from Burlington, New Jersey, has German, Irish, German-Jewish, and English ancestry...
 
11.
Randy Harrison
Randy Harrison was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA and graduated high school in Atlanta, GA. Harrison began acting as a child eventually receiving a BFA from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is best known for his role as Justin Taylor in the Showtime series Queer as Folk. Other film credits include Such Good People and Bang Bang You're Dead...
 
12.
Penélope Cruz
Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance...
 
13.
Peter Paige
Writer, The Fosters
Peter Paige is an accomplished actor, director, and playwright who has worked on countless theatrical productions in New York and at regional theaters around the country, not to mention numerous television and film projects. Paige lived in seven different states before graduating from high school. Started acting at age six and continued to pursue acting...
 
14.
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is Danish. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson...
 
15.
Keanu Reeves
Actor, The Matrix
Keanu Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964, the son of English-born Patricia Taylor, a showgirl, and American-born Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. Keanu's father was born in Hawaii, of British, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian...
 
16.
Joely Richardson
Actress, The Patriot
For Joely the theater must be in her genes. Daughter of Tony Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave, and granddaughter of actor Sir Michael Redgrave, she is the niece of Lynn Redgrave and her late sister Natasha Richardson was also an actress. Former husband Tim Bevan is a producer. However the genes were slow...
 
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18.
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
 
19.
Emile Hirsch
Emile Davenport Hirsch was born in Palms, California, to Margaret Esther (Davenport), a teacher and visual artist, and David M. Hirsch, an entrepreneur and producer. He grew up in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and having been introduced to acting while still at school, he got his first acting job on TV at the age of 11 in an episode of Kindred: The Embraced...
 
20.
Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg-area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz) and Charles Jacobus Theron. She was raised on a farm outside the city. Theron is of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) descent, and Afrikaner military figure Danie Theron was her great-great-uncle...
 
21.
James Franco
Actor, 127 Hours
Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks, James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19, 1978. His mother, Betsy Franco, is Jewish, and his father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, was of Portuguese and Swedish descent, and ran a Silicon Valley business. James's mother, a writer, has occasionally acted...
 
22.
Whoopi Goldberg
Self, The View
Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway...
 
23.
Antonio Banderas
Actor, Desperado
Antonio Banderas, one of Spain's most famous faces, was a soccer player until breaking his foot at the age of fourteen; he is now an international film star known for playing Zorro in the eponymous film series. He was born José Antonio Domínguez Banderas on August 10, 1960, in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain...
 
24.
Piper Perabo
Actress, The Prestige
Piper Perabo was born in Dallas, Texas, to Mary Charlotte (Ulland), a physical therapist, and George William Perabo, a poetry professor. Her mother is of Norwegian descent and her father is of German, Irish, and English ancestry (the surname "Perabo" originates in Germany). After graduating college...
 
25.
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His father had English, and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family...
 
26.
Christina Ricci
Actress, Sleepy Hollow
Precocious, outspoken child-teen starlet of the 1990s, Christina Ricci was born in 1980 in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children of Sarah (Murdoch), a realtor, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and therapist. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and Scots-Irish descent...
 
28.
Angelina Jolie Pitt
Actress, Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted, Salt and Maleficent. Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international charity projects, especially those involving refugees...
 
29.
Heath Ledger
When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. Heath Ledger was born on the fourth of April 1979...
 
30.
Calista Flockhart
Actress, Ally McBeal
Calista Kay Flockhart was born 11 November, 1964 in Freeport, Illinois. Her mother, Kay (Honohan), was a school teacher, and her father, Ronald Flockhart, worked for Kraft Foods Inc. She has Irish, Scottish, German, and English ancestry. Calista was named after two of her great-grandmothers, who both had the middle name "Calista"...
 
31.
Colin Firth
Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester...
 
32.
Tom Cruise
Actor, Top Gun
If you had told fourteen-year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not-too-distant future he would be considered one of the top hundred movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to become a priest. None the less...
 
33.
River Phoenix
River Phoenix was born River Jude Bottom in Madras, Oregon. His mother, Arlyn (Dunetz), a Bronx-born secretary, and his father, John Bottom, a carpenter, met in California in 1968. They worked as itinerant fruit pickers, and later joined the Children of God religious group (John was originally Catholic...
 
34.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko. His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from a Jewish family, and his father's ancestry includes Swedish, English, and Swiss-German...
 
35.
Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant, one of Britain's best known faces, has been equally entertaining on-screen as well as in real life, and has had enough sense of humor to survive a media frenzy. He is known for his roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, with Andie MacDowell, Notting Hill, opposite Julia Roberts, and Music and Lyrics, opposite Drew Barrymore, among his other works...
 
36.
Diego Luna
Actor, Milk
Diego Luna Alexander was born in Mexico City, Mexico on December 29, 1979, to a Mexican father, Alejandro Luna, and an English mother, Fiona Alexander, who worked as a costume designer. His mother died when Diego was only two, in a car accident. He soon became immersed in his father's passion, entertainment - he is the most acclaimed living theatre, cinema and opera set designer in Mexico...
 
37.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe on July 27, 1977, in Dublin, Ireland, to Mary Geraldine (Meyers) and John O'Keeffe, a musician. He and his family moved to County Cork, Ireland, when the actor was nearly a year old, and then, at the age of 3, his father left the family, leaving his mother to care for Jonny and his 3 younger brothers alone...
 
38.
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries throughout Bale's childhood...
 
39.
Patrick Wilson
Patrick Joseph Wilson was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, the son of Mary Kathryn (Burton), a voice teacher and professional singer, and John Franklin Wilson, a news anchor. Wilson has a B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie-Mellon University. His theater work has produced many nominations and awards...
 
40.
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
 
41.
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...
 
42.
Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor...
 
43.
John Barrowman
Actor, Torchwood
John Barrowman is an Entertainer with a capital E. He sings, he dances, he acts, he presents, he judges - he is a unique talent in the entertainment industry on both sides of the Atlantic. John can currently be seen in the regular role of Malcolm Merlyn (aka The Dark Archer) in the hit American drama series Arrow...
 
44.
Shawn Pyfrom
Shawn is originally from FL. but started coming out to LA when he was 7 years old, along with his brother, Chris and sister, Amber. He has a natural talent for acting and a real love for the entertainment business. He has two very supportive parents that have helped him fulfill his dream. His future plans are to go to continue with his incredible art paintings...
 
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46.
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell is an Irish actor. He first appeared on the BBC's TV drama Ballykissangel in 1998, made his film debut in the Tim Roth-directed drama The War Zone a year later and was discovered by Hollywood when Joel Schumacher cast him in the lead in his war drama Tigerland (2000). He then starred in Schumacher's psychological thriller Phone Booth (2002) and the American thrillers S.W.A.T...
 
47.
Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem is the youngest member of a family of actors that has been making films since the early days of Spanish cinema. He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, to actress Pilar Bardem (María del Pilar Bardem Muñoz) and businessman José Carlos Encinas Doussinague. His maternal grandparents were actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro...
 
48.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
 
49.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St...
 
50.
Greg Kinnear
Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport, Indiana, USA to Edward Kinnear, a career diplomat with the US State Department, and Suzanne (Buck) Kinnear, a homemaker. Greg has two brothers--James, vice president-investments at Wachovia Securities in Arizona who was born in 1957, and Steve, a business manager with the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina who was born in 1959...
 
51.
Annette Bening
Annette Bening was born on May 29, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children of Shirley (Ashley), a soloist and church singer, and Arnett Grant Bening, an insurance salesman. She has German and English ancestry. Her family moved to California when she was young, and she grew up there. She...
 
52.
Rupert Everett
Actor, Shrek 2
Rupert James Hector Everett was born in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk, to Sara (Maclean) and Anthony Michael Everett, a Major in the British Army, who later worked in business. He is of mostly English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. Everett grew up in privileged circumstances, but the wry, sometimes arrogant...
 
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57.
Shirley MacLaine
Actress, The Apartment
Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on March 30, 1937. Her ancestry includes English and Scottish...
 
58.
Mischa Barton
Born in London and raised in New York. From humble beginnings in New York Theater in 1994 where she trained with such esteemed director/writers as James Lapine ("Twelve Dreams" at Lincoln Center with Donna Murphy), Tony Kushner ("Slavs!" at New York Theater Workshop with Marisa Tomei), and Naomi Wallace ("One Flea Spare" at the Public Theatre with Dianne Wiest)...
 
59.
Sally Hawkins
Sally Hawkins was born in 1976 in Lewisham hospital, London, England, to Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, authors and illustrators of children's books. She is of English and Irish descent. Hawkins was brought up in Greenwich, in southeast London. She attended James Allen's Girls' School in Dulwich. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1998...
 
60.
Radha Mitchell
Actress, Silent Hill
Radha Mitchell (born 12 November 1973) is an Australian actress. She started her career acting in various Australian TV series and movies, and later became known for her appearance in Hollywood films. Mitchell, a native of Melbourne, began acting when she was still in high school and had her professional debut on the popular Australian soap...
 
62.
Naomi Watts
Actress, King Kong
Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and she began to follow her mother and her brother around England...
 
63.
Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23, 1989 in Fulham, London, England, to casting agent Marcia Gresham (née Jacobson) and literary agent Alan Radcliffe . His father is from a Northern Irish Protestant background, while his mother was born in South Africa, to a Jewish family (from Lithuania, Poland...
 
64.
Brooke Shields
"Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing". If you have not heard of Brooke Shields before, this tagline from her Calvin Klein Jeans ad had to grab your attention. Not that she has not had a previously noteworthy resume. She was born on May 31, 1965 in New York City and, at age 12...
 
65.
Elena Anaya
Spanish actress Elena Anaya impressed the critics with her performance in "Lucía y el sexo" (2001). Elena was born in Palencia, Spain, on July 17th, 1975. An active child, she excelled in karate and mountain climbing. By the time she was 17 Elena knew that she wanted to channel her energy into being an actress and enrolled in a drama course being given in her local town by actor Manuel Moron...
 
66.
Lucy Liu
Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts...
 
67.
Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Ella Eva (Mireles) and Enrique Longoria, Jr. The youngest of four sisters who grew up on a ranch near Corpus Christi, Longoria attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. After graduating from college...
 
68.
Eva Green
Actress, Casino Royale
Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. She has a fraternal twin sister. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar. Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time...
 
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70.
Nicole Kidman
Actress, Moulin Rouge!
Elegant redhead Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist...
 
71.
Monet Mazur
Monet Mazur has been in the entertainment industry and acting professionally since 1993. Mazur grew up in Malibu and New York, the daughter of Ruby Mazur, a record industry artist, and Valerie Chasin, who was a fashion model in the late 60s and 70s. After small roles in TV and film, Mazur finally...
 
72.
Mia Kirshner
Actress, The L Word
Mia Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 25, 1975, to Etti, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist. Her father is of Polish Jewish descent and her mother is a Bulgarian Jewish immigrant. Mia had a middle class upbringing and graduated from the prestigious McGill University with a degree in English Literature...
 
73.
Denise Richards
Denise Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, the older of two daughters of Joni Lee, who owned a coffee shop, and Irv Richards, a telephone engineer. She has German, French-Canadian, Irish, English, and Welsh ancestry. She grew up in the Chicago area, until the family relocated to Oceanside...
 
74.
Jennifer Beals
Actress, The L Word
Jennifer Beals was born in December 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard in 1980. After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature...
 
76.
Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder was born and raised in the small southern town of Covington, Louisiana. His mother, Edna (née Israel), is a massage therapist, and his father, Robert Somerhalder, is a building contractor. He has Cajun (French), English, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Boating, swimming, fishing and training horses filled much of his recreational time growing up...
 
77.
Dana Delany
Actress, China Beach
Dana Welles Delany was born on March 13, 1956, in New York City and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. Dana knew early in life that she wanted to be an actress. Following graduation from Wesleyan University, this tall (5'7") beauty moved to New York and developed her skills working in daytime television and theater...
 
78.
Mila Kunis
Actress, Black Swan
The talented Milena "Mila" Markovna Kunis was born to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer, and she has an older brother named Michael. After attending one semester of college between gigs...
 
79.
Clive Owen
British actor Clive Owen is one of a handful of stars who, though he is best known for his art house films, can handle more mainstream films with equal measures of grace and skill. Owen is typically cast as characters whose primary traits are a balance of physical strength, intellect, and forceful will...
 
80.
Julie Benz
Actress, Dexter
Julie Benz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on May 1, 1972. Julie's father is a Pittsburgh surgeon and her mother is a figure skater. The family settled in nearby Murrysville, when Julie was two, and she started ice skating at age three. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her partner David Schilling...