Uma Karuna Thurman, daughter of Robert Thurman and Nena Thurman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 29, 1970. Uma grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father worked at Amherst College. She left boarding school at just 15, already determined to become an actress. She moved to New York to follow her dream.
A breakthrough role for the tall, blonde actress came when she played Cecile de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons (1988). More attention came with the NC-17 rated Henry & June (1990), but it was Thurman's role in the Quentin Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction (1994) that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Donning a short black wig to play femme fatale Mia Wallace opposite John Travolta's hit man Vincent Vega, Thurman earned a place in film history.
After roles in The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) and the Ted Demme film Beautiful Girls (1996), Thurman met her future husband Ethan Hawke on the set of Gattaca (1997).
Thurman returned to smaller films after playing the villainess Poison Ivy in the reviled Joel Schumacher effort Batman & Robin (1997) and Emma Peel in a remake of The Avengers (1998). She worked with Woody Allen and Sean Penn on Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and starred in Richard Linklater's drama Tape (2001) opposite Hawke. Thurman also won a Golden Globe award for her turn in the made-for-television film Hysterical Blindness (2002) (TV), directed by Mira Nair.
A return to the mainstream spotlight came when Thurman redeemed with Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), a revenge flick the two had dreamed up on the set of Pulp Fiction (1994). She also turned up in the John Woo cautioner Paycheck (2003) that same year. The renewed attention was not altogether welcome because Thurman was dealing with the break-up of her marriage with Hawke at about this time. Thurman handled the situation with grace, however, and took her surging popularity in stride. She garnered critical acclaim for her work in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) and was hailed as Tarantino's muse. Thurman reunited with Pulp Fiction (1994) dance partner John Travolta for the Get Shorty (1995) sequel Be Cool (2005) and played Ulla in The Producers (2005).
Uma Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1970 into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family -- her mother is a European socialite and former model, her father one of the nation's foremost Buddhist scholars. As a result, hers was a household in which the The Dalai Lama was an occasional guest; she and her siblings all have names deriving from Buddhist mythology; and Middle American behavior was little understood, much less pursued.
And so it was that the young Thurman confronted childhood with an odd name and eccentric home life -- and nature seemingly conspired against her as well. Currently six feet tall, from an early age she towered over everyone else in class. Her famously large feet would soon sprout to size 11 -- and even beyond that -- and although they would eventually be lovingly filmed by director Quentin Tarantino, as a child she generally wore the biggest shoes in class, which only provided another subject of ridicule. Even her long nose moved one of her mother's friends to helpfully suggest rhinoplasty -- to the ten-year-old Thurman. To make matters worse yet, the family constantly relocated, making the gangly, socially inept Thurman perpetually the new kid in class. The result was an exceptionally awkward, self-conscious, lonely and alienated childhood.
Unsurprisingly, the young Thurman enjoyed making believe she was someone other than herself, and so thrived at acting in school plays -- her sole successful extracurricular activity. This interest, and her lanky frame, perfect for modeling, led the 15-year-old Thurman to New York City for high school and modeling work (including a layout in Glamour Magazine) as she sought acting roles. The roles soon came, starting with a few formulaic and forgettable Hollywood products, but immediately followed by Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) and Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons (1988), both of which brought much attention to her unorthodox sensuality and performances that intriguingly combined innocence and worldliness. The weird, gangly girl became a sex symbol virtually overnight.
Thurman continued to be offered good roles in Hollywood pictures into the early '90s, the least commercially successful but probably best-known of which was her smoldering, astonishingly-adult performance as June, Henry Miller's wife, in Henry & June (1990), the first movie to actually receive the dreaded NC-17 rating in the USA.
After a celebrated start, Thurman's career stalled in the early '90s with movies such as the mediocre Mad Dog and Glory (1993). Worse, her first starring role was in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), which had endured a tortured journey from cult-favorite book to big-budget movie, and was a critical and financial debacle. Fortunately, Uma bounced back with a brilliant performance as Mia Wallace, that most unorthodox of all gangster's molls, in Tarantino's lauded, hugely successful Pulp Fiction (1994), a role for which Thurman received an Academy Award nomination.
Since then, Thurman has had periods of flirting with roles in arty independents such as A Month by the Lake (1995), supporting roles in which she has lent some glamorous presence to a mixed batch of movies such as Batman & Robin (1997), and the occasional starring role now and then, such as her role as a martial arts assassin in Tarantino's controversial Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), a grueling stretch for Thurman which proved her game for virtually any acting challenge.
Thurman had been briefly married to Gary Oldman, from 1990 to 1992. In 1998, she married Ethan Hawke, her co-star in the offbeat futuristic thriller Gattaca (1997). The couple had two children, Levon and Maya. Hawke and Thurman filed for divorce in 2004.
|Ethan Hawke||(1 May 1998 - 20 July 2004) (divorced) 2 children|
|Gary Oldman||(1 October 1990 - 30 April 1992) (divorced)|
Long blond hair and blue eyes
Statuesque, model-like figure
French cosmetics firm Lancome have employed her as a spokesmodel for their company. [June 2000]
Ranked #99 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Her father, Robert Thurman, is a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University School of Religion. He was the first westerner to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Uma was named for a Hindu goddess.
Her mother, Nena Thurman, is a Swedish model-turned-psychotherapist, who was a young teenager when she discovered in Stockholm by photographer Norman Parkinson. A nude statue, called 'Famntaget' (The Embrace), of Nena's mother, Brigit Holmquist, stands in the port town of Trelleborg. Birgit, who was the daughter of a famous local industrialist, was herself a famous beauty, and married Baron von Schlebrügge (German national). The couple moved (after the Nazis gained power in Germany) to Mexico where Nena was born. Salvador Dalí, introduced Nena to her first husband, Timothy Leary.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#20). 
Granddaughter of Friedrich Karl Johannes von Schlebrügge, a Prussian nobleman, and his Swedish wife Birgit Holmquist.
Uma's middle name, Karuna, is one of the four sublime abodes in Buddhism. It means "compassion." The other 3 sublime abodes are Metta (Loving kindness), Mudita (Sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (Equanimity).
Attended Northfield Mount Hermon boarding school in Northfield, Massachusetts, during her freshman and sophomore years, approximately twenty five miles from her home town at the time, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Named after the goddess of light and beauty in Indian Mythology.
Has shades of Lancome lipsticks named after her (available only in Asia).
Her mother, Nena Thurman, was once married to LSD proponent Timothy Leary. The marriage lasted less than a year (1964-1965). Their marriage, which took place in Nepal, was the subject of a 15-minute documentary entitled "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You". Nena married Uma's father, Robert Thurman, two years later in 1967.
Has three brothers with equally unusual, exotic names: Ganden, Dechen (who is an actor and director) and Mipam.
She is on the Board of Directors of Room to Grow, a non-profit organization founded by Rob Reiner, dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first 3 years of development.
Her uncle, John Thurman, is a professional concert cellist who performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Supported the Junior Senator (John Kerry) from her native state (Massachusetts) for President of the United States.
Originally cast for the part of Eowyn in the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
In Polynesian, her name means "kiss".
Former husband Ethan Hawke's book was dedicated to her ("For Karuna").
Former sister-in-law of Laila Morse.
She attended Amherst Regional Middle School, Massachusetts, for grade 7 and 8 and had Ester Haskell as an English teacher. She later visited that school to contribute to the Women's History assembly. The children were thrilled
Named #21 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
Followed in the footsteps of both her mother and grandmother into the world of modeling.
She and her first husband, Gary Oldman, have both appeared in separate Batman films. Uma appeared in Batman & Robin (1997) as Poison Ivy. Gary Oldman has appeared in Batman Begins (2005) & The Dark Knight (2008) as James Gordon.
Was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Commandeur Dans Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres) by France in February 2006. Presenting the prize on behalf of the French Ministry of Culture, Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob told Thurman she was "admired throughout the world" and that her career would "make her the favorite actress of an entire generation." The Order of Arts and Letters is given out twice annually to a few hundred people worldwide.
Ranked as #67 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
Quentin Tarantino considers her as his muse.
Named #59 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).
Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1994.
Uma and her hotelier boyfriend, André Balazs, have ended their three-year romance. They started dating in 2003 [March 20, 2007].
Engaged to Arpad Busson [June 26, 2008].
Was 5ft 10in by the age of 13.
Born at 1:51 PM (EDT).
Called off her engagement to Arpad Busson on November 15, 2009.
Has appeared in two films quoting the proverb "revenge is a dish best served cold", Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Batman & Robin (1997) as well as Dangerous Liaisons (1988), an adaptation of the novel often credited with originating that expression.
Ex-stepmother of Alfie Oldman.
Returned to work 5 months after giving birth to her son Levon in order to begin filming Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).
Was the second choice for the role of Eleanor Arroway in Contact (1997) after Jodie Foster initially turned it down in 1995. She lost the role when Foster agreed to do the film after seeing a new revision of the script.
Was Brian De Palma's first choice for the role of Maria in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). Actor Tom Hanks, who had casting approval, dismissed Thurman's acting as "high school," and the role went to Melanie Griffith.
Despite the potential for complications with child birth because of problems with her blood vessels, she gave birth to 3 children.
Was 3 months pregnant with her daughter Luna when she filmed her guest appearance on "Smash" (2012).
Returned to work 3 months after giving birth to her daughter Luna in order to begin filming Nymphomaniac (2013).
Gave birth to her 3rd child at age 42, a daughter Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson on July 15, 2012. Child's father is her boyfriend, Arpad Busson.
Tall, sandy blonde, with sort of blue eyes, skinny in places, fat in others. An average gal. - Uma Thurman, self description.
I'm very happy at home. I love to just hang out with my daughter, I love to work in my garden. I'm not a gaping hole of need.
It is better to have a relationship with someone who cheats on you than with someone who does not flush the toilet.
I was not particularly bright, I wasn't very athletic, I was a little too tall, odd, funny looking, I was just really weird as a kid.
Desperation is the perfume of the young actor. It's so satisfying to have gotten rid of it. If you keep smelling it, it can drive you crazy. In this business a lot of people go nuts, go eccentric, even end up dead from it. Not my plan.
My washing machine overwhelms me with its options and its sophistication.
"Everyone looked the same, everyone had it down to such a perfect T. You get bored. That's when you have to say, 'I will be worst-dressed.'", on her questionable choice of Oscar attire this year (2004)
I had to go to a mirror and look at it. I couldn't picture myself in my own head. I had no image beyond a stick figure. I wasn't a mean person as a kid, or dumb, and something has to be said to justify excluding you.
Before I had my child, I thought I knew all the boundaries of myself, that I understood the limits of my heart. It's extraordinary to have all those limits thrown out, to realize your love is inexhaustible.
I think we all exude essential truths about ourselves, and then, as an actress, there's what you do with it. There's your wit and your imagination, and what you can cook up from your experience and understanding of what makes a human being tick.
In show business, to pry open doors in new areas is really tough. Until you have a successful comedy, people don't think you could be funny, which is what makes a director like Quentin Tarantino so special. He sees beyond the things on the resume that you've done to date and opens up wonderful cans of worms for you to crawl into. That's a cool thing.
Having children flips the game from being about you to being about what you can create in a home and what your responsibilities are. I've thought about quitting, but I love what I do so much - it's the big conundrum of my life.... So I'm fighting to keep my foot in the business, be creative and stimulated, and still take care of my children.
I've known some great rock chicks, and it seems to me they're allowed to have a lot more edge than movie people, where everybody's got the latest youth serums going, the newest exercise and, if that won't cover it, they'll do something else. There's this sort of improve-yourself aspect, whereas the music business seems to have this much more funky attitude, with, like, a slight respect for damage.
I've learned that every working mom is a superwoman.
By the time I was 27, when I had my daughter, I felt I had danced on every tabletop - which I hadn't. Now I know that I hadn't. At all. There are plenty of tabletops left, should I wish to dance on them. (In Style - February 2006 - "Uma In Full Swing" by Joanne Kaufman)
Growing up in a small town in New England was one of the most aesthetically pleasant experiences that you can have. (In Style - February 2006 - "Uma In Full Swing" by Joanne Kaufman)
It's a shakedown. But I feel grateful that the hard things have been survivable - I've been able to learn from them and grow - and that the things that have been like a gift, I've had the wherewithal to realize are a gift. (In Style - February 2006 - "Uma In Full Swing" by Joanne Kaufman)
As they say in gambling, I've gotten to stay at the table. I've hung in! They pull the plug on people all the time. The sky hook comes out, and it's all over. But there are much bigger sky hooks - as well we know. (In Style - February 2006 - "Uma In Full Swing" by Joanne Kaufman)
I think a lot of our lives we spend moving forward, leaping from rock to rock, trying to figure it out. But it's wonderful to feel in the prime of your life. I feel like I'm in the right place and in the right time with myself. (In Style - February 2006 - "Uma In Full Swing" by Joanne Kaufman)
You learn that the first failure isn't the end. I thought I'd seen the end of my career 10 times over. I've experienced them as death blows. What's nice - after numerous efforts, successes, failures, losses, professional and personal - is to actually accept you're not going to ace your life. You suffer, then you get on with it. You may spend three months in bed, but, eventually, you're going to have to get up.
When I was a teenager people often referred to me as jaded or knowing. It's a classic teen illusion to think you know it all, but I've certainly learned I don't.
|Final Analysis (1992)||$200,000|
|Jennifer Eight (1992)||$200,000|
|Mad Dog and Glory (1993)||$250,000|
|Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)||$250,000|
|Pulp Fiction (1994)||$300,000|
|A Month by the Lake (1995)||$300,000|
|Beautiful Girls (1996)||$300,000|
|The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996)||$500,000|
|Batman & Robin (1997)||$5,000,000|
|The Avengers (1998)||$8,000,000|
|Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)||$12,000,000|
|Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)||$12,000,000|
|Be Cool (2005)||$3,000,000|
|The Producers (2005)||$12,000,000|
|My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)||$14,000,000|
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