Daughter of Naomi Judd, a country singer, and Michael Charles Ciminella, marketing analyst. Her older sister, Wynonna is also a country singer. Her paternal grandfather had Sicilian ancestry, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrim, William Brewster. Ashley Judd was born on April 19th, 1969 in Granada Hills, California, United States.
Her parents divorced in 1972. The following year, she moved with her mother to Kentucky, where she spent most of her childhood. She also lived in Marin County, California, for two years.
She attended thirteen schools before entering university. She was a student of the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity at the University of Kentucky, where she studied French with a major in anthropology, art history and theater. She spent a semester studying in France.
After college she moved to Hollywood where she studied acting with Robert Carnegie at West Playhouse. During this time, she worked in a restaurant and lived in a rental house in Malibu that was burned in 1993.
She participated in a couple of Star Trek episodes, the New Generation. Thanks to the independent film Ruby in Paradise, where she had the main role, Ashley began to be taken in consideration by the big studios. The film won the Audience Award and the Sundance Jury and she won the Independent Spirit Award for her performance. Later she participated in Natural Born Killers, in Firestorm and in The Killing Time.
Consolidation as actress.
In Kiss the Girls (1997) a thriller with Morgan Freeman, she showed being a strong and self-confident woman. Thanks to her role as a desperate mother in Double Jeopardy, she became one of the most sought-after female figures in American filming. In 2002 she portrays Tina Modotti in the film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and she is the protagonist in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood with Sandra Bullock.
Her film career with popular titles such as Heat (1995), took a back seat since in 2002 decided to get involved in humanitarian work. She has worked in defense of abandoned women and children in poor countries. She has a total net worth of $20 million.
In 2004 she took part in De-lovely, biopic of Cole Porter for which she received her second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. In the same year, she played a role in the film Twisted with Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia. One of her most recognized interpretations was in the film Bug (2006) by William Friedkin. In 2009 she worked at Crossing Over with Harrison Ford and Ray Liotta. In 2010 she starred in the comedy Tooth Fairy along with Julie Andrews. She played Rebecca Winstone on the TV series Missing (2012), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. In 2015, she appeared as Natalie Prior in Divergent.