Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 15, 1990. She has two older brothers, Blaine and Ben, and her parents, Karen and Gary, owned a farm just outside the city. She got her big break at 14, when she was discovered while vacationing in New York City with her family. She quickly landed a part in the TV series The Bill Engvall Show, followed by roles in films that included The Burning Plain, Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games. She later reprised her role playing Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire and the two-part Mockingjay. Lawrence won an Academy Award for her work in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and continued to work with the director on American Hustle and Joy, winning Golden Globes for all three projects as well.
Jennifer was an athletic child, involved in cheerleading, field hockey and softball, and thought she might be a doctor when she grew up. She did some modeling and community theater, but never dreamed that she’d become an actress.
Jennifer went on to appear in the critically acclaimed Winter’s Bone in 2010, which earned her nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Opportunities continued to pour in, and in 2011 Jennifer appeared in The Beaver with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and Anton Yelchin. She also took on the role of Mystique in X-Men: First Class.
In 2012, Jennifer became a box-office sensation as Katniss Everdeen, the lead in The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of the bestselling novel by Suzanne Collins. Set in a post-apocalyptic state, Jennifer’s character must participate in an event in which 24 teens fight to the death as televised entertainment. The film broke box-office records on opening weekend, and she reprised her role in 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as well as the two-part Mockingjay (2014 and 2015). As of late 2015, the franchise has earned more than $2.8 billion dollars at the global box office.
Other 2012 releases for Jennifer included the thriller House at the End of the Street, co-starring Elisabeth Shue, and two dramas with Bradley Cooper: The Falling and Silver Linings Playbook, which earned an array of award nominations and a Golden Globe win (best actress in a comedy or musical) for her. She took home the Academy Award for best actress in February 2013.
Jennifer continued to work with Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell on 2013’s American Hustle, playing the emotionally complex wife of a con artist (Christian Bale). She received her third Oscar nod for the part, and won her second Globe. In 2014 she co-starred again with Bradley Cooper in the little seen drama Serena before once again captivating moviegoers as the mutant Mystique in the summer epic X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Jennifer graduated from high school two years early with a 3.9 GPA, part of the deal her parents made with her to allow her to pursue acting. She now lives in Santa Monica with her dog and plans to pursue directing.