Amy Lou Adams (born August 20, 1974) is an American actress and singer. Adams began her career on stage performing in dinner theatre and later made her feature film debut in Drop Dead Gorgeous. After moving to Los Angeles and appearing in a series of television guest appearances and roles in B movies, Adams appeared as Brenda Strong in Steven Spielberg’s Frank Abagnale biopic Catch Me If You Can. Her breakthrough role came in the 2005 independent film Junebug, for which she received critical acclaim and her first of four Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In 2007, Adams starred in the Disney animated musical film Enchanted, a critical and commercial success, and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her lead performance. She received her second Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and first BAFTA Award nomination for her supporting role in the 2008 film Doubt.
Adams received two more Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for her supporting roles in the 2010 sports drama The Fighter and the 2012 psychological drama The Master. She achieved further success in 2013 for portraying Lois Lane in the Superman movie Man of Steel, a supporting role in the Spike Jonze-directed comedy-drama Her, and a con artist in David O. Russell’s crime film American Hustle; the last of these won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy along with a fourth BAFTA nomination, and a fifth Oscar nomination, her first in the Best Actress category. In 2014, she portrayed Margaret Keane in Big Eyes, for which she won a second Golden Globe and received a fifth BAFTA nomination.
Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, the fourth of seven children of American parents Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Adams. She has four brothers and two sisters. Her father is a U.S. Army veteran and was stationed at Caserma Ederle at the time of her birth. After years of moving from base to base, Adams’s family settled in Castle Rock, Colorado, when Adams was eight years old. Following his Army discharge, her father sang professionally in restaurants and her mother became a semi-professional bodybuilder. Until her parents’ divorce in 1985, Adams was raised in LDS Church. Regarding her religious upbringing, Adams said, “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know it instilled in me a value system I still hold true. The basic ‘Do unto others …’—that was what was hammered into me. And love.”
During her years at Douglas County High School, Adams sang in the school choir and trained as an apprentice at a local dance company with ambitions of becoming a ballerina. Her parents had hoped that she would continue her athletic training, which she gave up to pursue dance, as it would have given her a chance to obtain a college scholarship. Adams later reflected on her decision not to go to college: “I wasn’t one of those people who enjoyed being in school. I regret not getting an education, though.” After graduating from high school, she moved to Atlanta with her mother. Deciding that she was not gifted enough to be a professional ballerina, she entered musical theater, which she found was “much better suited to her personality”. She said that ballet was “too disciplined and too restrained and I was always told off in the chorus lines” and her body at the time was “just wrecked from dancing all these years.”
When she turned eighteen, Adams supported herself by working as a greeter at a Gap store while performing in community theater. For a few weeks after graduating from high school, she took her first full-time job as a hostess at Hooters, a fact that became her “entire press career” for a while. Adams left the job three weeks later after having saved enough money to buy her first car. She later admitted, “So there was definitely an innocence to my interpretation of what Hooters was about. Though I did learn, quickly, that short shorts and beer don’t mix!”
In 2001, Adams began dating actor and artist Darren Le Gallo, whom she met in an acting class. Adams and Le Gallo became engaged in April 2008. They have a daughter together, born in 2010. In May 2015, she married Le Gallo in California.