Born Jennifer Shrader Lawrence
August 15, 1990 (age 25)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Residence Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Years active 2006–present
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. Lawrence began her career in television, playing her first major role as a lead cast member on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show (2007–09). After transitioning into film, she gave her breakout performance in the independent drama Winter’s Bone (2010). Her first major commercial success was playing Mystique in the fourth installment of the superhero franchise X-Men (2011–16).
Lawrence gained international fame for playing Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games film series (2012–15), which established her as the highest-grossing action heroine at that point. As a dramatic actress, she has collaborated with director David O. Russell on multiple films. Her starring role in Russell’s romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook (2012) earned her the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, making her the second-youngest Best Actress Oscar winner ever. Lawrence also received Golden Globe Awards for her performances in Russell’s comedy-dramas American Hustle (2013) and Joy (2015).
Lawrence was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the daughter of Karen (née Koch; b. 1956), a children’s camp manager, and Gary Lawrence, a construction worker. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine. By the age of 14, she had decided to pursue an acting career and persuaded her parents to take her to New York City to find a talent agent. Prior to finding success in Hollywood, Lawrence attended Kammerer Middle School in Louisville. She graduated from high school two years early with a 3.9/4.0 average, aiming at a career in acting. While growing up and in between acting jobs, Lawrence served as what she has described as an assistant nurse at the children’s summer day camp that her parents ran.
Lawrence grew up in rural Kentucky around horses: “Growing up, I lived 15 minutes away from a horse farm, and I went there almost every day… My brothers were into fishing, but I was all about the horses.” In an interview with David Letterman she stated: “My parents were cheap, so they never bought trained horses. I have a deformed tailbone, actually, from being thrown off a horse.”
In August 2014, Lawrence was one of the victims of the iCloud celebrity-photo hack. Many nude photos were posted online, including several of Lawrence. Emphasizing that the images were never meant to be public, Lawrence called the leak a “sex crime” and a “sexual violation”.
Lawrence is active in charities such as the World Food Programme, Feeding America, and The Thirst Project. She organized an early screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to benefit Saint Mary’s Center, a special disabilities organization located in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and raised more than $40,000 for the cause. Lawrence is an official ambassador of the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Lawrence has created the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which supports charities such as the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Special Olympics, and Do Something, a non-profit organization with the goal of motivating young people to take action around social changes. She also held a fundraising contest for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles as part of the LA premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
In a November 2015 interview with Vogue, Lawrence criticized fellow Kentuckian Kim Davis for her opposition to same-sex marriage. Though she was “raised a Republican,” Lawrence also said, “I just can’t imagine supporting a party that doesn’t support women’s basic rights.” Lawrence also identifies as pro-choice and is a supporter of Planned Parenthood.