Lawrence was born Jennifer Shrader Lawrence on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch), who manages a children’s camp, and Gary Lawrence, who works in construction. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine, and has English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. 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.
Lawrence 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. Other 2012 releases for Lawrence 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 Lawrence. She took home the Oscar for best actress at the Academy Awards in February 2013. Lawrence seemed overcome with emotion as she accepted the honor.
Lawrence 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). The film co-starred Amy Adams and Cooper. Lawrence received her third Oscar nod for the part, and won her second Globe. In 2014 she co-starred again with 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. She would reprise the role in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.