Apr. 29th, 1970
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Guest TV Roles
Herself - Guest
Gwen Ling (Voiced)
Herself - Guest
Uma Karuna Thurman, daughter of Robert Thurman (I) and Nena Thurman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 29, 1970. Uma grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father worked at Amherst College. She left boarding school at just 15, already determined to become an actress. She moved to New York to follow her dream.
A breakthrough role for the tall, blonde actress came when she played Cecile de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons (1988). More attention came with the NC-17 rated Henry & June (1990), but it was Thurman's role in the Quentin Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction (1994) that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Donning a short black wig to play femme fatale Mia Wallace opposite John Travolta's hit man Vincent Vega, Thurman earned a place in film history.
After roles in The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) and the Ted Demme film Beautiful Girls (1996), Thurman met her future husband Ethan Hawke on the set of Gattaca (1997).
Thurman returned to smaller films after playing the villainess Poison Ivy in the reviled Joel Schumacher effort Batman & Robin (1997) and Emma Peel in a remake of The Avengers (1998). She worked with Woody Allen and Sean Penn (I) on Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and starred in Richard Linklater's drama Tape (2001) opposite Hawke. Thurman also won a Golden Globe award for her turn in the made-for-television film Hysterical Blindness (2002) (TV), directed by Mira Nair.
A return to the mainstream spotlight came when Thurman redeemed with Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), a revenge flick the two had dreamed up on the set of Pulp Fiction (1994). She also turned up in the John Woo (I) cautioner Paycheck (2003) that same year. The renewed attention was not altogether welcome because Thurman was dealing with the break-up of her marriage with Hawke at about this time. Thurman handled the situation with grace, however, and took her surging popularity in stride. She garnered critical acclaim for her work in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) and was hailed as Tarantino's muse. Thurman reunited with Pulp Fiction (1994) dance partner John Travolta for the Get Shorty (1995) sequel Be Cool (2005) and landed a role in The Producers (2005) after Nicole Kidman backed out of the project.
- She attended Amherst Regional Middle School, Massachusetts, for grade 7 and 8 and had Ester Haskell as an English teacher. She later visited that school to contribute to the Women's History assembly. The children were thrilled
- Her mother, 'Nena Thurman' (qv), was once married to LSD proponent 'Timothy Leary' (qv). The marriage lasted less than a year (1964-1965). Their marriage, which took place in Nepal, was the subject of a 15-minute documentary entitled "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You". Nena married Uma's father, 'Robert Thurman (I)' (qv), two years later in 1967.
- Granddaughter of Friedrich Karl Johannes von Schlebrügge, a Prussian nobleman, and his Sweedish wife Brigit Holmquist.
- Named #21 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
- Uma's middle name, Karuna, is one of the four sublime abodes in Buddhism. It means "compassion." The other 3 sublime abodes are Metta (Loving kindness), Mudita (Sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (Equanimity).
- Former husband 'Ethan Hawke' (qv)'s book was dedicated to her ("For Karuna").
- (1995) Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#20).
- Her mother, 'Nena Thurman' (qv), is a Swedish model-turned-psychotherapist, who was discovered at 16 in Stockholm by photographer 'Norman Parkinson' (qv). A nude statue of Nena's mother, Brigit Holmquist, a famous beauty and later "edle" (noble), stands in the port town of Trelleborg. 'Salvador Dalí' (qv), introduced Nena to her first husband, 'Timothy Leary' (qv).