10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow has been a household name for over 20 years – ever since she rose to fame as Brad Pitt’s gorgeous girlfriend in the ‘90s. Since then, she’s managed to establish a successful career on her, even winning an Oscar in 1999 for her performance in Shakespeare in Love. She doesn’t do a lot of acting these days and instead focuses growing her lifestyle brand, GOOP. Many of us know a lot about the actress turned businesswoman because she’s been in the public eye for such a long time, but there are still a few things that even some of her biggest fans don’t know. Here are 10:

10. Upbringing

Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, California on September 27, 1972 to Tony Award-winning actress Blythe Danner and television producer Bruce Paltrow. She has one younger sibling, a brother named Jake, who is a director and screenwriter. She was raised in Santa Monica, California, where she attended Crossroads School but then, when she was 11, her family moved to New York City, settling on the Upper East Side. While there, she attended Spence School, a private girl’s school.

9. Starting Young

The blonde beauty often spent her summers growing up in Williamstown, Massachusetts where she would watch her mother perform at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. While there, she attended camp, helped her mother rehearse and occasionally performed. According to her, she made her stage debut at the age of seven in the play The Greeks, playing a dead child.

Source: wtfestival.org

Source: wtfestival.org

8. A Young Rebel (Kind Of)

As a teen, The Talented Mr. Ripley actress had a rebellious streak. She would sneak out with her friends to hit the clubs, but before she would do that, she’d do the responsible thing – leave a note on her pillow! The note would read, “Dear Mom and Dad, I didn’t run away. I haven’t been kidnapped. I’m out at the clubs. You can punish me in the morning.”

7. Life in Spain

The Shakespeare in Love star spent the summer of her sophomore year in high school as an exchange student in Talavera de la Reina, Spain, where she learned to speak Spanish fluently. “When I was 15, I went to a small town outside Talavera de la Reina and I had the most wonderful experience. It really changed my life. Spain became a second home,” she said.

Source: kisselpaso.com

Source: kisselpaso.com

6. Dropping Out of University

She studied Anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara, for a year before dropping out to pursue a career in acting. According to her, she made that decision because she kept skipping classes to make it to auditions. “I kept missing classes to drive to L.A. to audition,” she told The San Francisco Chronicle. “I remember my father saying, ‘You really have to do one thing or the other because neither is going to be productive when you’re doing both half.’”

Everett Collection

Everett Collection

5. On a Deserted Island

In 1997, the Oscar-winning actress spent three days alone on a deserted Caribbean island and wrote about her experience for Marie Claire magazine. She brought a tarp, a hammock, a flashlight, a knife, bottled water, a pound of rice, matches, as well as a camera to record the experience and built a little shack, cooked up some rice, swam and wandered around mostly nude. She didn’t have much to do there except think and write about her seclusion. “I have realized that we must be kind to ourselves on life’s journey because at the very end of the day, all we have is ourselves,” she wrote. ”We must relish that and find safety in that.”

4. Losing the Love of Her Life

Her father died from complications of oral cancer and pneumonia in 2002 while he was vacationing with her in Rome, Italy for her 30th birthday. He had been suffering from oral cancer for several years at that point and his death was really sudden and left the Emma star heartbroken because her father was her rock. While her father was struggling with cancer, she learned a lot about healthy eating. Like many men of his generation, he smoked and drank vodka everyday after work and didn’t pay attention to diet, so she had taken it upon herself to try and cure him with a healthy diet, but he didn’t take to it. She, however, did. “When my father was diagnosed with cancer, it really changed the way that I lived – it changed my whole lifestyle,” she told People. “I completely changed my diet, and I got very serious about exercising and about exposure to toxins.”

3. Love Life

The Proof actress has dated plenty of famous men, including Brad Pitt (who she was engaged to), Ben Affleck, Luke Wilson and Bryan Adams. She was married to Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, from 2003 until 2014, and they share two children together, Apple and Moses. She is currently dating Glee­ co-creator, Ben Falchuk. They met when she guest starred on the show back in 2010 and began dating in 2014.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

2. Singing Career

After filming the movie Duets, several music producers, including Babyface, approached her about recording contracts, but she declined their offers. She has, however, continued to sing. In the 2006 film Infamous, she sang “What Is This Thing Called Love” and that same year she also performed with Jay Z during his concert at Robert Hall. She also sang the chorus for “Song Cry” from on his album Blueprint. In 2010, she took the lead role in Country Strong. For the movie, she took guitar and vocal lessons and recorded the song “Country Strong” for the movie’s album and she performed another song from the movie, “Coming home,” at the 83rd Academy Awards. The song was also nominated for Best Original Song. She also appeared in the Fox show Glee as Holly Holiday and sang “Nowadays” from the musical Chicago, CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” (which she performed with him at the 2011 Grammy’s) and a mash-up of “Singin’ In the Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” She returned to Glee twice more, performing “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” by Gary Glitter, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, “Kiss” by Prince, and Adele’s “Turning Tables.”

1. Postpartum Depression

After having her second child, Moses, The Royal Tenenbaums actress struggled with postpartum depression. “I felt like a zombie,” she told Good Housekeeping. “I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible. It was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same [after Moses was born]. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.” It wasn’t until her husband at the time, Chris Martin, came to her and got her to acknowledge that something was wrong and that she was experiencing postpartum depression that she sought therapy and began using exercise to recover.

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