Date of Birth: September 9th 1980
Academy Award-nominated American actress. Williams broke into stardom on the teen series Dawson's Creek and later graduated to full-length features, most notably Brokeback Mountain, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Williams's career began in television, appearing in programs such as the 1990s version of Lassie, Baywatch, Step by Step, and Home Improvement. Williams' first film role was in the motion picture Species. Soon after, she won additional roles, including the Jessica Lange-Michelle Pfeiffer film A Thousand Acres and the 1998 movie Halloween H20: 20 Years Later with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Hartnett. Williams's star profile rose considerably when in 1998, she was cast as one of the lead characters on the WB show Dawson's Creek. She would play Jen Lindley for all six seasons of the successful show.
During and after the show's run, Williams appeared in several notable indie films. Her first starring role was as Arlene in the film Dick, a satire of the Watergate scandal, opposite Kirsten Dunst. She starred opposite Christina Ricci in Prozac Nation, and also appeared in the HBO film If These Walls Could Talk 2, and several acclaimed indie pictures such as The United States of Leland, Me Without You, and Imaginary Heroes. For her performance in The Station Agent, Williams, along with the rest of the cast, received a Screen Actors Guild award nomination for Best Acting Ensemble. In 2005, critics and audiences took note of Williams' performance in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. For her performance, she won a Critic's Choice Award and received Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.