Date of Birth : May 22nd 1978
Goodwin is the daughter of Tim Goodwin, who formerly owned and operated a recording studio. She changed her name from “Jennifer” to “Ginnifer”, because that is how she and her family pronounced it in their regional dialect. Her younger sister, Melissa Goodwin, is a prominent stop motion animator on shows such as the Emmy Award winning Robot Chicken, on which Ginnifer has also appeared as voice talent.
Goodwin was affiliated with the North American Federation of Temple Youth and was active in BBYO at the Jewish Community Center in Memphis growing up; she had a bat mitzvah. After graduating from Lausanne Collegiate School in 1996, Goodwin attended Hanover College (majoring in Theatre) for one year before moving on to Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, with honors, in 2001.
She dated actor Chris Klein for two years; they broke up in December 2008. On the February 4th, 2009 episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Goodwin mentioned that she recently became vegan.
Goodwin first had roles in the popular NBC television programs Law & Order and Ed before appearing in the Comedy Central television movie Porn ‘n Chicken. She later had substantial roles in the films Mona Lisa Smile, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Walk the Line, in which she portrayed Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife, and Birds of America. She also played Dori Dumchovic in the dark comedy Love Comes to the Executioner. Goodwin is currently in a leading role as Margene Heffman, the third wife in a polygamous family, on the HBO original series Big Love.
Goodwin starred in He’s Just Not That into You, which was released in February 2009. In April 2009, she will start filming Ramona and Beezus (playing Ramona’s favorite person, Aunt Bea), co-starring with John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, and Selena Gomez.
In 2008, MaxMara honored Goodwin with a “Face of the Future” award, an award recognizing up and coming women in film. Also, Goodwin was one of the celebrities featured in Gap’s Fall 2008 ad campaign.