The daughter of noted producer Bruce Paltrow and Tony award-winning actress Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. When Gwyneth was 11, the family moved to Massachusetts where her father began working in summer stock productions in the Berkshires. It was here that she received her early acting training under the tutelage of her parents. After graduating from the all-girls Spence School in New York City, she moved to California where she attended the University of California in Santa Barbara, majoring in Art History. She soon quit, realizing it was not her passion. In 1990 she made her stage debut in the Williamstown Theatre play, "Picnic". In 1991 she appeared in her first film, Shout (1991), with John Travolta. That same year she met Steven Spielberg, who gave her a small part in his film Hook (1991). Her next roles were in made-for-television films, until she won rave reviews for her performance in Flesh and Bone (1993). In 1994, she entered a relationship with Brad Pitt, the older (by nine years) superstar who gave her a career boost by choosing her to play his wife in the hit thriller Se7en (1995). But it was the title role of Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1996) that fully tapped in to Gwyneth's capabilities and made her an in-demand actress. She and Pitt broke off their much publicized engagement in 1997, citing as the reason the fact that neither felt that they could pursue their respective careers and at the same time maintain a happy marriage. They remain good friends. Meanwhile, Gwyneth's career has gone through the roof with the release of five glossy films in 1998, including Great Expectations (1998), Sliding Doors (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), and John Madden's masterpiece Shakespeare in Love (1998). Gwyneth's outstanding performance as Viola in the last film marked her greatest career triumph to date. She won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role.