Michelle Ingrid Williams (born September 9, 1980) is an American actress. Primarily known for starring in small-scale independent films with dark or tragic themes, she is the recipient of various accolades, including two Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award, in addition to nominations for four Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, and a Tony Award. She is a daughter of politician and trader Larry R. Williams, and began her career with television guest appearances and made her film debut in the family film Lassie in 1994. Williams gained emancipation from her parents at age fifteen, and soon achieved recognition for her leading role in the television teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003). This was followed by low-profile films, before having her breakthrough with the drama film Brokeback Mountain (2005), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Williams went on to receive critical acclaim for playing emotionally troubled women coping with loss or loneliness in the independent dramas Wendy and Lucy (2008), Blue Valentine (2010), and Manchester by the Sea (2016). For the last two of these she received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, respectively. She won two Golden Globes for portraying Marilyn Monroe in the drama My Week with Marilyn (2011) and Gwen Verdon in the miniseries Fosse/Verdon (2019), in addition to a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for the latter. Her highest-grossing releases came with the thriller Shutter Island (2010), the fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), the musical The Greatest Showman (2017), and the superhero film Venom (2018). On Broadway, she starred in revivals of the musical Cabaret in 2014 and the drama Blackbird in 2016, for which she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Williams is an advocate for equal pay in the workplace. Notoriously private about her personal life, she has a daughter from her relationship with actor Heath Ledger and was briefly married to musician Phil Elverum. She has another child with her second husband, theater director Thomas Kail.