Successfully showed the world that she is indeed more than just a sexy and beautiful woman, Uma Karuna Thurman has risen to be one of the celebrated actresses who is respected also adored because of her sincere devotion to good work. Even though there were ups and downs to attain this status, she wonderfully made her way to maintain her career in Hollywood film industry without losing her identity or integrity. All of these personal qualities she holds firmly within her heart surely have made this blue-eyed beauty such an unusual performer as well as a great role model in the world.
A daughter of a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University and a Swedish model-turned-psychotherapist, Uma was born to Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman and Nena Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrugge on April 29, 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts. Raised in an unorthodox also Euro-centric family who constantly relocated from one area to another, the girl grew up as an awkward, self-conscious yet lonely child so that she often felt alienated to her surroundings. Acting then became her only solace to ease the tension within her since she could be someone other than herself, even brought her some confidence as she managed to evoke people's applause when being on stage. Although her eccentric parents showed no encouragement to support her desire, she persistently polished her skills through acting classes while took part in many school plays.
Uma's determination to pursue an acting career reached its peak when she was convinced by some New York talent scouts of her talent after she appeared in a stage production of "The Crucible" as Abigail. Still 15 years old at that time, the tall adolescent boldly dropped her study at Northfield Mount Herman School in Northfield, Massachusetts to head for the Big Apple with the consideration that there would be ample chances to accomplish her goal. Transferring to Professional Children's High School, she not only had to look for auditions, but also a proper side job to support her life there. Her mother, who ultimately gave her blessing upon seeing Uma's obstinacy, then introduced her to various modeling agencies, including Click Models which later signed her in.
Fortunately, Uma did not have to wait long enough to land her screen debut when she delightfully earned the top billing in an independent movie entitled "Kiss Daddy Goodnight" (1988). Next came "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988) which surprisingly catapulted her to wide attention as the film garnered positive reviews from critics, even scored seven nominations at the 1989 Academy Awards. However, it later turned out that she was noticed more because of her sex appeal only and not for the deft handling she had exhibited to portray such a tricky role of Cecile De Volanges in this excellent work of Stephen Frears. The sex symbol label got stickier when Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," in which she acted as Venus, was released in the U.S. theaters by March 1989.
Intended to make people see beyond her physical appearance, Uma satisfyingly displayed strong performances in her next projects, such as "Henry & June" (1990), "Jennifer 8" (1992), and "Mad Dog and Glory" (1993), but she still did not get he recognition she longed for. It was not until this striking blonde starred in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994), opposite John Travolta, that she finally received decent accolades of her acting quality, gloriously leading her to be the Best Supporting Actress nominee at Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and SAG Awards in the following year. This superb achievement undoubtedly began to crush the undesirable image she had carried for several years while also boosted her career increasingly.
Throughout the rest years of the 90s, Uma walked her path quite steadily as her following films resulted fairly well in the box-office, like "Beautiful Girls" (1996), "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" (1996), "Gattaca" (1997), and "Les Miserables" (1998) in which she once again garnered critics' praise. In between, however, the beauty in contrast encountered her flops through "Batman & Robin" (1997) and "The Avengers" (1998), both being heavily panned down while leading her to receive Razzie Award nominations. Yet she quickly bounced back by taking part in a TV movie feature entitled "Hysterical Blindness" (2002), for which she was granted the honor of Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards.
Since the triumph, Uma's star continued shining brilliantly, particularly after she reunited with Tarantino to be the female lead in his phenomenal effort, "Kill Bill" (2003). This extraordinary picture successfully directed her to secure a nomination in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the 2004 BAFTA Awards, plus another one of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama at Golden Globe Awards in 2004 and later in 2005 through the film's second part. Once again teamed up with Travolta in "Be Cool" (2005), a sequel to the 1995 "Get Shorty," she joined Meryl Streep to film "Prime" (2005) while toplining "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" (2006) alongside Luke Wilson.
While the following year after "Ex-Girlfriend" did not find her appearing on the big screen, 2008 prove to be quite a productive period for Uma. Adding three more stints into her resume namely "In Bloom", "My Zinc Bed", and "The Accidental Husband", she also made her first venture in film producing, assuming the duty in the latter. This was followed by another in "The Swarm", an action thriller about an alien presence that exists quietly on the ocean floor and is compelled to destroy humanity after its eco-system is disrupted by pollution.
Concerning her private life, Uma first fell in love with British actor Gary Oldman and subsequently married him in 1990. Sadly, this only lasted for about two years as they decided to split in 1992. The reason behind this break-up remained mysterious, but it was rumored that Oldman's excessive drinking had been the main cause of their divorce. Found a new love in Ethan Hawke, her co-star in "Gattaca," the pair eventually held their wedding ceremony on May 1, 1998 and happily welcomed Maya Ray on July 8, 1998, followed by Levon Roan on January 15, 2002. Unfortunately, this marriage ended in 2003 not long after Hawke was spotted together with Canadian model Jen Perzow. As the couple had officially separated by July 20, 2004, Uma then established a new love relationship with hotel tycoon Andre Balazs, but unfortunately had to end it up in March 2007 after three years of on-off relationship.