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Scarlett Johansson

(1984 - )

Scarlett Johansson is a Jewish American actress, and singer.

Johansson (born November 22, 1984) was born in New York City. Her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, while her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx. Johansson began her theater training at Professional Children’s School in Manhattan and graduated in 2002.

Johansson made her film debut in the 1994 film North and early in her career was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in 1996’s Manny & Lo. She rose to fame with her roles in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer and 2001’s Ghost World.

In 2003, Johansson made the transition to adult roles with her performances in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, for which she won a BAFTA Award, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. She earned Golden Globe Award nominations for both 2003 roles and a third nomination in 2004 for her role in A Love Song for Bobby Long.

Following an appearance in The Island, Johansson garnered a fourth Golden Globe nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in Woody Allen’s Match Point. She later appeared in Allen’s films Scoop (2006) and Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008). About her religious affiliation, Johansson described herself as Jewish when she was talking about Woody Allen: “I just adore Woody,” she said. “We have a lot in common. We’re New Yorkers, Jewish. We have a very easygoing relationship.”

In 2010, Johansson won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge. As a singer, Johansson has released two albums, Anywhere I Lay My Head and Break Up.

Johansson played Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (2010, a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In 2011, appeared in We Bought a Zoo alongside Matt Damon. Johansson learned some Russian from a former teacher on the phone for her role as Black Widow in The Avengers (2012).

In January 2013, Johansson starred in a Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The same year she appeared in the film Don Jon and voiced the character Samantha, a self-aware computer operating system, in Her.

Johansson reprised her role as Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). She also appeared that year in Chef (2014).

In 2015 and 2016, Johansson again played Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Earlier in 2016, Johansson appeared in Hail, Caesar! She also voiced Kaa in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book, and Ash in the animated musical comedy film Sing (both 2016). That year she also narrated an audiobook of Lewis Carroll’s children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Johansson was featured on a 2017 episode of the American television show Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, during which she uncovered that she had ancestors who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto.

In 2017, Johansson starred in Ghost in the Shell. That March Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live for the fifth time. Her next 2017 film was the comedy Rough Night. In 2018, Johansson voiced show dog Nutmeg in the animated film Isle of Dogs and then appeared again as Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War, which was followed the next year by Avengers: Endgame, which became the highest-grossing film of all time.

She next starred in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. Johansson received her first two Academy Award nominations, for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her performances in the two films, respectively, becoming the eleventh performer to be nominated for two Oscars in the same year.

After a one-year screen absence, Johansson reprised her role as Black Widow in her own solo prequel film in 2021. She filed a lawsuit against Disney claiming that the simultaneous release of Black Widow on their streaming service Disney+ breached a clause in her contract that said the film would be first released exclusively in theaters. Later both parties announced that they had resolved their dispute, with the terms of the settlement remaining undisclosed.

She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2012. In 2021, she appeared on the Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Johansson has been one of the world’s highest-paid actresses since 2014. As of September 2019, her films had grossed more than $5.2 billion in North America and over $14.3 billion worldwide, making Johansson the third highest-grossing box-office star of all time both domestically and worldwide as well as the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America.

Johansson was one of several celebrities to speak out against the arrest of four employees of a Cairo human rights organization in 2020. She was subsequently criticized for her links to the “the Zionist entity.”

Johansson is considered one of Hollywood’s modern sex symbols and is the only woman ever to be named twice (2006, 2013) as Esquire Magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive.”

Johansson was married to actor Ryan Reynolds from 2007 to 2011. From 2014 until 2017, she was married to Romain Dauriac, the owner of an advertising agency. She gave birth to their daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac, in 2014. In 2020, she married Saturday Night Live comedian Colin Jost in 2020. She gave birth to their son, Cosmo, in August 2021.

Sources: Internet Movie Database.
Scarlett Johansson’s ancestors were in the Warsaw Ghetto, celebrity genealogy series reveals, Times of Israel, (August 15, 2017). 
“Egyptian celebs rap ‘Zionist’ Scarlett Johansson over bid to free rights workers,” Times of Israel, (December 10, 2020). 

Photo: Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.