April 29, 1970
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Uma Karuna Thurman is an American actress. She has performed in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from romantic comedies and dramas to science fiction and action thrillers. She is best known for her work under the direction of Quentin Tarantino. Her most popular films include Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Pulp Fiction (1994), Gattaca (1997) and Kill Bill (2003–2004). Thurman's mother, Nena Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge, was a fashion model born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1941, to German-born Friedrich Karl Johannes von Schlebrügge, and Swedish-born Birgit Holmquist, from Trelleborg. Thurman's father, Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman (August 3, 1941), was born in New York City to Elizabeth Dean Farrar, a stage actress, and Beverly Reid Thurman, Jr., an Associated Press editor and U.N. translator. Thurman grew up mostly in Amherst, Massachusetts and Woodstock, New York. She is described as having been an awkward and introverted girl who was teased for her tall frame, angular bone structure, and unusual name (sometimes using the name “Uma Karen” instead of her birth name). Thurman began her career as a fashion model at age 15. Her modeling credits included Glamour Magazine. In 1989, she appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine's annual Hot issue. Thurman made her movie debut in 1988, appearing in four films that year. Her breakthrough came in her role as Cecile de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons. While living in London after shooting Dangerous Liaisons, she began dating director Phil Joanou. On the set of State of Grace, she met English actor Gary Oldman. They were married in 1990, but the marriage ended in 1992. On May 1, 1998, Thurman married actor Ethan Hawke, whom she met on the set of Gattaca. Thurman acknowledged that they had married because she was pregnant – seven months at their wedding. The marriage produced two children, daughter Maya Ray Thurman-Hawke (July 8, 1998) and son Levon Roan Thurman-Hawke (January 15, 2002). In 2003, Thurman and Hawke separated, and in 2004 they filed for divorce. Director Quentin Tarantino has described Thurman as his "muse". However, in a 2004 Rolling Stone cover story, Thurman and Tarantino denied having had a romantic relationship, despite Tarantino once having told a reporter, “I’m not saying that we haven’t, and I’m not saying that we have”. Thurman owns a townhouse in New York's Greenwich Village, but lives in Hyde Park, New York. Raised as a Buddhist, she considers herself agnostic. Thurman dated Andre Balazs from 2004 to 2006. She was engaged to London based Franco-Swiss financier Arpad Busson, whom she began dating in late 2007.