Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress and singer. Johansson made her film debut in the 1994 film North and was later nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in 1996's Manny & Lo. Johansson rose to fame with her roles in 1998's The Horse Whisperer and 2001's Ghost World.
She transitioned to adult roles with her performances in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, for which she won a B.A.F.T.A. Award, and Girl with a Pearl Earring, both of which earned her Golden Globe Award nominations in 2003. A role in A Love Song for Bobby Long earned her a third Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination. 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 followed that with another Allen film, Scoop, with Hugh Jackman. A role in Brian De Palma's film noir The Black Dahlia was followed by a second role opposite Hugh Jackman in The Prestige, also starring Christian Bale.
On May 20, 2008, Johansson debuted as a vocalist on her first album, Anywhere I Lay My Head, which included cover versions of Tom Waits songs. Her second album, Break Up, with Pete Yorn was released in September 2009.
Johansson was born in New York City on November 22, 1984. Her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish architect who was the son of Ejner Johansson, a screen-writer and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx. Johansson's parents met in Denmark, where her mother lived with Johansson's maternal grandmother, Dorothy, a former bookkeeper and schoolteacher. Johansson has an older sister, Vanessa, who is an actress; an older brother, Adrian; a twin brother, Hunter (who appeared in the film Manny & Lo with Scarlett); and an older half-brother, Christian, from her father's first marriage.
Johansson grew up in a house-hold with "little money," and with a mother who was a "film buff." She and her brother, Hunter, attended P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village in elementary school. Johansson began her theatrical training by attending and graduating from Professional Children's School in Manhattan in 2002.
Johansson began acting during childhood, after her mother started taking her to auditions. She made her film debut at nine years old, as John Ritter's daughter in the 1994 fantasy comedy North. Following minor roles in the 1995 film Just Cause, as the daughter of Sean Connery and Kate Capshaw, and If Lucy Fell in 1996, she played the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo (1996). Her performance in Manny & Lo garnered a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female, and positive reviews, one noting, "[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of ... Scarlett Johansson", while San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle commentated on her "peaceful aura", and wrote, "If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress."
After appearing in minor roles in Fall and Home Alone 3 in 1997, Johansson garnered widely spread attention for her performance in the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer, directed by Robert Redford. She received a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress for the film. In 1999, she appeared in both My Brother the Pig and the neo-noir Coen brothers film The Man Who Wasn't There. Also in 1999, she appeared in the music video for Mandy Moore's single, "Candy". Although the film was not a box office success, she received praise for her break-out role in the 2001 film, Ghost World. Credited with "sensitivity and talent [that] belie her age", Johansson went on to win the Chlotrudis and Toronto Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2002, Johansson appeared in the comedy-horror thriller Eight Legged Freaks, starring David Arquette.