Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born August 15, 1990, in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch), who manages a children’s camp, and Gary Lawrence, who works in construction. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine, and has English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.
Her career began when she traveled to Manhattan at the age of fourteen. After conducting her first cold read, agents told her mother that “it was the best cold read by a 14- year-old they had ever heard”, and tried to convince her stage mother that she needed to spend the summer in Manhattan. After leaving the agency, Jen was spotted by an agent in the midst of shooting an H&M ad and asked to take her picture. The next day, that agent followed up with her and invited her to the studio for a cold read audition. Again, the agents were highly impressed and strongly urged her mother to allow her to spend the summer in New York City. As fate would have it, she did, and subsequently appeared in commercials such as MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and played a role in the movie, The Devil You Know (2013).
Shortly after that, her career forced her and her family to move to Los Angeles, where she was cast in the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show (2007), and in smaller movies like The Poker House (2008) and The Burning Plain (2008).
Her big break came when she played Ree in Winter’s Bone (2010), which landed her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Shortly after that, she secured Mystique’s role in franchise reboot X: First Class (2011), which was a hit in Summer 2011. Around this time, Lawrence scored the role of a lifetime when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen in the big-screen adaptation of literary sensation The Hunger Games (2012). The film became one of the highest-grossing movies ever with over $407 million at the domestic box office and instantly propelled Lawrence to the A-list among young actors/actresses. Three Hunger Games sequels were released in each consecutive November, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015), with Lawrence reprising her role.
In 2012, the romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress, among other accolades, making her the youngest person ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and the second-youngest Best Actress winner.
She starred in David O. Russell’s popular drama-comedy American Hustle (2013), as Roselyn Rosenfield, and teamed with the director again to play inventor Joy Mangano in another family comedy, Joy (2015), receiving Oscar nominations for both roles (Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively).