British actress. After a brief stint at the prestigious fine art school West Surrey College of Art and Design, Julia Ormond attended acting school at the WebberDouglas Academy of Dramatic Arts, in London. Her exceptional talent for the stage immediately attracted the attention of the film and television industry. Her breakthrough role came in 1991, when she played the lead character in the made for tv biopic of Catherine the Great, Young Catherine. Through the early '90s, Ormond held a string of interesting roles, most notably in Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Mâcon (1992). But her greatest break through came in 1994, with Legends of the Fall (dir. Edward Zwick) starring alongside Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn. She delivered an extraordinary performance, which earned her international recognition. She followed the success of Legends of the Fall with Sabrina (dir. Sydney Pollack) and First Knight (Jerry Zucker). Aware of the limitations of Hollywood cinema, Ormond then turned to European cinema. She played the lead role in Bille August's Smila's Sense of Snow (1997), and the following year, starred in the Russian production The Barber of Siberia (dir. Nikita Mikhalkov), as a young American girl who falls in love with an officer of the Czarist army. At the same time, and with the intention to engage in more personal projects, Ormond founded her own production company, Indican. In 1999, she lent her voice to a tv production of George Orwell's Animal Farm, and the following year she returned to the Hollywood film scene with The Prime Gig, featuring Vince Vaughn. In 2001, she served as a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. The most recent additions to Ormond's impressive resume are Resistance (2003) the HBO film Iron Jawed Angels (2004), Inland Empire (2006) from acclaimed director David Lynch, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and Steven Soderbergh's Guerrilla (2008), a film based on the life of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Besides her acting work, Ormond has contributed generously to humanitarian causes. She is a founding chair of FilmAid International, a celebrated nonprofit organization that uses the power of film to address the needs of displaced people around the world. In 2003, she won the prestigious Crystal Award for using her art to transcend cultural boundaries.
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