Look into Anne Hathaway's mesmerising eyes and it's not hard to see why critics are prone to mention her in the same breath as Audrey Hepburn and Julia Roberts. A mix of fierce intelligence and sweetness has made her one of the most bankable stars of her generation.
While many leading ladies say they never imagined a future on the big screen, Anne seemed destined for the thespian life. Her parents, a lawyer and stage actress, named her after Shakespeare's wife, and as an adult she admitted: "I don't know what made me so arrogant and so focused, but I always thought I would be an actor."
Born in New Jersey on November 12, 1982, she was the middle of three children. Her professional career began when she was 16, with a role in TV drama Get Real
, then on the big screen in The Other Side Of Heaven
En route to the film's New Zealand set she auditioned for the role that brought her megawatt smile to the public's attention that of accidental royal Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries
. Her clumsiness during the interview – she fell off a chair – persuaded the director to hire her on the spot.
More fairytale and goofy girl-next-door parts followed, namely in 2004's Ella Enchanted
and The Devil Wears Prada
, opposite Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt.
From then on Hollywood insiders were sold. Prada
director David Frank enthused: "The bottom line is she can do comedy.
The ones who have comic flair keep going when the dramatic roles thin out."
Departing from lighter fare, Anne went on to play Jake Gyllenhaal's brash, bitter wife in acclaimed cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain
The one shadow in this gilded life came with the break-up of her four-year relationship with handsome Italian entrepreneur Raffaello Follieri, who was later convicted on fraud and money laundering charges.
Her grace under fire prompted a groundswell of support. Making light of her heartbreak on US TV shows she quipped: "This summer, I broke up with my boyfriend – and two weeks later he was sent to prison for fraud! I mean, we've all been there, right, ladies?".
The porcelain-skinned beauty got herself back on track with a role as the White Queen in Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland
and a best actress Oscar nomination in 2009 for Rachel Getting Married
Her love life took a turn for the better when she began dating actor and jewellery designer Adam Shulman. After a four-year courtship the couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on California's Pacific coast in 2012.
At the 2013 Academy Awards, Anne took home a statuette for playing dying prostitute Fantine in Les Miserables
– a role she'd first seen her mother tackle.
In an emotional speech from the podium, she told her husband: "The greatest moment in my life was when you walked into it".