Michelle Ingrid Williams (born September 9, 1980) is an American actress who first rose to fame in the late 90's playing bad girl Jen Lindley on the hit series Dawson's Creek. After the show ended, Michelle jumped to the silver screen with films such as Dick, Prozac Nation and The Station Agent, and also gained critical acclaim for several independent films before taking the role that would establish her as an A-list talent, the long-suffering Alma Beers in 2005's Brokeback Mountain.
On the set of Brokeback, she met and began dating Australian actor Heath Ledger, and a year later Williams gave birth to a daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger. The couple stayed together until 2007, separating amicably, and Ledger continued to be heavily involved in his daughter's life until he passed away from an accidental overdose on January 22, 2008. Williams was devastated by his death and responded to the subsequent media interest by withdrawing from what little socializing she had done prior in an attempt to shield Matilda from the paparazzi. She also seldom gave interviews for almost two years, and made it clear in the ones she did give that the subject of her daughter was off-limits. As of 2018, she had been married to musician Phil Elverum of The Microphones and Mount Eerie fame. note
In the wake of Ledger's death, Williams did little work in 2008 (the four movies featuring her that were released that year had all been filmed in 2007), but late in 2008 filmed a starring role in the poorly-received Swedish film Mammoth, which would be her only theatrical appearance in 2009. In 2010, however, Williams returned to the screen with a critically acclaimed lead role in the romantic drama Blue Valentine, and also appeared in the Leonardo DiCaprio thriller Shutter Island. 2011 saw her take the title role of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, and her performance drew extensive praise and award nominations. In 2013 she played the good witch Glinda in Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful opposite James Franco and Mila Kunis.
- Species: Young Sil
- Dawson's Creek: Jennifer "Jen" Lindley
- Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: Molly Cartwell
- Dick: Arlene Lorenzo
- If These Walls Could Talk 2: Linda
- Prozac Nation: Ruby
- The Station Agent: Emily
- Brokeback Mountain: Alma Beers
- I'm Not There: Coco Rivington
- Synecdoche, New York: Claire
- Wendy and Lucy: Wendy Carrol
- Blue Valentine: Cindy Heller
- Shutter Island: Dolores Chanal
- My Week with Marilyn: Marilyn Monroe
- Oz: The Great and Powerful: Glinda the Good
- Cabaret (2014 Broadway revival): Sally Bowles.
- Manchester by the Sea: Randi Chandler
- All the Money in the World: Gail Harris
- The Greatest Showman: Charity Hallett-Barnum
- Venom (2018): Ann Weying
- The Challenger: Christa McAuliffe
- Fosse/Verdon: Gwen Verdon
Tropes related to her work:
- Long Hair Is Feminine: Usually with her roles; the characters she plays tend to act more feminine the longer their hair is. This stands out more in her case as she had long hair for most of her tenure on Dawson's Creek, but cut it short while dating Ledger and found that he loved how she looked with short hair. She's mostly kept it short since his death.
- Nipple and Dimed: She isn't exactly shy about partial nudity, but has toned it down since becoming a mother.