Michelle Ingrid Williams (born September 9, 1980 in Kalispell, Montana) 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 Mountain, 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. After Ledger's death in 2008, Williams withdrew from public life for a time, but did film a starring role in the poorly-received Swedish film Mammoth.
In 2010, 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.
She is currently engaged to director Thomas Kail.
- 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
- Meeks Cutoff
- 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
- I Feel Pretty: Avery LeClaire
- 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.