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NATALIE PORTMAN (Padme Amidala) received critical acclaim in the role of Nina in Mike Nichol's production of The Seagull, opposite Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the second and final production of the 46 summer season of Shakespeare in Central Park at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. Originally written by Anton Chekhov, this new version by Tom Stoppard is a modern classic tale which resonates with the contemporary question of sex, love, family and fame.

Portman's most recent films include Twentieth Century Fox's coming of age story Where the Heart Is, directed by Matt Williams and co-starring Ashley Judd; Portman portrays a pregnant 17-year-old girl who rebuilds her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart. Portman also starred in Wayne Wang's Anywhere But Here, opposite Susan Surandon, also for Fox. Her performance in this story of a mother and daughter, who must come to terms with their volatile relationship in the midst of a move from Michigan to Beverly Hill earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Portman starred as Queen Amidala in George Lucas' blockbuster hit Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace. The film also staffed Liam Neeson, Ewan MacGregor, Samuel Jackson and Jake Lloyd.

In November 1997, Portman began a six-month starring role on Broadway in the title role of The Diary of Anne Frank, which was praised by USA Today as "a landmark performance." Directed by James Lapine and adapted by Wendy Kesselman, the production took a fresh look at the play, incorporating new material from The 1995 Definitive Edition of Anne Frank's diaries.

Portman received international acclaim for her feature debut in Luc Besson's The Professional. Starring opposite Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, Portman played Mathilde, a young girl who seeks refuge from a hit man after her parents are killed by a corrupt DEA officer.

Portman received further critical acclaim for her movie-stealing performance in the film Beautitul Girls. Directed by Ted Demme, the bittersweet comedy also staffed Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman, Rosie O'Donnell, and Matt Dillon.

Other feature credits for Portman include the Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You, co-starring Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda and Drew Barrymore; Tim Burton's black comedy Mars Attacks! with Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close; and Michael Mann's Heat with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer.


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