Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress. She rose to fame with her role in 1998's The Horse Whisperer and subsequently gained critical acclaim for her roles in Ghost World, Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring, the latter two earning her Golden Globe Award nominations in 2003. She has been named the "sexiest" or "most beautiful" woman alive by several publications.
Johansson began acting during her childhood, making her film debut in 1994's North, after her mother began taking her to auditions. After appearing in several films during the late 1990s, Johansson garnered praise and widespread attention for her performance in 1998's The Horse Whisperer and 2001's Ghost World. She won the "Upstream Prize" for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her performance as Charlotte in 2003's Lost in Translation. The same year, she was nominated for two best actress awards at the Golden Globes, one for drama (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and one for comedy (Lost in Translation). She was also nominated for best actress for both films at the BAFTAs, and won best actress for Lost in Translation.
Johansson was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June of 2004. In the same year, she starred in the films The Perfect Score, In Good Company and A Love Song for Bobby Long, the last of which earned her a third Golden Globe Award nomination. Johansson was involved for a short time with the film Mission: Impossible III, but was not officially cast because of scheduling conflicts, although a falling out with the film's star, Tom Cruise, had been both widely reported and publicly denied. She was replaced by Keri Russell.
In July 2005, Johansson starred with Ewan McGregor in the Michael Bay-directed The Island, making her debut as a female lead in a mainstream action film. She drew attention to both the film and herself when she proposed to appear topless in the film's sex scene, but director Bay disapproved, wanting to keep the film at a PG-13 rating. More recently, Johansson said she´d be open to do nude scenes if the right project came along. In the same year, she starred in the Woody Allen-directed drama Match Point, which opened in December. Johansson received her fourth Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role but lost to Rachel Weisz. Johansson's next film, Scoop, another collaboration with Woody Allen, was released on 28 July 2006. The same year, she appeared in director Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, a film noir shot in Los Angeles and Bulgaria. Johansson has noted that she was a fan of De Palma and had wanted to work with him on the film, despite her belief that she was "physically wrong" for the part. Her reviews were mixed: CNN.com positively noted that Johansson "takes to the pulpy period atmosphere as if it were oxygen", whereas another reviewer referred to Johansson as "miscast".
Johansson's most recent role was in the thriller The Prestige, which opened on October 20, 2006. She has also completed filming for The Nanny Diaries, in which she starred alongside Alicia Keys, and opposite Natalie Portman and Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl, playing Mary Boleyn, which is scheduled for a 2007 release. Johansson will also play Mary, Queen of Scots, in a film scheduled to begin production by the end of summer 2007.