Amy Lou Adams (born August 20, 1974) is an American actress and singer. Adams began her performing career on stage in dinner theaters before making her screen debut in the 1999 black comedy film Drop Dead Gorgeous. After a series of television guest appearances and roles in B movies, she landed the role of Brenda Strong in 2002's Catch Me If You Can, but her breakthrough role was in the 2005 independent film Junebug, playing Ashley Johnsten, for which she received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Adams subsequently starred in Disney's 2007 film Enchanted, a critical and commercial success, and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Princess Giselle. She received her second Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations the following year for her role as a young nun, Sister James, in Doubt. Though she has appeared in a range of dramatic and comedic roles, Adams has gained a reputation for playing characters with cheerful and sunny dispositions. Adams starred in Sunshine Cleaning with Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin, and the following year appeared as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. She appeared in Julie & Julia in 2009 portraying writer Julie Powell followed by Leap Year in 2010. Her recent role as Charlene Fleming in The Fighter earned Adams her third Academy Award nomination, her third Golden Globe Award, second BAFTA Award, and fifth Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy, the fourth of seven children of American parents Kathryn (née Hicken) and Richard Adams. She has four brothers and two sisters. Her father, a US serviceman, was stationed at Caserma Ederle at the time of her birth, and took the family from base to base before settling in Castle Rock, Colorado, when she was eight or nine years old. Thereafter, her father sang professionally in restaurants, while her mother was a semi-professional bodybuilder. Adams was raised as a Mormon, although her family left the church after her parents' divorce when she was 11 years old. She said her religious upbringing "... instilled in me a value system I still hold true. The basic 'Do unto others...', that was what was hammered into me. And love."