Michelle Ingrid Williams (born September 9, 1980) is an American actress. She first achieved recognition for her role as Jen Lindley on The WB television teen drama, Dawson's Creek, from 1998 to 2003. Williams later graduated to full-length features, including Prozac Nation (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as I'm Not There (2007), Shutter Island (2010) and Blue Valentine (2010), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Williams was born in Kalispell, Montana, the daughter of Carla Ingrid (née Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a stock and commodities trader. When Williams was nine, her family moved to San Diego, California, and, at an early age, she became interested in acting. At age 15, faced with her parents' disapproval, she emancipated herself from them. After completing the ninth grade at the Upper School of Santa Fe Christian Schools, in Solana Beach, California, she left school in order to pursue her acting career in Dawson's Creek.
In 1997, she won the Robbins World Cup Trading Championship, as her father had done 10 years earlier. She won after turning $10,000 into $110,000 over the course of a year and that gain (as of 2006) is the fourth highest in the history of that competition (her father has the highest).