What the Hell Happened to Ashley Judd?
In the 90’s, Ashley Judd was one of the most promising actresses in Hollywood. She has been nominated for two Golden Globes, played a young Marilyn Monroe and for a while she practically owned the thriller genre. But later in her career, Judd transitioned from suspense movies to chick flicks and political activism. Since then, Judd’s movie career has shifted into low gear. These days, Judd is better known for her political aspirations than her latest movies.
What the hell happened?
Judd is the daughter of Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. Naomi and Wynonna formed a mother-daughter country music duo known as The Judds. Between 1983 and 1991, The Judds charted 23 hit singles and won five Grammies. There’s more, but since this article isn’t about them let’s just say they were very successful. Eventually, Wynonna went on to success as a solo act. Point being, there was a time when Ashley Judd was known better for being related to the famous country music singers.
I am going to attempt to remain unbiased in this article. But that may be a little harder for me than usual. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should state up front that Judd and I both attended the University of Kentucky at the same time. Now, I’m not going to say that Judd and I dated, but I’m not going to say we didn’t either.
Why are you looking at me like that?
Okay, no. I never dated Ashley Judd. But I totally could have.
I mean, I did see her on campus once.
And I had this poster she made for the UK hockey team.
Yep, totally could have dated.
According to campus legend, someone on the hockey team had a connection with Judd and sent her the team jersey with a request that she take a picture in it for the poster. Judd posed in ONLY the jersey which made the poster extremely popular. They were handed out at hockey games to increase attendance.
So now that I have aired my personal history with Judd, I think we can begin examining her acting career. Let’s just all try to be mature and move on.
In 1991, Judd made her acting debut on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Judd played an ensign on the Enterprise who gave nerds everywhere hope when she hooked up with Wesley Crusher, King of the Nerds. These days, Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley on the show, is a beloved writer and poster boy for nerds everywhere. But even he will tell you, Wesley was lame. Early episodes of the show all revolved around Wesley the Boy Wonder somehow saving the ship. I’m not ashamed to say, I wanted to smack Wesley around. But even I gave the kid props when he started dating way out of his league.
Judd appeared on two episodes. In the second episode titled “The Game”, she and Wesley played some weirdly addictive and vaguely sexual video game in which primitive CGI tubes consume blobby discs. It’s like Star Trek pong.
Soon, the whole crew was addicted like a bunch of kids playing Angry Birds.
Judd talked about being cast on Star Trek with Anderson Cooper and whether or not the crew of the Enterprise wears undergarments.
I’d hate to be the guy who does Worf’s laundry!
Judd auditioned for the role of the Tool Time girl on Tim Allen’s 1990’s sitcom, Home Improvement. Series creator Matt Williams was so impressed with Judd’s audition that he refused to cast her in such a small role. Instead, Pamela Anderson was cast as the jiggly Tool Time girl. Williams went back to Judd’s agent and offered to create a bigger role specifically for her. If she had accepted, Judd would have played Allen’s sister. According to Williams:
We didn’t hear anything for about two days after the offer, and then her agent called and said, ‘You know, Ashley’s thought about it, and she’s not ready to go into television right now. She thinks she has a feature career.’
Next: Ruby in Paradise
Posted on August 23, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged A Time to Kill, Ashley Judd, double jeopardy, heat, Kiss the Girls, Morgan Freeman, Star Trek. Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.