Judd studied French at the University of Kentucky, where she graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1990. After toying with the idea of becoming a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, she heeded her sister's advice to take Hollywood by storm. She bypassed the traditional travails most wannabe actors encounter by brandishing her remarkably self-assured attitude from day one: upon arriving in Los Angeles, she marched straight into an agency and came out signed. An intellectual with country-girl charm, Judd counts food, sex, books, and God (not necessarily in that order) among her passions, and speaks in unusually grandiloquent sentences.
Judd has managed to build a solid reputation for herself with supporting roles in good movies &emdash; she garnered excellent reviews for her work in Smoke (as Stockard Channing's crack-addicted daughter), Heat (as Val Kilmer's wife), and A Time To Kill (as Matthew McConaughey's wife). Judd has been romantically linked with co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Robert De Niro, and she indulged in a short-lived fling with singer Michael Bolton. Her engagement to race car driver Dario Franchitti was announced in April 2000.
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