Amber Laura Heard was born April 22, 1986 and is an American actress and model.
Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige (née Parsons), an internet researcher (1956–2020), and David Clinton Heard (born 1950), who owned a small construction company. She has a younger sister named Whitney. The family lived outside Austin. Heard’s father broke horses in his free time, and she grew up riding horses, hunting, and fishing with him. She also participated in beauty pageants, although as an adult she has stated that she could no longer “support the objectification”.
When Heard was 16, her best friend died in a car crash. Heard, who was raised Catholic, subsequently declared herself an atheist. Around the same time, she began questioning society around her. At the age of 17, she no longer felt comfortable in Texas and dropped out of her Catholic high school to move to New York City. She eventually earned a diploma through a home-study course.In NYC, she supported herself through modeling, but soon moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
She made her film debut in a minor supporting role in the sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), followed by a series of other small roles in television and film. Her first leading role was in the horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006), but it was not released in the United States until 2013 due to distribution problems. Her second major role came in the short-running The CW television series Hidden Palms (2007).
Heard’s breakthrough came in 2008 with roles in the action film Never Back Down and in the stoner comedy Pineapple Express, which were both box office successes. Heard continued her career with roles in films such as The Informers (2008), The Stepfather (2009), Zombieland (2009), and The Joneses (2009). In 2011, she played the female lead opposite Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry, and opposite Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary. Heard appeared in 3 Days to Kill (2014), Magic Mike XXL (2015) and The Danish Girl (2015). She also starred in the indie film The Adderall Diaries (2015), the television musical drama One More Time (2015), and the Martin Amis adaptation London Fields (2018).
In 2017, Heard acted as part of an ensemble cast in the indie film I Do…Until I Don’t (2017) and made an appearance as Mera in the superhero film Justice League (2017). She reprised the role opposite Jason Momoa in Aquaman (2018), which became the most profitable DC Extended Universe film up to that point, and the fifth highest-grossing film of 2018. The same year, Heard was also named a global spokesperson for the cosmetics giant L’Oréal Paris. In 2019, she appeared in supporting roles in the independent films Her Smell and Gully.
Heard has raised awareness about domestic and sexual violence. Together with actors Gabourey Sidibe and Freida Pinto, she read a speech on behalf of sexual assault victim Emily Doe at Glamour‘s Women of the Year Awards in 2016; Doe was the recipient of an award. Heard also made a public service announcement about domestic violence for the #GirlGaze Project, and has written about her experiences of domestic violence in the December 2016 issue of Porter magazine and in an op-ed for The Washington Post in December 2018. She has been an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ambassador for women’s rights with a focus on gender-based violence since December 2018, and has also been named a Human Rights Champion for the Stand Up for Human Rights campaign by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In May 2019, she gave a speech in support of the SHIELD Act on Capitol Hill, discussing her experience of having had her private nude photos hacked and distributed online without her consent during the iCloud leaks of celebrity photos in 2014. On November 4, 2019, The New York Times published an op-ed written by Heard on the subject. In September 2019, she appeared at WE Day UN, an event arranged by WE Charity and UNAIDS.
She is fluent in American Sign Language and Spanish.
Heard publicly came out at GLAAD’s 25th anniversary event in 2010, but she has stated that she doesn’t label herself one way or another—having had successful relationships with men and women.