Gwyneth Paltrow is an award-winning actress revered for her roles in Shakespeare In Love, Emma, Sliding Doors, View From the Top, and more. All but synonymous with Hollywood, it comes as no surprise that the actress, 49, comes from a lineage of actors, producers, and directors. The Academy Award winner is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and the late director and producer Bruce Paltrow. The two married in 1969, remaining husband and wife until Bruce’s death in 2002 from cancer complications.
Along with widow Blythe and daughter Gwyneth, Bruce is survived by his son Jake, 46, who, like his parents and famous sister, also has a career as a director, screenwriter, and actor. Learn more about Gwyneth’s parents below.
Blythe, born February 3, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an award-winning actress who began her career in the late 1960s. A winner of several Emmy Awards and a Tony Award for her time on Broadway, Blythe’s earlier film credits include The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, among others, while more recent credits include Meet the Parents, Little Fockers, and The Lucky One. Her illustrious career also spans television, having starred in Will & Grace, Huff, and American Gods. The veteran actress has also starred opposite her daughter in films Cruel Doubt and Sylvia, as well as a theatrical production of The Seagull in 1994.
It’s clear Blythe has a close bond with her daughter. For her 78th birthday in February, Gwyneth paid homage to the “beautiful creature” of a mother. “This beautiful creature fills our hearts with so much warmth,” the actress wrote on Instagram. “She gets words and names mixed up in the most hilarious and unique of ways. She is full of life and incredibly strong. She loves her grandchildren more than anything in the world. She loves Bill Evans, eating leftovers and keeping her own company. I admire so many things about her and today is her birthday.” Blythe echoed her love for her grandchildren Apple, 17, and Moses, 15, in an interview with HollywoodLife in 2012, declaring, “I don’t feel like a grandmother with them. I get on my hands and knees and act like a complete fool! We have a lot of fun together.”
Bruce, born November 26, 1943 in New York, was a television and film producer, director, and writer best known for his work on Duets, A Little Sex, The White Shadow, and The Road Home, among many others. The late Emmy-nominated star died at the age of 58 in October 2002 from complications related to throat cancer, including pneumonia. He was diagnosed in 1999, a few months before he was slated to direct daughter Gwyneth in Duets, a project that marked his return to feature film after several TV projects. He was declared in remission by the time the film released in 2000. The Paltrow patriarch passed away in Italy, where he was visiting with daughter Gwyneth to celebrate her 30th birthday.
Following her father’s death, Gwyneth met her first husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, whom she wed in 2003. (They split in 2016 and continue to co-parent Apple and Moses.) Bruce’s death inspired the popular Coldplay song “Fix You,” which her ex-husband wrote for her following the loss. “‘Fix You’ was about him trying to put me back together after my dad died,” Gwyneth explained while on The Howard Stern Show in 2015. “I think it’s pretty nice.” According to Rolling Stone, Chris even plays his late father-in-law’s keyboard in the original recording of the song. In an interview with Sirius XM’s My Favorite Song with John Benjamin Hickey in 2016, Gwyneth said Chris’ music helped her brother and her “through that death.”