Michelle Ingrid Williams was born on September 9, 1980, in the small town of Kalispell, Montana. By the age of 10 she moved to San Diego where her parents enrolled her in a community theatre. Williams quickly caught the acting bug and soon found herself traveling back and forth from San Diego to Los Angeles on a regular basis for professional auditions.
Williams' first screen debut was at the age of 14 in an adaptation of the Lassie. Her career then shifted towards a darker road with appearances in two science-fiction movies called Timemaster and Species, where she played a human-alien hybrid.
Convinced by her acting talents and the signs that her career was starting to heat up, Williams turned to accelerated home schooling and graduated early. She then moved into a small Burbank apartment at the age of 15, and became legally emancipated from her parents in order to pursue her career as an adult.
Williams landed a series of small roles in television projects such as Raising Caines (1995), My Son Is Innocent (1996), and Killing Mr. Griffin (1997). She then won the role of Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter in A Thousand Acres.
In 1998, Williams landed a role playing Jennifer Lindley on Dawson's Creek, a show that opened a window into the lives of four friends with many adolescent issues. Williams admits to drawing on her own life experiences to help her portray Jennifer, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Dawson Leery played by James Van Der Beek.
Her career took another serious turn towards the big screen in 1998, when she landed a supporting role alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Her next two big screen flicks were in 1999, when she co-starred with Kirsten Dunst in the comedy Dick, and starred in the cult hit about gay & lesbian teenagers, But I'm a Cheerleader, with Natasha Lyonne.
In 2001, when Dawson's Creek was still in full swing, Williams starred in three more big screen movies: Perfume, Prozac Nation and Me Without You. In 2003, when the Creek bid adieu to its fans, Williams' movie career was in full swing, seeing the release of The United Stated of Leland (at the Sundance Film Festival), The Station Agent and A Hole in One.
Michelle shows no signs of slowing down as 2004 will have her starring in Land of Plenty, Imaginary Heroes and Safety Glass, and 2005 is already set with The Baxter and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.