Jennifer Connelly is turning 42 years old today–that being December 12, 2013–and it’s hard to believe that the perpetual starlet hasn’t always been a big name. Of course, she scored plenty of opportunities as a sexy young actress. The official Jennifer Connelly filmography actually started with a weird pairing. That’s kind of ironic, of course, given Jennifer’s great pair. Nobody knew that would happen back in 1982, though, when Jennifer made her acting debut on the UK thriller anthology series Tales of the Unexpected.
Jennifer followed that up with playing a young version of equally-curvy actress Elizabeth McGovern in the acclaimed 1984 mob drama Once Upon A Time In America. Jennifer was just a budding teen when she landed her first lead role in 1985′s Phenomena, which is an enduringly bizarre horror film from Italian legend Dario Argento. Those were all European productions, so maybe it took Hollywood a while to realize they had a proper sex symbol waiting in the native Brooklyn gal.
Jennifer was still only a teen when she landed the lead role in Jim Henson’s heavily-hyped fantasy The Dark Crystal–which people love now, but initially bombed as a big-budget release. That cooled down Jennifer’s career for a few years. Then she hit the big screen to 1990′s The Hot Spot. That included a nude scene that announced to the world that Jennifer was officially all grown up. And out. And a proper sex symbol who didn’t mind doing some lesbian flirtation on screen, either.
Amazingly enough, Jennifer then endured another pair of major-studio bombs with 1991′s Career Opportunities and The Rocketeer. Both of those played a lot on cable, though, and plenty of young guys were entranced by Jennifer’s awesome acting and other assets. They stayed big fans of Jennifer Connelly, which helps to explain how her career took off in the late ’90s.
A series of cool roles in movies like Dark City and Mulholland Falls would lead to Jennifer being cast in 2001′s A Beautiful Mind. That landed her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Jennifer’s been working steadily ever since–which matches how she’s had guys working their fantasies since the start of the ’90s. Now here’s a collection of joltin’ Jennifer pics from over the years that’ll keep our fantasies working into a few more decades…