Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress, model, and singer.
Johansson was born in Manhattan. Her father, Karsten Johansson, is an architect originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, and her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was an art historian, screenwriter, and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx; Sloan’s ancestors were Jewish emigrants from Poland and Belarus in the Russian Empire. Scarlett has an older sister, Vanessa, also an actress; an older brother, Adrian; a twin brother, Hunter (who appeared with her in the film Manny & Lo); and an older half-brother, Christian, from her father’s first marriage. She holds both United States and Danish passports and citizenship.
Johansson grew up in a household with “little money”,and with a mother who was a “film buff”. She and her twin brother attended PS 41 elementary school in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Johansson began her theatrical training by attending and graduating from Professional Children’s School in Manhattan in 2002.
Johansson began acting during childhood, after her mother started taking her to auditions. She would audition for commercials but took rejection so hard her mother began limiting her to film tryouts. She made her film debut at the age of nine, as John Ritter’s daughter in the fantasy comedy North (1994). Following minor roles in the mystery thriller Just Cause (1995), as the daughter of Sean Connery and Kate Capshaw, and If Lucy Fell (1996), she played the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo (1996). Her performance in Manny & Lo garnered a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female, and positive reviews, one noting, “[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of … Scarlett Johansson”, while San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle commented on her “peaceful aura”, and wrote, “If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress.”