Ginnifer Goodwin
General Information
Gender: Female
Nicknames: Ginny
Birthday: May 22, 1978
Age: 40
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Nationality: Welsh
Other Information
Height: 5'6"
Occupation(s): Actress
Education: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts
Boston University
Lausanne Collegiate School
Talents: Acting
Family & Friends
Family: Linda [née Kantor] (mother)
Tim Goodwin (father)
Melissa Goodwin Shepherd (younger sister)
Nathan Shepherd (brother-in-law)
Oliver Finlay Dallas (son)
Hugo Wilson Dallas (son)
Friends: Topher Grace
Jennifer Morrison
Relationships: Chris Klein (ex-boyfriend)
Joey Kern (ex-fiance)
Josh Dallas (husband)
Series Information
Character: Mary Margaret Blanchard / Snow White / Queen Snow White / Siren
First appearance: Pilot
Last appearance: Leaving Storybrooke

Jennifer Michelle "Ginnifer" Goodwin is an American actress. She is known for playing Margene Heffman in the drama series Big Love (2006–2011), Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard in the fantasy series Once Upon a Time (2011–2018), and Judy Hopps in the Disney animated film Zootopia. She also played Fawn in the Disney film Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast. Goodwin has also appeared in various films including Mona Lisa Smile, Something Borrowed, Walk the Line, Killing Kennedy, He's Just Not That into You, and Ramona and Beezus.

View the Ginnifer Goodwin Gallery.

Early Life

Goodwin was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Her mother, Linda (née Kantor), is a former educator and "stay-at-home mom" who later worked for FedEx and Apple. Her father, Tim Goodwin, formerly owned and operated a recording studio. Goodwin changed her name from "Jennifer" to "Ginnifer" to distinguish her name, and to assist in pronunciation of her name in her regional dialect. Her younger sister, Melissa Goodwin, is a stop motion animator on shows such as Robot Chicken, on which Ginnifer has also appeared as voice talent.

Her father is Christian with Welsh ancestry, and her mother is Jewish. Goodwin was raised attending synagogue on Saturdays and Unitarian church on Sundays.She was both baptized and had a bat mitzvah service. In her youth, Goodwin was affiliated with the North American Federation of Temple Youth, and was active in BBYO at the Jewish Community Center in Memphis. She went to school at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee. She then graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School in 1996, then attended Hanover College (majoring in Theater) for one year before moving on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Boston University. While a student at BU, she performed in numerous student short films, as well as several college and local stage productions. Goodwin was given the "Excellence in Acting: Professional Promise Award" by the Bette Davis Foundation, and graduated with honors. After her time at Boston University, she studied in England at Stratford Upon-Avon’s Shakespeare Institute, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The following year she earned an "Acting Shakespeare Certificate" at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Goodwin first had roles in the NBC television programs Law & Order and Ed before appearing in the Comedy Central television movie Porn 'n Chicken. She later had substantial roles in the films Mona Lisa Smile, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Walk the Line—in which she portrayed Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash's first wife—and Birds of America. She also played Dori Dumchovic in the dark comedy Love Comes to the Executioner. Goodwin played a leading role as Margene Heffman, the third wife in a polygamous family, on the HBO original series Big Love, which concluded on March 20, 2011. Goodwin has done voice work in the Adult Swim series Robot Chicken, where her younger sister Melissa works as an animator.

In 2008, Max Mara honored Goodwin with a "Face of the Future" award, an award recognizing up and coming women in film.

Goodwin played Gigi in He's Just Not That into You, which was released in February 2009. For this role, she received a nomination for the People's Choice Award for Breakout Movie Actress.[14] In April 2009 she began filming Ramona and Beezus, playing "Aunt Bea". The film was released on July 23, 2010.

From 2011 to 2017, Goodwin played a leading role in the ABC fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time. She played both the fairy tale heroine Snow White and her real world counterpart, schoolteacher Mary Margaret Blanchard. Goodwin and husband Josh Dallas exited the show at the end of its sixth season to move back to Los Angeles with their family. She and Dallas returned to the series for its series finale at the end of the seventh season.

Goodwin voiced Judy Hopps, the protagonist rabbit police officer in Disney's Zootopia as well as Fawn in Disney's animated film Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast. She also voiced Gwen, a kitchen maid who wants to be an inventor, in the animated series Sofia The First.

In January 2017, Goodwin was cast as Marianne in the Los Angeles production of Constellations. The play ran from June 14 to July 23, 2017 at the Geffen Playhouse.

In 2019, Goodwin is set to appear in episodes of anthology series The Twilight Zone and Heartstrings.

Personal life

Goodwin dated actor Joey Kern and they became engaged in December 2010. They ended the engagement in May 2011. Goodwin subsequently began dating her Once Upon a Time co-star Josh Dallas in fall 2011. Goodwin and Dallas became engaged in October 2013, and married on April 12, 2014 in California. Goodwin and her husband have two sons, born in May 2014 and June 2016 respectively. Her first pregnancy was written into Once Upon a Time, however her second was not.

In 2013, Goodwin stated that after leaving Memphis, she "...up and left Judaism for a very long time," and that, "For 10 years, there was nothing. No ritual. No tradition. No community." She later reconnected with her faith, and has said, "I was a Jew by birth, and now I'm a Jew by choice."


Year TV Show/Movie Medium Role
2000 Zelda: An Extrospective Journey Short Zelda (as 'Ginnefer Goodwin')
2001 Law & Order TV Series Erica
2002 Porn 'n Chicken TV Movie Maya
2001 - 2003 Ed TV Series Diane Snyder
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Connie Baker
2004 Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Cathy Feely
2005 Walk the Line Vivian Cash
2006 Love Comes to the Executioner Dori Dumchovic
2007 In the Land of Women Janey
2007 Day Zero Molly
2007 Big Love: In the Beginning TV Series Margene Heffman
2008 Birds of America Ida
2009 He's Just Not That Into You Gigi
2009 Crappy Holidays Presents... TV Series
2009 A Single Man Mrs. Strunk
2010 Ramona and Beezus Aunt Bea
2011 SpongeBob SquarePants TV Series Lead Mermaid
2011 Margene's Blog TV Series Margene Henrickson
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Banky
2006 - 2011 Big Love TV Series Margene Heffman
2011 Something Borrowed Rachel
2011 Five TV Movie Charlotte

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 Judy Hopps


Year Title Role Venue
2017 Constellations Marianne Geffen Playhouse

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Production Result
2010 People's Choice Award Favorite Breakout Movie Actress Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actress: Romantic Comedy Something Borrowed Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Once Upon a Time Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Once Upon a Time Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Actress Once Upon a Time Nominated
2014 People's Choice Award Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Once Upon a Time Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Once Upon a Time Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Actress Once Upon a Time Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Duo (along with Josh Dallas) Once Upon a Time Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Actress Once Upon a Time Nominated
2016 Voice Arts™ Awards Outstanding Motion Picture Animation, Best Voiceover Zootopia Won
2016 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Animated Female Zootopia Won
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie Voice Zootopia Nominated
2017 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Frenemies (shared with Jason Bateman) Zootopia Won


  • BFA in acting, with honors, from Boston University. A fellow student was Emily Deschanel.
  • Acting Shakespeare Certificate from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, UK.
  • Also studied with London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon (in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Won the Bette Davis Foundation Excellence in Acting / Professional Promise Award for theatre in 2001 (Boston, Massachusetts).
  • Long time friend Topher Grace recommended her for the role of Cathy Feely in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004).
  • As a child, she attended the Henry S. Jacobs Camp, a summer camp for Reform Jewish children in Utica, Mississippi.
  • Younger sister, Melissa Goodwin Shepherd, is a stop-motion animator.
  • Her dream to be a Walt Disney princess came true with her role in Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Is no longer a vegan, after telling in an interview that she had several health issues.
  • Attended and failed clown school.
  • Her father is of English descent. Her mother is Ashkenazi. Ginnifer had a Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
  • Was 8 months pregnant with her son Oliver when she completed filming the 3rd season of Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Returned to work 6 weeks after giving birth to her son Oliver to begin filming the 4th season of Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Is just 1 year older than Jennifer Morrison and 22 years older than Jared Gilmore, who play her daughter and grandson on Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Once Upon a Time: Snow Falls (2011) is her favorite episode of Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Her father, Tim Goodwin, was the orchestra leader for Roy Orbison.
  • Was 7 months pregnant with her son Hugo when she completed filming the 5th season of Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • Returned to work 5 weeks after giving birth to her son Hugo to begin filming the 6th season of Once Upon a Time (2011).
  • (April 12, 2014) Married her boyfriend of 2 years Josh Dallas following a 6-month-long engagement. They share their wedding day with their Once Upon a Time (2011) co-star and friend Jennifer Morrison's birthday. Morrison plays their daughter in the show.
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