A Look Back At The Career Of Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Actress and author Kimberly Williams – Paisley is known for popular films, giving back to her community and being married to one of country music’s biggest stars, Brad Paisley.

With a childhood and young adult life spent in the likes of New York and Los Angeles, some might think the move to the Paisley home just outside Nashville, TN would be a massive change. However, the down to earth, creative artist has settled in and raised her family out of the spotlight while continuing to support those causes near and dear to her heart.

Check out the path Williams-Paisley took from Hollywood to the country scene.

Growing up in New York

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According to Parade, Williams-Paisley grew up n Westchester, NY with her mother, a celebrity fundraiser, working with the likes of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and her father, a writer. She’s the oldest of three, with a brother who is now an L.A. firefighter and beekeeper and a sister, Ashley, a fellow actress.

A Star from the Start

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After expressing an interest in theater throughout high school and even directing a production among her young peers, Williams-Paisley attended college at Northwestern University. It was there, as a sophomore in college, the aspiring actresses landed the role of Annie Banks in Father of the Bride, alongside Steve Martin, Diane Keaton and Martin Short. It was there, audiences (including future husband Paisley) took notice and her career was launched.

From Film to Television and Back Again

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Williams-Paisley finished her degree and went on to star in a variety of television and film roles. In addition to the sequel for Father of the Bride, she also landed roles in Simpatico with Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone and Nick Nolte, We Are Marshall, alongside Matthew McConaughey and the recent Netflix hit, The Christmas Chronicles with Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn.

On the television side of her career, fans can catch Williams-Paisley in the popular sitcom According to Jim with Courtney Thorne Smith and Jim Belushi, in Nashville, opposite Connie Britton and a variety of Hallmark Channel holiday films, the most recent of which, stars Williams-Paisley with her sister Ashely.

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Writing from Magazines to Novels

Williams-Paisley is a regular contributor for magazines such as In Style and New You, detailing different aspects of life in the country while raising two children. When she wrote an essay for an article in Redbook magazine in 2014, titled, “Is My Mother Gone?” the response was so great, the actress decided to delve deeper into the subject of dealing with her mother’s dementia.

According to the Kimberly Williams-Paisley website, “Where the Light Gets In” is a New York Times Bestseller, and walks readers through the illness primary progressive aphasia (similar to what actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with) and finding a new relationship with her mother, despite the struggles. The relatable conversation spoke to many, as navigating through any illness can be difficult for the entire family.

Married to a Country Music Star

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It’s no secret how country music’s Brad Paisley spotted Williams-Paisley in the feature film, Father of the Bride, deciding right then and there he wanted to meet her. In 2002 the “I’m Gonna Miss Her” singer cast the young actress in his music video and the rest is history.

The pair married a year later, but first, according to The List, they sought marriage counseling. They knew the stories told about couples, both in the entertainment business, traveling often and of course, coming from two different lifestyles that they wanted the best chance for success possible. Recently celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary, many fans would consider the couple relationship goals.

Raising a Family

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After marrying in 2003 and moving to their Nashville estate of more than 100 acres, Brad and Williams-Paisley welcomed their first child, William “Huck” Huckleberry Paisley in 2007 and their second son, Jasper in 2009. The couple regularly share their family life among nature, farm animals and the opportunities they’ve given their sons over the years with fans.

Charity Works

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The Paisley’s have long supported the Michael J Fox Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association. They’ve even adopted the family pets from rescue, Happy Tales near their TN home. The Paisley’s have continued to travel the world, in support of Save the Children and Feeding America. They’ve brought their children along to serve meals at soup kitchens, worked with Meals on Wheels in TN and stacked shelves at the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, CA, which eventually sparked another charity the Paisley’s launched themselves.

The Store Feeds Millions

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After serving at the Unity Shoppe, the Paisley’s were inspired to do something similar in Nashville. Unlike a typical food pantry, The Store features aisles where customers can freely choose their own groceries with a sense of dignity and a normalized experience. According to People, the Paisley’s hoped to erase the stigma of food insecurity for their children and the community. In March of 2020, the Paisley’s and partner Belmont University officially opened The Store which offers free groceries, health and legal aid and music therapy to customers. In the first 12 months of operation, The Store delivered enough free food to make 1.3 million meals.

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Sources: Parade, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, The List, People

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