Is one of 6 African-American actresses to win an Oscar in a competitive category. In chronological order the others are: Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind (1939), Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost (1990), Halle Berry for Monster's Ball (2001), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011).
Is one of the 15 actors to win an Oscar for their film debut. The others are: Shirley Booth for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968) and Marlee Matlin for Children of a Lesser God (1986) (all for Best Actress in a Leading Role), followed by Katina Paxinou for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Mercedes McCambridge for All the King's Men (1949), Eva Marie Saint for On the Waterfront (1954), Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden (1955), Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower (1969), Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon (1973) and Anna Paquin for The Piano (1993) (all for Best Actress in a Supporting Role). The three male actors are Harold Russell for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Timothy Hutton for Ordinary People (1980), and Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields (1984) (all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role). Out of these 15 actors, only Mercedes McCambridge, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand and Goldie Hawn have been nominated since their win.
A revival of the 1981 Broadway smash "Dreamgirls" is in the talking stage and Jennifer has been approached about recreating her Effie role.
Claims that Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) is her favorite film. Sheryl Lee Ralph, who appears in that film, was in the original Dreamgirls Broadway cast.
She attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, graduating in 1999.
Was in a relationship with maintenance engineer James Peyton between 1999-2007.
Is one of 9 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011).
The first contestant from "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002) to be nominated and win an Academy Award.
Worked at Burger King before becoming a contestant on "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002) and winning the role of her Academy-Award winning performance in Dreamgirls (2006).
Made her stage debut with the one-off concert revival of 'Hair' on Broadway in September 2004. She then returned to Broadway for the one-off concert revival of 'The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas' as Jewel in October 2006.
Beat American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino for her role in Dreamgirls (2006).
Beat out 782 actresses for her role in Dreamgirls (2006).
Jennifer's role of Effie Melody White in Dreamgirls (2006) is a thinly-disguised portrait of the late ousted Supreme member Florence Ballard. Flo's story, however, ended tragically, unlike that of the Effie character. Of Diana Ross and Mary Wilson, Ballard, who gave the Supremes its name, was the strongest vocalist of the three. At one point, all three girls shared leads. Labeled the no-hit Supremes for a time, astute Motown mogul Berry Gordy decided Ross had the ideal personality and coy voice to pull in cross-over white audiences. The Supremes were a sensation with Ballard and Wilson shoved permanently into the background and never given any solo lines. Unlike Effie, Ballard's weight was not a factor until well into stardom. Fed by Ross's diva-like stance, Flo's ongoing depression and problems with alcohol grew. Ballard's unreliability triggered her dismissal in 1967. An attempt at a solo career was a complete bust, since she was never allowed to feed off the Supremes name for publicity. Ballard became destitute with three children to support and her health severely declined. Unlike Effie, Flo never was able to make a comeback and died of a coronary thrombosis in 1976 at age 32.
Packed on 20 pounds to play the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls (2006).
As of 2007 she is the eighth youngest recipient of the best supporting actress Academy Award. She won the award at the age of 25 for her performance in Dreamgirls (2006). The others, ranked from youngest to the seventh youngest, are: Tatum O'Neal (aged 10) for Paper Moon (1973), Anna Paquin (aged 11) for The Piano (1993), Patty Duke (aged 16) for The Miracle Worker (1962), Anne Baxter (aged 23) for The Razor's Edge (1946), Teresa Wright (aged 24) for Mrs. Miniver (1942), Goldie Hawn (aged 24) for Cactus Flower (1969) and Angelina Jolie (aged 24) for Girl, Interrupted (1999). She is also the youngest African-American actress ever to win an Academy Award.
Became close friends with singer Beyoncé Knowles during the filming of Dreamgirls (2006). Beyoncé was present at the February 2007 Academy Awards ceremony where Jennifer won the Oscar for best supporting actress.
Dedicated her Golden Globe to Florence Ballard on whom her Dreamgirls (2006) character Effie White is so obviously based on (January 2007).
Her best supporting actress Oscar for Dreamgirls (2006) stands on the mantel of her Chicago apartment.
In November 2006, she signed a record deal with Clive Davis's label, Arista Records.
Was not in attendance at the 2007 BAFTA Awards ceremony when she was won the award as Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls (2006). Actor and fellow BAFTA-nominee Daniel Craig accepted the award on her behalf. Her award was shipped to her but got lost in the mail. In 2011, Hudson appeared on British talk show _The Graham Norton Show_ (Season 9, ep 2) where Norton surprised her with the award.
Officially received, for the first time, the BAFTA trophy she'd won for Dreamgirls (2006) when she appeared as a guest on "The Graham Norton Show: Jennifer Hudson/K D Lang/Bill Bailey (#9.2)" (2011). When Norton learned that Hudson had never actually received her trophy due to her absence on the night of the event, he organized a reissue of the prize with the British film academy and personally presented it to her himself.
After appearing on the March 2007 issue of Vogue magazine, she became the third African-American celebrity to grace the front cover. The other two were Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry.
She was overwhelmed to receive the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, California. She also performed at the ceremony and said, "I just can't believe I got the Sammy Davis Jr. Award. I'm standing on the same stage where I made the top 32 of American Idol." (10 March 2007).
Was cast in the film Meet the Browns (2008), but was replaced shortly before filming began.
Her mother Darnell, aged 57, and brother Jason, aged 29, were shot and killed at their home in Chicago on October 24, 2008. Her nephew Julian Hudson-King, aged seven, was kidnapped and later found on October 27, dead due to multiple gun shot wounds, in the rear seat of a white SUV ten miles from the family home. Her brother-in-law William Balfour, who is the estranged husband of her sister Julia, was later arrested for the homicides.
The song All Dressed In Love was written for the Sex and the City (2008) soundtrack.
Director Michael Patrick King and actress Sarah Jessica Parker wanted Jennifer specifically to play the role of Louise, Carrie's assistant, in Sex and the City (2008). He created the role with only her in mind.
Confessed that before making the film Sex and the City (2008), she had never seen the "Sex and the City" (1998) television series. After reading the film script she went out and bought all of the DVDs on the TV series and became completely addicted to them.
Became engaged to David Otunga on her 27th birthday when he proposed with a Neil Lane diamond ring on September 12, 2008.
Toured the USA, performing songs from her debut album "Jennifer Hudson", along with Robin Thicke (March-May 2009).
Is a fan of Michael Bublé and invited him to sing with her on her Christmas TV special Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas (2009) (TV).
Was invited to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20th, 2009, but respectfully declined, opting instead to make her comeback at the 2009 Super Bowl.
Gave birth to her son David Daniel Otunga, with fiancé David Otunga, via Caesarean section, two days early, weighing in at 7lbs 14oz (10 August 2009).
Was rushed to hospital with severe abdominal pains; was later diagnosed with food poisoning (10 June 2011).
One of 15 African-American actresses to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Hattie McDaniel, Ethel Waters, Juanita Moore, Beah Richards, Alfre Woodard, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifah, Ruby Dee, Viola Davis, 'Taraji P Henson', Mo'Nique and Octavia Spencer. As of 2012, Whoopi Goldberg and Viola Davis are the only African-American actresses to receive nominations in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.