The actress grew up in Austin, Texas, where she attended and subsequently dropped out of high school (she later recieved her diploma online) to pursue acting. Heard’s first acting credit came in 2004 — in the short-lived TV series Jack & Bobby — followed by small roles on The O.C. and the film Friday Night Lights.
Heard’s would-be big break came in 2007 on the CW show Hidden Palms, where she played Greta, a woman who lost her mother and boyfriend under mysterious circumstances. Alas, the show didn’t even make it through its first season.
Following Hidden Palms, Heard’s actual big break came in 2008, starring alongside James Franco and Seth Rogen in Judd Apatow’s Pineapple Express. She followed up the box office hit with roles in The Stepfather and Never Back Down.
In 2010, Heard came out as bisexual on stage at GLAAD’s 25th anniversary event. “I don’t feel like I’m wrong,” she said. “I don’t feel like millions of people are wrong because they love who they love or they were born how they were born.”
The actress had been in a relationship with girlfriend Tasya Van Ree. The two dated from 2008 to 2012. Here, they protested against Proposition 8 in Los Angeles.
Heard met future husband Johnny Depp on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, where they played lovers. After Heard’s relationship with Van Ree came to an end, the pair started dating in 2012 — and by 2013, Heard and Depp were seen regularly stepping out together. In January 2014, they announced their engagement subtly — without verbal confirmation, but with a diamond ring on Heard’s finger. “[Amber]’s a wonderful girl. She’s sharp as a tack, a wonderful, Southern belle and sweet as can be and good for me,” Depp told Savannah Guthrie in April 2014.
Despite split rumors plaguing their relationship in late 2014, the pair married on February 3, 2015 at their Los Angeles home, with a bigger celebration following the next weekend on Depp’s private island in the Bahamas, Little Hall’s Pond Cay. Later that year, in a November interview with Marie Claire, Heard said she struggled with public speculation about her marriage. “I try not to react to the horrible misrepresentation of our lives, but it is strange, and hard,” she said.
Last year was a turmoil-filled one for the couple. First, they found themselves in hot water with the Australian government after they broke the country’s biosecurity laws by failing to declare their two dogs to customs after arriving in Queensland, Australia, where Depp was working on the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film. Heard was charged, and in April, she appeared in court where she pleaded guilty to said charges. The charges were eventually dropped and she had to pay a $1,000 fine. They also apologized for breaking the law in a video that ended up going viral.
Just a month after her court appearance, Heard filed for divorce from Depp, and less than a week later, filed for a temporary restraining order, claiming that he had been “verbally and physically” abusive during their relationship — both before and after their wedding — submitting graphic photos of her bruised face as evidence. Friends on both sides came out defending both Depp and Heard. A settlement was reached in August, and the restraining order ended. Heard donated her entire $7 million settlement to charity.
With her divorce from Depp finalized in January, Heard now has a new man in her life: Tech billionaire Elon Musk, who recently went through his own divorce from actress Talulah Riley (his second from her, third overall). Heard and Musk stayed mum on the prospect of a budding romance until April 2017, when they both posted the same photo of each other on their respective Instagram accounts — with a kiss mark on Musk’s cheek. “Cheeky,” Heard wrote.