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Save the Children: Julianne Moore on U.S. Poverty, Being 50, and Losing Her Mom

Actress/author Julianne Moore puts her heart into family, career, and improving children's lives this Valentine's Day.

Moore on Education Equality continued...

"The one thing I knew as a child was it's not fair that the education you get depends on where you live," she recalls. "We were all over the South, and then we lived in Nebraska for awhile, and I saw what schools were like in areas that were just strapped. Then I went to school in Alaska, where the public elementary school served an array of economic needs. The lieutenant governor's kid was in my class, and so was a little girl from the Native American community who had fetal alcohol syndrome."

From there, Moore's family -- her father eventually became a military judge, while her mother was a social worker -- moved to Westchester County, N.Y. "There, everything was so opulent, and nobody appeared to have any needs at all."

So when her teachers taught the lesson that America is a land of equal opportunity, young Julianne was skeptical. "I'm looking around, going, 'That's not true.' I saw the disparity right in front of me," she says. "We're all supposed to have an equal education, but it really depends on the tax bracket for the county you live in."

After earning her bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from Boston University's School of Theatre, Moore went on to get her big break in television with a dual role as Frannie Hughes and her "evil twin" Sabrina on the now-defunct soap opera As the World Turns. She then landed a series of supporting roles in feature films like Benny & Joon, The Fugitive, and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. The late 1990s and early 2000s were Moore's breakout season, as she went from one Academy Award-nominated role to another: Cathy Whitaker in Far From Heaven, Amber Waves in Boogie Nights, Sarah Miles in The End of the Affair, and Laura Brown in The Hours. Along the way, she met Freundlich when he directed her in 1997's The Myth of Fingerprints. She appears next as Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change, based on the book by the same name, in March.

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