Poppy's parents are named Nicola and Phil Donahue. Her mother is a market researcher and her father a restaurateur. Five out of the nine siblings, along with herself, are named after flowers, as her mother named many of them after names she found in the book, 'The Flower Fairy Book
'. Her sisters names are: Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle and Marigold Sun. She also has a brother named Jethro Tull. The remaining three siblings have more common names as they're named Tara, Sean and Patrick. Her parents divorced when she was young.
Poppy was taunted at school with names such as Sloppy Poppy, Poopy Poppy, and Floppy Poppy. Poppy was thrown out of six private schools, for such things as eating with her elbows on the table and wearing the wrong underwear. Poppy legally dropped out of school without her parents' permission at the age of 14 years and 9 months. After leaving school, she took on a job as a waitress at one of her father's restaurants, but she claims to have been such a horrible waitress that she was fired by her own father.
She left Australia for America to be with a boyfriend; the relationship soon broke up. Poppy chose her mother's maiden name, Montgomery, as her stage name. She arrived in Hollywood at age 18 carrying a copy of 'How to Make It In Hollywood
'. Poppy once lost out on a role because the casting people thought her real Australian accent sounded fake. She later lost her Australian accent by using speech therapy techniques and talking slowly with an American accent.
In January 1996 Poppy could be seen guest starring in both the NYPD Blue
episode Burnin' Love
and the Party of Five
episode Poor Substitutes
. The same fall she appeared in Relativity
as a regular cast member in the role of 'Jennifer Lukens'.
In 2001 her dream role came knocking. Poppy had been obsessed with Marilyn Monroe
since she was 12, and now she got to play her in the made for television movie Blonde
. Poppy was ecstatic and stopped working out and doing yoga in order to gain about 12 pounds for the role to obtain the lush figure of her idol. Poppy loved doing the part so much that she says she could have done Marilyn forever. Poppy was praised by some critics for her portrayal, but more importantly for her career the performance also caught the eyes of the producers of Without a Trace
. Thanks to her performance as Marilyn they now decided to cast her in the part of 'Samantha Spade' without her even having to auditioning for the role. The show became a success and seven seasons as 'Samantha Spade' have made Poppy a star.
Poppy is dating actor Adam Kaufman
whom she met on the set of Between
, and as of 2007 they resides in Los Angeles, California. They welcomed the birth of their first child, Jackson Phillip Kaufman, on December 23, 2007 in Los Angeles, and weighed 7 lbs., 4 oz. Her pregnancy was written into Without A Trace
and Adam is also playing the father of her character's baby there.
Poppy enjoys board games, horseback riding, photography, sleeping, snowboarding, traveling and yoga. She also enjoys listening to Bob Dylan
, Janis Joplin
, Joni Mitchell
, Kate Bush
, Liz Phair
, The Rolling Stones
, The Beatles
and serious music like chamber music. Her acting inspirations include Audrey Hepburn
, Gillian Armstrong
, Jack Nicholson
, Juliette Binoche
, Katharine Hepburn
, Marilyn Monroe
, Marlon Brando
and Molly Ringwald
. She says her mother is a huge fan of Ellen DeGeneres
, but her own favorite TV star is Oprah Winfrey
and Poppy's also been quoted saying Oprah is a wonderful role model.