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Knights of Badassdom

Kate Winslet

Birth Name: 
Kate Elizabeth Winslet
Birthday: 
Friday, October 5, 1979
Sign: 
Birth Place: 
Reading, Berkshire, England
Height: 
5'6"

Ask Kate Winslet what she liked about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume; that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica.

Born into a family of thespians -- parents Roger Winslet and Sally Bridges-Winslet were both stage actors, maternal grandparents Oliver and Linda Bridges ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, and uncle Robert Bridges was a fixture in London's West End theatre district -- Kate came into her talent at an early age. She scored her first professional gig at 11, dancing opposite the Honey Monster in a commercial for a kids' cereal. She started acting lessons around the same time, which led to formal training at a performing arts high school. Over the next few years she appeared on stage regularly and landed a few bit parts in sitcoms. Her first big break came at age 17, when she was cast as an obsessive adolescent in Heavenly Creatures (1994). The film, based on the true story of two fantasy-gripped girls who commit a brutal murder, received modest distribution but was roundly praised by critics.

Still a relative unknown, Winslet attended a cattle call audition the next year for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995). She made an immediate impression on the film's star, Emma Thompson, and beat out more than a hundred other hopefuls for the part of plucky Marianne Dashwood. Her efforts were rewarded with both a British Academy Award and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Winslet followed up with two more period pieces, playing the rebellious heroine in Jude (1996) and Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996).

The role that transformed Winslet from art house attraction to international star was Rose DeWitt Bukater, the passionate, rosy-cheeked aristocrat in James Cameron's Titanic (1997). Young girls the world over both idolized and identified with Winslet, swooning over all that face time opposite heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and noting her refreshingly healthy, un-emaciated physique. Winslet's performance also garnered a Best Actress nomination, making her the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy nods.

After the swell of unexpected attention surrounding Titanic (1997), Winslet was eager to retreat into independent projects. Rumor has it that she turned down the lead roles in both Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Anna and the King (1999) in order to play adventurous soul searchers in Hideous Kinky (1998) and Holy Smoke (1999). The former cast her as a young single mother traveling through 1960s Morocco with her daughters in tow; the latter, as a zealous follower of a guru tricked into a "deprogramming" session in the Australian outback. The next year found her back in period dress as the Marquis de Sade's chambermaid and accomplice in Quills (2000). Kate holds the distinction of being the youngest actor ever honored with four Academy Award nominations (she received her fourth at age 29.)

Off camera, Winslet is known for her mischievous pranks and familial devotion. She has two sisters, Anna Winslet and Beth Winslet (both actresses), and a brother, Joss.

In 1998, she married assistant director Jim Threapleton. They had a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton, in October 2000. They divorced in 2001. She later married director Sam Mendes in 2003 and gave birth to their son, Joe Alfie Winslet-Mendes, later that year. After seven years of marriage, Kate announced that she and Sam amicably separated in February 2010. (IMDb)

Awards and Nominations

2009 - Won - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (The Reader)
2007 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Little Children)
2005 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
2002 - Nominated - Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Iris)
1998 - Nominated - Best Actress in a Leading Role (Titanic)
1996 - Nominated - Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sense and Sensibility)

News

Matt Damon Suffers Contagion

Looks like Michael Douglas will have to put the bouffant hairdo back in the cupboard for a few extra months: Steven Soderbergh has lined up yet another project, and it appears this will shoot before Liberace. This autumn, the prolific director will be working on Contagion.... Read more
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Reviews

Labor Day

Paramount Pictures' Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin was not what I was expecting.   ... Read more
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Titanic (BLU-RAY 3D)

“Titanic” made its movie theater debut in 1997 with rave reviews and lots of praise. 15 years later, and coincidently on the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic sinking, Paramount has re-released “Titanic” on Blu-ray and 3-D Blu-ray formats for the first time.... Read more
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Contagion

The term "Masterpiece" was originally used to describe the work of a beginning artist hoping to one day become a master in his line of work. From there, it was coined as the greatest work of an artist's career.... Read more
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Revolutionary Road (BLU-RAY)

Revolutionary Road is a deeply depressing movie about a married couple's struggles to stay relevant to eachother.  Director (and Kate Winslet husband) Sam Mendes tells the story beautifully with a flare not seen since his classic American Beauty. QUALITY:... Read more
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The Reader (BLU-RAY)

The Reader has been showered with awards for Best Actress, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Cinematography, Direction, Writing, but as a layman I found the film somewhat of a bore with characters I could not relate to whatsoever. There are some powerful moments but not many.... Read more
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Videos

Movie 43 TV SPOT

Movie 43 TV SPOT

Movie 43 TV SPOT ... Read more
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Titanic 3D: James Cameron FEATURETTE

Titanic 3D: James Cameron FEATURETTE

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Carnage: The Letter CLIP

Carnage: The Letter CLIP

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Carnage: Maniac CLIP

Carnage: Maniac CLIP

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Titanic In 3D TRAILER

Titanic In 3D TRAILER

Titanic In 3D TRAILER ... Read more
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Photos