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|Also Known As:||Kate Elizabeth Winslet||Died:|
|Born:||October 5, 1975||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Reading, England, GB||Profession:||actress, singer, producer, cashier, deli worker|
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Ever since making her impressive feature debut in the acclaimed "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), actress Kate Winslet amassed a résumé full of exquisite performances of which most of her contemporaries could have only dreamed. In fact, by the time she was only 22, Winslet broke the record for being the youngest actress to have received two Academy Award nominations - the first for her star-making turn in "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) and the second for her performance in James Cameron's landmark epic "Titanic" (1997). The latter had the potential for locking her into a steady string of Hollywood blockbusters, but Winslet wisely chose to retreat into the independent world, where she found her bearings in acclaimed fare like "Hideous Kinky" (1999) and "Quills" (2000). But her bread and butter was always her ability to play free-spirited women tinged with sexuality - sometimes with a comic flair, as she did in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004); other times, with deeply tragic undertones like in "Little Children" (2006). After finally winning an Oscar for her tragic performance in "The Reader" (2008), Winslet charted a new course on the small screen with her critically acclaimed role in the...
Ever since making her impressive feature debut in the acclaimed "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), actress Kate Winslet amassed a résumé full of exquisite performances of which most of her contemporaries could have only dreamed. In fact, by the time she was only 22, Winslet broke the record for being the youngest actress to have received two Academy Award nominations - the first for her star-making turn in "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) and the second for her performance in James Cameron's landmark epic "Titanic" (1997). The latter had the potential for locking her into a steady string of Hollywood blockbusters, but Winslet wisely chose to retreat into the independent world, where she found her bearings in acclaimed fare like "Hideous Kinky" (1999) and "Quills" (2000). But her bread and butter was always her ability to play free-spirited women tinged with sexuality - sometimes with a comic flair, as she did in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004); other times, with deeply tragic undertones like in "Little Children" (2006). After finally winning an Oscar for her tragic performance in "The Reader" (2008), Winslet charted a new course on the small screen with her critically acclaimed role in the cable miniseries, "Mildred Pierce" (HBO, 2011), which helped stake her claim as being one of the most accomplished and versatile actresses of her generation.
Born on Oct. 5, 1975 in Reading, England, Winslet was raised by her father, Roger, and mother, Ann, both of whom were theatre actors, while her maternal grandparents, Oliver and Linda, founded and operated the Reading Repertory Theatre. When she was five, Winslet had her first taste of the family business when she played Mary in a school production of the Nativity. By the time she was approaching adolescence, Winslet decided to pursue an acting career and attended the Redroofs Theatre School in Berkshire, where she spent her time feeling miserable and being mercilessly called "Blubber" by her fellow pupils. When she was 13, Winslet made her first foray into professional acting by starring in a commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal. She made her British television debut on "Shrinks" (1991), then turned in several episodes of "Dark Season" (BBC, 1991), "Get Back" (BBC, 1992) and "Casualty" (BBC, 1986- ). Winslet then briefly appeared in her first made-for-television movie, "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes" (1992), a three-part miniseries based on Angus Wilson's famed satirical novel.
Though working steadily in television, Winslet was still working at a deli when she was cast by director Peter Jackson for a lead role in "Heavenly Creatures" (1994). Winslet played Juliet Hulme, a brash, highly intelligent teen who develops an obsessive friendship with a brooding fellow student, Pauline Parker (Melaine Lynskey). Together, the pair seeks to escape the boundaries of their mundane reality to indulge in a fantasy world they create through stories and clay models. But when the outside world - in the form of Parker's mother (Sarah Peirse) - comes crashing in on them, the girls conspire to commit a murder that has all-too-real consequences. After earning rave reviews for her performance, Winslet followed with a small role as a princess in "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" (1995), then received wide critical praise for her subtle performance as the spirited Marianne Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), writer and lead actress Emma Thompson's dramedy of manners about two opposite sisters struggling to find romantic fulfillment in a society ruled by financial and social status. Though the lion's share of praise fell on Thompson, who won an Oscar for her screenplay, Winslet emerged as a star-in-the-making after winning a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress and earning an Academy Award nomination in the same category.
Continuing the trend of appearing in period pieces, Winslet starred in "Jude" (1996), a romantic drama about two star-crossed loves adapted from Thomas Hardy's once-controversial novel, Jude the Obscure. Winslet played Sue, an intelligent, beautiful and unconventional 19th century woman who embarks on an illicit romance with her cousin (Christopher Eccleston). Later that year, she delivered a moving performance as Ophelia to Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" (1996) in the actor-director's four-hour feature version of Shakespeare's classic. For her first studio film, Winslet adopted an American accent to play dissatisfied Philadelphia socialite Rose Dewitt Bukater, who finds unlikely romance with a lower-class artist, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), in James Cameron's spectacular epic, "Titanic" (1997). As Rose and Jack fall deeply in love, while incurring the wrath of her wealthy fiancé (Billy Zane), the famed ocean liner strikes a large iceberg and plunges into the icy depths, ending the affair in tragic fashion. More than just a film, "Titanic" was a cultural phenomenon, grossing more than $600 million and earning 14 Oscar nominations, including one for Winslet as Best Actress. Her onscreen chemistry with DiCaprio had a cross-generational appeal, while the young actress found herself splashed across numerous magazine covers and tabloids. Her triumph was tempered by tragedy when her former boyfriend, writer Stephen Tredre, died in December 1997 from bone cancer. Winslet skipped the premiere to attend his funeral.
But rather than become confined to blockbusters - of which she was now the star of the biggest moneymaker in the history of Hollywood - Winslet escaped into the more familiar world of independent film. She starred in "Hideous Kinky" (1999), playing the mother of two young daughters (Carrie Mullan and Bella Riza) who packs up and heads to Marrakech seeking wisdom from a Sufi. Then in "Holy Smoke" (1999), Winslet portrayed a cult member whose family hires a deprogrammer (Harvey Keitel) to bring her back, only to enter into a sexually-charged battle of wills. Both roles allowed the young actress to display her emotional intensity and daring range, while also playing relatively contemporary characters. It was back to corsets and petticoats, as Winslet portrayed a laundress in the asylum of Charenton who colludes with the incarcerated Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) to help smuggle out his writings in the well-crafted "Quills" (2000). Once again, Winslet demonstrated her remarkable gift for playing intelligent and sensual characters, while continuing to display fearlessness in exploring dark corners and pushing conventional boundaries.
Returning to Oscar caliber material, Winslet co-starred in the touching and contemplative drama, "Iris" (2001), essaying the youthful incarnation of British philosopher and novelist, Iris Murdoch. Based on husband John Bayley's memoirs, "Iris" was a return to form for Winslet, who caught Murdoch's unconventional, free-spirited youth - a perfect counterpoint to Judi Dench, who played the older Murdoch during her later descent into the ravages of Alzheimer's. Though Dench had the juicier aspect of the character to explore, Winslet nonetheless delivered a compelling performance that earned the actress another Oscar nomination; this time for Best Supporting Actress. Late in 2001, Winslet announced her relationship with director Sam Mendes, whom she had started dating sometime after her divorce from director Jim Threapleton the previous year. Meanwhile, she co-starred in "Enigma" (2002), a slow-moving World War II-era spy drama in which she Winslet played a mathematician helping to break the famed German code, a role that was decidedly devoid of any hint of edginess or sexuality. Winslet next appeared as Elizabeth "Bitesy" Bloom, an ambitious reporter investigating the case of a death row inmate in "The Life of David Gale" (2003). Winslet was praised for her performance, though she failed to overcome the bad feelings engendered by the movie's overwrought story, not to mention the overkill behind its anti-death penalty message.
Though she suffered insults about her weight as a child, Winslet proudly refused to conform to the typical Hollywood standard for extreme thinness and her fan base loved her for it. Not only was she happy with her figure as an adult, Winslet was unabashedly nude in several films and spoke openly of defying the industry's physical expectations. A small firestorm erupted in 2003, however, when a radically slimmed down Winslet appeared on the cover of GQ magazine. While it turned out that the actress was digitally slimmed by photo retouchers, Winslet blamed the controversy on herself for being so outspoken on the subject. Meanwhile, Winslet took on another free-spirited role for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), playing Clementine, a free-spirited book store clerk with multicolored hair whose breakup with her repressed boyfriend (Jim Carrey) prompts him to undergo a procedure to completely erase her from his memory. Again employing a flawless American accent, Winslet turned in a rich, multi-layered performance in one of her more unusual films to date, while earning several award nominations for Best Actress, including nods by the Screen Actors Guild, the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
In "Finding Neverland" (2004), Winslet was on top of her game once more, playing Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the widowed mother of four boys who - along with her sons - becomes the muse for Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) at a point when her life takes a tragic turn. Though she received no major award nominations for the role, Winslet did serve as an effective emotional counterpoint to Depp's much ballyhooed performance. Retreating to more obscure, independent roles - as well as motherhood and domestic life with new husband, Sam Mendes - Winslet co-starred in the emotionally engaging musical "Romance and Cigarettes" (2005), playing a seductive lingerie sales clerk who embarks on a passionate affair with a married ironworker (James Gandolfini). Winslet was busy the following year, appearing in Steven Zaillian's failed rehash of "All the King's Men" (2006), then voicing the streetwise Rita, a rat living in a vast sewer metropolis, in the animated comedy "Flushed Away" (2006). She shifted gears to co-star in a romantic comedy, "The Holiday" (2006), playing a lovelorn Englishwoman who switches houses for the Christmas holiday with an also disenfranchised woman (Cameron Diaz) in Los Angeles, as both find the last thing either wanted: another romance.
Winslet next starred as a single mom who engages in a steamy affair with a discontented married man (Patrick Wilson) in the critically praised drama, "Little Children" (2006). She earned several award nominations, including from the Golden Globes and the Academy. In a rare television appearance, she delivered a hilarious guest turn as herself on "Extras" (HBO, 2005-07), in which she gave series regular Ashley Jansen phone sex tips while dressed as a nun - a performance that earned the actress her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress. Creator and star Ricky Gervais later confessed that she had been his favorite guest star throughout the show's two-season run. Back on the big screen, Winslet had a long-awaited reunion with Leonardo DiCaprio in "Revolutionary Road" (2008), a drama about a young 1950s-era couple looking for fulfillment in France during an age of societal conformity. She would also appear in a supporting role in the Stephen Daldry-directed historical drama, "The Reader" (2009). In a remarkable one-two punch, she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "The Reader," as well as one for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for "Revolutionary Road." After finally striking gold at the Globes, Winslet was poised for an Academy Award following her nomination for Best Actress for "The Reader." As many assumed she would, Winslet took home the Best Actress Oscar.
Coming off such a cinematic high, she took a rare turn toward television with the titular role in "Mildred Pierce" (HBO, 2011), a miniseries remake of the classic Joan Crawford 1945 melodrama that starred Winslet as a former housewife-turned-successful businesswoman who loses control of both her spoiled daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and herself at the expense of a playboy (Guy Pearce). For her work, she won an Emmy for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie as well as a Golden Globe for the role. Back in theaters, she next played Dr. Erin Mears, an officer for the Centers of Disease Control investigating a pandemic outbreak in director Steven Soderberg's take on the disaster genre, "Contagion" (2011). She followed with a tour de force performance alongside actors Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly in director Roman Polanski's "Carnage" (2011). Her work in the adaptation of Yasmina Reza's venerated stage play "God of Carnage" - a pitch-black comedy-drama about two sets of parents meeting for a "civilized" discussion after their teenage sons are involved in a fistfight - had already generated substantial awards season buzz before its theatrical release.
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CAST: (feature film)
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"It would have been nice to play out the past few months of my life in private, as opposed to being on the front pages of most of the newspapers, But it is one of the things that comes with being known. It sometimes makes me irritated, and occasionally angry. I have a mechanism for looking on the bright side, and I try to be good at accepting things. I have seen headlines and have been quoted about my life and marriage when, honestly, I have not spoken myself until now. Apart from anything else, I did not feel like speaking to anyone."---Kate Winslet quoted in London's The Sunday Times, January 13, 2002.
"My agents were miserable ... But they know me. They know I make my own decisions, and I didn't want to get lost or confused by the hugeness of 'Titanic'. I deliberately did not do the whole Hollywood thing. I wanted to go to work every day and know everyone's name on the set. It sounds a little mystical, but I had to look after my soul."---Winslet on her decision to follow her success in "Titanic" with "Hideous Kinky" The New York Times Magazine November 19, 2000.
"It took me a long time to realize that what was actually important was that I just be myself and that's very hard to do, particularly when you're a young actress."---Kate Winslet quoted in Interview, November 2000.
"I love it. I love it because it is outrageous, because it is so bold, and it's full of a lot of things the studios would be afraid to put into movies these days. I really wanted to be a part of it because it was so daring and diabolical and disgusting and outrageous and hilarious at the same time. It's really a testament to how brave we need to remember to be when making movies. It's important to keep taking risks."---Winslet talking about making "Quills" Interview November 2000.
"I was a wayward child, very passionate and very determined, If I made up my mind to do something, there was no stopping me."---Kate Winslet quoted in Daily News, December 2, 1999.
"I really want to be a Valley Girl in a feel-good American movie. I'd love to do some big action number."---Winslet quoted in Entertainment Weekly, January 26, 1996.
"Just because they lived 200 years ago doesn't mean they didn't go to the toilet and pick their noses and feel what we feel. Emotions have not changed. They're not aliens just because they're wearing corsets."---Winslet on appearing in period pieces in the Los Angeles Times Calendar, January 7, 1996.
"I'd rather do theater and British films than move to L.A. in hopes of getting small roles in American films."---Winslet quoted in Movieline, January-February 1995.
"The truth is those pictures were digitally retouched ...Of course they were, for God's sake! I'm not six feet tall. I'm five feet, 6 inches. And I don't even know what I weigh, I'm probably about 9st 4lbs, but on that cover I looked about 7st 2lbs. I wasn't annoyed with the magazine because as any models and actresses know, magazines retouch. But it suddenly occurred to me that people generally don't know that. So lots of young women go and buy these magazines and say 'Kate Winslet let us down, she's lost two stone.' I don't want them thinking that, and I also don't want them to think that I would ever want to look like that. They were certainly retouched quite a lot. But I'm not going to get annoyed about it, you can't be, these things happen."---Winslet on her appearence on the cover of a men's magazine, which displayed pictures of her that were digitally retouched to make her appear thinner, as quoted to OK! Magazine April 1, 2003
"I don't know if it's a skill, but I have been really lucky. I've always got on with every actor I've had to work opposite. I just always try and be as accepting of that person as I possibly can, and remain non-judgmental about their process, because every actor works in a different way."---Winslet quoted to indielondon.co.uk 2004
"I have seldom seen someone so committed and passionate about material."---Marc Forster, Winslet's director for "Finding Neverland" to Premiere, February 2005.
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