Winslet was born 7.15am October 5th 1975, in Reading, England, to a thespian lineage. Kate’s maternal grandparents founded Reading Repertory Theatre, both her parents were actors, as was her uncle, and both her sisters are also actresses. She is the second child of four.
She began acting aged 11 with a role in a sugar puffs cereal commercial. Winslet was a working theatre actor with roles in productions such as Peter Pan and Adrian Mole, as well as taking bit parts in television series in Britain; Shrinks, Casualty, Dark Season and Get Back.
Kate’s first feature film in 1994 – Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures – brought her to the attention of international audiences at the tender age of 17, she played Juliet Hulme, a young girl with tuberculosis who plots a murder with her best friend. Her first screen kiss was with her female co-star Melanie Lynskey in this film.
In 1995 Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed Sense And Sensibility saw her acting across from Emma Thomspon, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, her role as Marianne Dashwood won her an Academy Award and an Oscar nomination.
In 1996 Winslet starred with Christopher Eccleston in Jude, and played Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. Then in 1997 she took the role of Rose DeWitt in James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. When she was nominated for best actress for this role she became the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy Award nominations.
It didn’t go to her head too much. After Titanic she is quoted as saying ’It would have been completely foolish for me to go and try and top that. I’m an English girl, I’ve always loved England, I’ve never felt the desire to leave it for any particular reason. And whilst I’m ambitious and care very much about what I do, I’m not competitive. I also don’t want to act every day of my life. … So it was important to me after Titanic to just remind myself of why it was that I was acting in the first place, which is of course because I love it.’
Her true love is more Art House than mainstream Hollywood, Kate is rumoured to have turned down lead roles in both Shakespeare In Love and Anna And The King in order to play the more interesting female roles in Hideous Kinky (1998) and Holy Smoke (1999) in which she starred with Harvey Keitel. Both roles saw her in adventurous roles set in alternative lifestyles. On the theme of kinky, Kate had a lead role opposite Geoffrey Rush’s Marquis de Sade in Quills (2000), she played his chambermaid and accomplice.
In 2001 Kate gave voice to a character and a song in animated feature A Christmas Carol. She gained her third Academy Award nomination for her role as the younger Iris Murdoch in Sir Richard Eyre’s heartbreaking tale of Alzheimer’s and loving marriage – Iris – along with Judy Dench and Jim Broadbent.
Winslet racked up an impressive line up of co-stars between 2002 and 2004: Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney in The Life Of David Gale, Jim Carrey in Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland.
Her fourth Academy Award nomination was for her role as an emotionally and intellectually undernourished housewife and mother in Little Children in 2006. 2008 saw her tackle similar issues, again with Leonardo DiCaprio as her leading man in 1950’s suburban America, in Revolutionary Road. Kate’s performance as an ex Nazi prison camp guard in The Reader(2008) tackled some moral dilemma’s and emotional trauma’s that a lesser actress would have struggled to capture. She was nominated for, and won, Best Lead Actress Oscar for this role.
Winslet won an Emmy Award for her starring role in Mildred Pierce, a 2011 miniseries. That same year she starred in Roman Polanski’s Carnage with Jodie Foster.
In 2013 Kate played depressed rural single mother Adele in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. She was Jeanine in Divergent and later Insurgent. In 2015 also she starred in Steve Jobs and The Dressmaker. Her latest movie Triple 9 is completed and due to hit the screens in 2016.
Winslet is known for her mischievous sense of humour and her love of family life. She is currently married to Ned Rocknroll, nephew of Richard Branson, with whom she has had a son. She resides in West Sussex, UK, but also owns a house in Chelsea, New York, USA. She was previously married to Sam Mendes, British stage director and director of American Beauty, they have a son. Before that she was married to Jim Threapleton – whom she met on the set of Hideous Kinky – and had a daughter with him.
Kate has been ranked as having one of the “Most Beautiful Famous Faces” by “The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World” for 17 consecutive years.
She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
Winslet wrote the book “The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism” to raise awareness and support for autism.
2016 Triple 9 – Irene
2015 The Dressmaker- Myrtle ‘Tilly’ Dunnage
2015 Steve Jobs – Joanna Hoffman
2015 Insurgent- Jeanine
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent – Shatter Reality (Video Game short)- Jeanine
2014 A Little Chaos – Sabine De Barra
2014 Divergent – Jeanine
2013 Movie 43 – Beth (segment “The Catch”)
2013 Labor Day – Adele
2011 Contagion – Dr. Erin Mears
2011 Carnage – Nancy Cowan
2011 Mildred Pierce (TV Mini-Series)- Mildred Pierce
2008 Revolutionary Road – April Wheeler
2008 The Reader- Hanna Schmitz
2007 The Fox and the Child – Narrator (English version, voice)
2006 The Holiday – Iris
2006 Flushed Away – Rita (voice)
2006 All the King’s Men – Anne Stanton
2006 Little Children – Sarah Pierce
2005 Romance & Cigarettes – Tula
2005 Extras (TV Series) – Kate Winslet
2004 Finding Neverland – Sylvia Llewelyn Davies
2004 Pride (TV Movie)- Suki (voice)
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Clementine Kruczynski
2003 The Life of David Gale – Bitsey Bloom
2003 Plunge: The Movie – Clare
2002 War Game (Short) – Mum / Annie (voice)
2001/I Iris – Young Iris Murdoch
2001 Christmas Carol: The Movie – Belle (voice)
2001 Enigma – Hester Wallace
2000 Quills – Madeleine
1999 Faeries – Brigid (voice)
1999 Holy Smoke – Ruth
1998 Hideous Kinky – Julia
1997 Titanic – Rose DeWitt Bukater
1996 Hamlet – Ophelia
1996 Jude – Sue Bridehead
1995 Sense and Sensibility – Marianne Dashwood
1995 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court – Princess Sarah
1994 Heavenly Creatures – Juliet Hulme
1992-1993 Get Back (TV Series) – Eleanor Sweet / Eleanor
1993 Casualty (TV Series) – Suzanne
1991 Dark Season (TV Series) – Reet
1991 Shrinks (TV Series)
Image credit: Andrea Raffin. Creative Commons.
Kate Winslet in Trailer for Triple 9 Film.Share: