- Kate Elizabeth Winslet
October 05, 1975 (age 45)
- Actor, Singer
- Jim Threapleton
- Sally Bridges-Winslet, Roger Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet, CBE (born 5 October 1975), is an English actress and singer. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader (2008). She has won awards from the Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association among others, and has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award for television acting, winning once for her performance in the 2011 miniseries Mildred Pierce, in which she played the title role. In 2012 she received the Honorary César Award. She is one of the few actresses to have won three of the four major American entertainment awards (EGOT), with her Oscar, Emmy and Grammy wins.
Brought up in Berkshire, Winslet studied drama from childhood, and began her career in British television in 1991. She made her film debut in Heavenly Creatures (1994), for which she received her first notable critical praise. She achieved recognition for her subsequent work in a supporting role in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and for her leading role in Titanic (1997), the highest-grossing film in the world at the time.
Since 2000, Winslet's performances have continued to draw positive comments from film critics, and she has been nominated for various awards for her work in such films as Quills (2000), Iris (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), The Reader (2008) and Revolutionary Road (2008). Her performance in the last of these prompted New York magazine critic David Edelstein to describe her as "the best English-speaking film actress of her generation". The romantic comedy The Holiday and the animated film Flushed Away (both 2006) are among the biggest commercial successes of her career.
Winslet was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 2000. She has been included as a vocalist on some soundtracks of works she has performed in, and the single "What If" from the soundtrack for Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) was a hit single in several European countries. Winslet has a mezzo-soprano singing voice.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, Kate Elizabeth Winslet is the second of four children of Sally Anne (née Bridges), a barmaid, and Roger John Winslet, a swimming pool contractor.
Winslet began studying drama at the age of 11 at the Redroofs Theatre School, a co-educational independent school in Maidenhead, Berkshire, where she was head girl. At the age of 12, Winslet appeared in a television advertisement directed by filmmaker Tim Pope for Sugar Puffs cereal. Pope said her naturalism was "there from the start".
Winslet's acting career began on television, with a co-starring role in the BBC children's science fiction serial Dark Season. This role was followed by appearances in the made-for-TV film Anglo-Saxon Attitudes in 1992, the sitcom Get Back,and an episode of the medical drama Casualty in 1993.
In 1992, Winslet attended a casting call for Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures in London. Winslet auditioned for the part of Juliet Hulme, a teenager who assists in the murder of the mother of her best friend, Pauline Parker (played by Melanie Lynskey). She won the role over 175 other girls. The film included Winslet's singing debut, and hera cappella version of "Sono Andati", an aria from La Bohème, was featured on the film's soundtrack. The film was released to favourable reviews in 1994 and won Jackson and partner Fran Walsha nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Winslet was awarded an Empire Award and a London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actress of the Year for her performance. The Washington Post writer Desson Thomson commented: "As Juliet, Winslet is a bright-eyed ball of fire, lighting up every scene she’s in. She's offset perfectly by Lynskey, whose quietly smoldering Pauline completes the delicate, dangerous partnership." Speaking about her experience on a film set as an absolute beginner, Winslet noted: "With Heavenly Creatures, all I knew I had to do was completely become that person. In a way it was quite nice doing [the film] and not knowing a bloody thing."
The following year, Winslet auditioned for the small but pivotal role of Lucy Steele in the adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, featuring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. She was instead cast in the second leading role of Marianne Dashwood. Director Ang Lee admitted he was initially worried about the way Winslet had attacked her role in Heavenly Creatures and thus required her to exercise t'ai chi, read Austen-era Gothic novels and poetry, and work with a piano teacher to fit the grace of the role. Budgeted at US$16.5 million ($25.5 million in current year dollars) the film became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of $135 million ($208.9 million) and various awards for Winslet, winning her both a BAFTA and a Screen Actors' Guild Award, and nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
In mid-1996, Winslet began filming James Cameron's Titanic (1997), alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Gwyneth Paltrow, Claire Danes, and Gabrielle Anwar had been considered for the role; when they turned it down, Winslet campaigned heavily for it. She sent Cameron daily notes from England, and thanks to assistance from her agent Hylda Queally, Cameron eventually invited her to Hollywood for auditions. Cameron described the character as "an Audrey Hepburn type" and was initially uncertain about casting Winslet even after her screen test impressed him. After she screen tested with DiCaprio, Winslet was so thoroughly impressed with him, that she whispered to Cameron, "He's great. Even if you don't pick me, pick him." Winslet sent Cameron a single rose with a card signed "From Your Rose" and lobbied him by phone. "You don't understand!" she pleaded one day when she reached him by mobile phone in his Humvee. "I am Rose! I don't know why you're even seeing anyone else!" Her persistence, as well as her talent, eventually convinced him to cast her in the role.
Cast as the sensitive seventeen-year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater, a fictional first-class socialite who survives the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, Winslet's experience was emotionally demanding. "Titanic was totally different and nothing could have prepared me for it. ... We were really scared about the whole adventure. ... Jim [Cameron] is a perfectionist, a real genius at making movies. But there was all this bad press before it came out, and that was really upsetting." Against expectations, the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than $1.843 billion ($2.8 billion) in box-office receipts worldwide, and transformed Winslet into a commercial movie star. Subsequently, she was nominated for most of the high-profile awards, winning a European Film Award.
While on the set of the 1991 TV series Dark Season, Winslet met actor and writer Stephen Tredre, with whom she had a four-and-a-half-year relationship. Winslet and Tredre remained close after their separation in 1995. He died of bone cancer during the opening week of Titanic, causing her to miss the film's Los Angeles premiere to attend his funeral in London.
On 22 November 1998, Winslet married film director Jim Threapleton, whom she met while on the set of Hideous Kinky in 1997. They have a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton, who was born in October 2000 in London. Winslet and Threapleton divorced on 13 December 2001.
Following her separation from Threapleton, Winslet began a relationship with director Sam Mendes in 2001, and she married him on 24 May 2003 on the island of Anguilla. Their son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born on 22 December 2003 in New York City. Winslet and Mendes announced their separation in March 2010, and divorced in 2011.
In August 2011, a fire broke out at a residence in which Winslet, her children, and her then-boyfriend, model Louis Dowler, were staying on Necker Island, the private resort island of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. The fire caused significant damage to the home, but no injuries.
During the same August 2011 holiday on Necker Island, Winslet met fellow guest Ned Rocknroll, and they soon began dating. Rocknroll was born Ned Abel Smith, but later legally changed his name. He is a nephew of Richard Branson and works for Virgin Galactic, the space-travel division of his uncle's business. Rocknroll was previously married to Eliza Pearson, daughter of Viscount Cowdray. Winslet and Rocknroll became engaged in the summer of 2012. It was announced in September 2012 that the couple had relocated from New York to live in the UK permanently, moving into a heritage home in South Downs National Park in West Sussex. Winslet and Rocknroll married in a private ceremony in New York in December 2012. The couple's son, Bear Blaze Winslet, was born in the County of Sussex, England, on 7 December 2013.