- Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett
May 14, 1969 (age 51)
- Actor, Businessperson, Film Producer
- Andrew Upton
- Robert Blanchett, June Blanchett
Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett (born 14 May 1969) is an Australian actress of screen and stage. She has received critical acclaim and many accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and three BAFTA Awards. She was appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 2012. In 2014, she was presented with a Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the arts, philanthropy and the community, her third honorary degree from major Australian institutions.
She came to international attention for her role as Elizabeth I of England in Shekhar Kapur's 1998 film Elizabeth, for which she won the British Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe award, and earned her first Academy Award for Best Actress nomination. Her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's 2004 film, The Aviator, brought her critical acclaim and various accolades, including an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the first and only Oscar winner in history to win the award for portraying another Oscar-winning actor. In 2013, she starred as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, for which she won, among other accolades, the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She is one of only six actresses to win Academy Awards in both leading and supporting acting categories, and the only Australian to win two acting Oscars. A six-time Oscar nominee, she has also received nominations for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and I'm Not There (2007).
Blanchett's other notable films include The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) and The Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), Veronica Guerin (2003), Babel (2006), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
Blanchett has also had an extensive career on stage and is a four-time Helpmann Award winner for Best Female Actor in a Play. Her earlier roles include the title role in Electra at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (1992), Ophelia in Hamlet at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney (1994), Susan in Plenty in the West End (1999), and the title role in Hedda Gabler with the Sydney Theatre Company in 2004. From 2007 to 2012, she and her husband Andrew Upton were artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, with her roles including Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire in Sydney, New York, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Washington D.C., at the Kennedy Center (2009), Yelena in Uncle Vanya in Sydney, Washington D.C at the Kennedy Center, and New York, at the Lincoln Center (2011) and Claire in The Maids with Isabelle Huppert in Sydney (2013) and in New York, at the Lincoln Center (2014).
Cate Blanchett was born on 14 May 1969 in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe. Her mother, June (Gamble), was an Australian property developer and teacher, and her father, Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., was a Texas native who was a United States Navy petty officer and later worked as an advertising executive. The two met while Blanchett's father's ship, USS Arneb, was in Melbourne. When Blanchett was ten, her father died of a heart attack. She is the middle of three children with an older brother, Bob, who is a computer systems engineer, and a younger sister, Genevieve, who worked as a theatrical designer.
Blanchett has described herself as being "part extrovert, part wallflower" during childhood. She attended a primary school in Melbourne at Ivanhoe East Primary School. For her secondary education, she attended Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School and then Methodist Ladies' College, from which she graduated, where she explored her passion for acting. She studied economics and fine arts at the University of Melbourne before leaving Australia to travel overseas. After a trip in Europe she went to Egypt where she was asked to be an extra on an Egyptian boxing movie, Kaboria. On her return in Australia she then dropped from the University of Melbourne and transferred to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney to pursue the acting profession.
Her first major stage role was opposite Geoffrey Rush in the 1992 David Mamet play Oleanna, for which she won the Sydney Theatre Critics' Best Newcomer Award. She also appeared as Ophelia in an acclaimed 1994–95 Company B production of Hamlet, directed by Neil Armfield, starring Rush and Richard Roxburgh. Blanchett appeared in the TV miniseries Heartland opposite Ernie Dingo, the miniseries Bordertown with Hugo Weaving, and in an episode of Police Rescue entitled "The Loaded Boy". She also appeared in the 1994 telemovie Police Rescue as a teacher taken hostage by armed bandits, and in the 50-minute drama Parklands (1996), which received a limited release in Australian cinemas. Also in 1994, she played a role in an episode of the long-running Australian TV series GP, as Janie Morris, a woman living with her brother (Daniel Lapaine as Sean Morris) in a consensual incestuous relationship. Their relationship is torn apart when their mother comes to visit, and notices that only one bed appears to be slept in regularly.
She made her international film debut with a supporting role as an Australian nurse captured by the Japanese Army during World War II, in Bruce Beresford's 1997 film Paradise Road, which co-starred Glenn Close and Frances McDormand. Her first leading role, also in 1997, was as Lucinda Leplastrier, in Gillian Armstrong's production of Oscar and Lucinda, opposite Ralph Fiennes. Blanchett was nominated for her first Australian Film Institute Award as Best Leading Actress for this role, and lost out to Pamela Rabe in The Well. She did, however, win an AFI Award as Supporting Actress in the same year for her role as Lizzie in the romantic comedy Thank God He Met Lizzie, co-starring Richard Roxburgh and Frances O'Connor. Her first high-profile international role was as Elizabeth I of England in the 1998 movie Elizabeth, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She became the first and only actress in the history of The Academy Awards, to be nominated in this category for the part. Blanchett lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow for her role in Shakespeare in Love, but won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.
Blanchett's husband is playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, whom she met in 1996 on the set of a TV show. They were married on 29 December 1997 and have three sons: Dashiell John (born 3 December 2001), Roman Robert (born 23 April 2004), and Ignatius Martin (born 13 April 2008).
After making Brighton, England, their main family home for much of the early 2000s, she and her husband returned to their native Australia. In November 2006, Blanchett stated that this was due to a desire to decide on a permanent home for her children, and to be closer to her family as well as a sense of belonging to the Australian (theatrical) community. She and her family live in Bulwarra, an 1877 sandstone mansion once owned by Halse Rogers Arnott, in the harbourside Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill. It was purchased for A$10.2 million in 2004 and underwent extensive renovations in 2007 to be made more "eco-friendly".