Catherine Ãlise "Cate" Blanchett (/ËblÉ'Ën.tÊÉt/; 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 by 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 Aviatori>, brought her critical acclaim and various accolades, including an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the first and only actor 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 Academy Award for Best Actress. 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 (2001â"03) and The Hobbit trilogy (2012â"14), Veronica Guerin (2003), Babel (2006), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014).
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 2008 to 2013, she and her husband Andrew Upton were co-CEOs and artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company; her roles included 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 New York at the Lincoln Center (2014).
Cate Blanchett was born on 14 May 1969 in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe. She is the middle of three children, with an older brother, Bob, who is a computer systems engineer, and a younger sister, Genevieve, who works as a theatrical designer. Her mother, June (Gamble), was an Australian property developer and teacher, and her father, Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., a Texas native, was a United States Navy petty officer who 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, leaving her mother to raise the family on her own.
Blanchett has described herself as being "part extrovert, part wallflower" during childhood. She had a penchant for dressing in masculine clothing, and went through goth and punk phases during her teenaged years, shaving her head at one point. She attended primary school in Melbourne at Ivanhoe East Primary School; For her secondary education, she attended Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School and then Methodist Ladies' College, where she explored her passion for acting. She studied economics and fine arts at the University of Melbourne before leaving Australia a year later to travel overseas. After a trip in Europe she traveled to Egypt where she was asked to be an extra on an Egyptian boxing movie, Kaboria. Upon her return to 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. She graduated from NIDA in 1992.
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 played the role of Ophelia in an acclaimed 1994â"95 Company B production of Hamlet, directed by Neil Armfield, starring Rush and Richard Roxburgh; She was nominated for a Green Room Award. Blanchett appeared in the 1994 TV miniseries Heartland opposite Ernie Dingo, the 1995 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.
Blanchett 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 received wide acclaim for her performance, and earned her first Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award nomination as Best Leading Actress, losing to Pamela Rabe in The Well. She won the AFI Best Actress Award in the same year for her role as Lizzie in the 1997 romantic comedy Thank God He Met Lizzie, co-starring Richard Roxburgh and Frances O'Connor. By 1997, Blanchett had accrued significant praise and recognition in her native Australia.
Her first high-profile international role was as Elizabeth I of England in the critically acclaimed 1998 film 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. The following year, Blanchett appeared in the Mike Newell comedy Pushing Tin, with critics singling out her performance, and the Anthony Minghella film The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. Blanchett received her second BAFTA nomination for her performance in Ripley.
Already an acclaimed actress, Blanchett received a host of new fans when she appeared in Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning blockbuster trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, playing the role of Galadriel in all three films. The trilogy holds the record as the highest grossing film trilogy of all time. In addition to The Lord of the Rings, 2001 also saw Blanchett diversify her portfolio with a range of roles in the dramas Charlotte Gray and The Shipping News and the American crime-comedy Bandits, for which she earned a second Golden Globe and SAG Award nomination. In 2002, Blanchett appeared, opposite Giovanni Ribisi, in Tom Tykwer-directed Heaven, the first film in an unfinished trilogy by acclaimed writer-director Krzysztof KieÅlowski. 2003 saw Blanchett again playing a wide range of roles; Galadriel in the third and final installment of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), the Ron Howard-directed western-thriller The Missing, Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes â" playing two roles (both against herself) â" for which she received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female nomination, and the biographical film Veronica Guerin, which earned her a Golden Globe Best Actress Drama nomination.
In 2005, she won her first Academy Award in Best Supporting Actress for her acclaimed portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. This made Blanchett the first actor to garner an Academy Award for playing an Oscar-winning actor. That same year, Blanchett won the Australian Film Institute Best Actress Award for her role as Tracy Heart, a former heroin addict, in the Australian film Little Fish. Though lesser known globally than some of her other films, Little Fish received great critical acclaim in Blanchett's native Australia.
In 2006, she starred opposite Brad Pitt in the multi-lingual, multi-narrative ensemble drama Babel, which received seven Academy Award nominations, the Steven Soderbergh-directed The Good German with George Clooney, and the acclaimed Notes on a Scandal opposite Dame Judi Dench. Blanchett received a third Academy Award nomination for her performance in the latter film.
In 2007, Blanchett was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and also one of the most successful actresses by Forbes magazine. She reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth I in the sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and portrayed Jude Quinn, one of six incarnations of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' experimental film I'm Not There. She won the Volpi Cup Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival (accepted by fellow Australian actor and I'm Not There co-star Heath Ledger), the Independent Spirit and Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress Award for her portrayal of Jude Quinn. At the 80th Academy Awards Blanchett received two Academy Award nominationsâ"Best Actress for Elizabeth: the Golden Age and Best Supporting Actress for I'm Not Thereâ"becoming the eleventh actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year, and the first female actor to receive another nomination for the reprisal of a role. Of her achievement that year, critic Roger Ebert said, "That Blanchett could appear in the same Toronto Film Festival playing Elizabeth and Bob Dylan, both splendidly, is a wonder of acting".
She next appeared in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as the villainous KGB agent Col. Dr. Irina Spalko, and in David Fincher's Oscar-nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, appearing on screen with Brad Pitt for a second time. On 5 December 2008, Blanchett was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Grauman's Egyptian Theatre. Blanchett provided a voice for the English version of the film Ponyo, released July 2008, and appeared opposite Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood in 2010. In June 2011, she attended the premiere of her film Hanna, directed by Joe Wright, at the Sydney Film Festival.
As of 2011, Blanchett has featured in seven films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: Elizabeth (1998), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002 and 2003), The Aviator (2004), Babel (2006), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
Blanchett reprised her role as Galadriel in Peter Jackson's adaptations of The Hobbit, filmed in New Zealand. Also in 2012, Blanchett voiced the role of "Penelope" in the Family Guy episode "Mr. and Mrs. Stewie". Blanchett returned to Australian film with her appearance in The Turning (2013), an anthology film based on a collection of short stories by Tim Winton.
Blanchett played the lead role in Blue Jasmine (2013), written and directed by Woody Allen, and costarring Alec Baldwin and Sally Hawkins. She received rave reviews for her performance, with some critics calling it the best role of her career (surpassing her acclaimed starring role in Elizabeth). The performance earned her more than 40 industry and critics awards (including LAFCA (tied), NYFCC, NSFC, and Critic's Choice Awards), the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Outstanding Performance of the Year Award, an Australian Academy Award (AACTA), a SAG award, Golden Globe award, BAFTA award, an Independent Film Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actress. Blanchett's win makes her just the sixth actress to win an Oscar in both of the acting categories. She is the first Australian actor to win more than one acting Oscar.
In 2014, Blanchett co-starred with Matt Damon and George Clooney in the latter's film, The Monuments Men, based on the true story of a crew of art historians and museum curators who recover renowned works of art stolen by Nazis. The film featured an ensemble cast, including John Goodman, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville, and Jean Dujardin. Blanchett voiced the part of Valka in 2014's How to Train Your Dragon 2. The animated film was a critically-acclaimed, box-office success, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and received an Academy Award nomination.
Blanchett will play Lady Tremaine, the Wicked Stepmother, in a live-action re-imagening of both the fairy tale Cinderella and Walt Disney's animated film, set to be released on March 13, 2015. She will star opposite Rooney Mara in Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt, directed by Todd Haynes. Blanchett is set to appear in two films directed by Terrence Malick: Knight of Cups and a currently untitled picture, both shot back-to-back in 2012; Knight of Cups is scheduled to be released in 2015. She will also star as Marisa Acocella Marchetto, a cartoonist for the New Yorker who is diagnosed with cancer, in the HBO movie Cancer Vixen, written and directed by Julie Delpy. Blanchett will voice the sinister python Kaa in Andy Serkis' adaptation of the The Jungle Book, in which he will mix motion capture, CG animation, and live action. The film is scheduled for release in October 2017.
As of 2014, Blanchett's films have grossed more than 9 billion dollars at the worldwide box-office.
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 in the harbourside Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill. It was purchased for A$10.2Â million in 2004 and underwent extensive renovations in 2007 to be made more "eco-friendly".
In 2006, a portrait of Cate Blanchett and family painted by McLean Edwards was a finalist for the Archibald Prize. Blanchett is a Patron of the Sydney Film Festival. She works as the face of SK-II, the luxury skin care brand owned by Procter & Gamble. In 2007, Blanchett became the ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation's online campaignÂ â" trying to persuade Australians to express their concerns about climate change. She is also the Patron of the development charity SolarAid. Opening the 2008 9th World Congress of Metropolis in Sydney, Blanchett said: "The one thing that all great cities have in common is that they are all different."
In early 2009, Blanchett appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps called "Australian Legends of the Screen", featuring Australian actors acknowledged for the "outstanding contribution they have made to Australian entertainment and culture". She, Geoffrey Rush, Russell Crowe, and Nicole Kidman each appear twice in the series: once as themselves and once in character; Blanchett is depicted in character from Elizabeth: The Golden Age. At the beginning of 2011, Blanchett lent her support for a carbon tax. She received some criticism for this, especially from conservatives. In 2008, Blanchett and her husband became co-CEOs and artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company. The 2013 season with the Sydney Theatre Company was Blanchett's final one as co-CEO and artistic director. Blanchett has said: "Theatre: the making of it, the consumption of it, at its best has an aspect of the ambulance chase. It's walking the precipice of an imminent disaster, the crash, the missteps, the cock-up, the collapse. That energy and secret hope in the audience has to be harnessed ... Anything live, and truly 'alive' will contain seeds of danger."
Blanchett has spoken passionately about feminism and politics, telling Sky News in 2013 that she was concerned that "a wave of conservatism sweeping the globe" was threatening women's rights. She has also commented on the pressures women in Hollywood face now: "Honestly, I think about my appearance less than I did ten years ago. People talk about the golden age of Hollywood because of how women were lit then. You could be Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and work well into your 50s, because you were lit and made into a goddess. Now, with everything being sort of gritty, women have this sense of their use-by date."
In January 2014, Blanchett took part in the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative to raise the public profile of sustainable fashion, founded by Livia Firth of Eco-Age. Blanchett wore a pair of Fairmined earrings set with responsibly sourced diamonds by the luxury Jeweller Chopard.
Blanchett is a patron and ambassador of the Australian Film Institute and its academy, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
Awards and nominations
Among her numerous accolades for her performances, Blanchett has won two Academy Awards, three British Academy Awards, four Australian Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and three Critics Choice Awards. Her performance as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, made her the first and (as of 2014) only actor to win an Oscar for portraying another Oscar-winning actor. Blanchett is only the third actress, after Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep, to win Best Actress after winning Best Supporting Actress. She is one of only five actors in the history of the Oscars to be nominated twice for portraying the same role in two different films (for her role as Elizabeth I in the films Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age). She is also the first and (as of 2014) only Australian actor to win two acting Oscars.
Blanchett received the 2008 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Modern Master Award in recognition of her accomplishments in the film industry. She was honored by Women in Film and Television International with the Crystal Award for excellence in the entertainment industry in 2014. Blanchett has been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society by the Australian government. She was appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture in 2012, in recognition of her significant contributions to the arts. In 2014, she was presented with a Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University, her third honorary degree from major Australian institutions.
Blanchett received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 5, 2008. Guests included David Fincher, Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg. She was inducted at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.