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Oscar winner Kate Winslet has starred in a number of acclaimed dramas and comedies. She first gained fame in the blockbuster Titanic.
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Born on October 5, 1975, in Reading, England, Kate Winslet started acting at age 7. She starred on the British stage until 1995, when she appeared in her first film, Heavenly Creatures. In 1997 she landed the lead in Titanic, which propelled her to international stardom. She has since starred in several off-beat films and has won the Best Actress Oscar for The Reader.
"I like exposing myself. There's not an awful lot that embarrasses me. I'm the kind of actress who absolutely believes in exposing herself."
Born on October 5, 1975, in Reading, England, Kate Elizabeth Winslet is the grandaughter of two theater managers (her maternal grandparents founded Reading Repertory Theatre) and the daughter of two actors. Winslet began acting as a child, making her first appearance on British television at age seven in a cereal commercial. In 1988, she appeared in the TV series Shrinks; three years later, she left school to pursue her fledgling acting career.
Winslet appeared on the British stage in productions such as Adrian Mole and Peter Pan and had a recurring role on the British sitcom Get Back before landing her debut film role, in Heavenly Creatures (1994), directed by Peter Jackson. In the film, Winslet played Juliet Hulme, a schoolgirl with tuberculosis whose obsessive friendship with a classmate leads the two girls to murder the classmate's mother in order to avoid separation.
Winslet attracted even more attention with her next role in Ang Lee's film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility (1995). The actress proved she could hold her own across from screen legends such as Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman. As the winsome Marianne Dashwood—the "sensibility" of the movie—Winslet earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film also earned high praise from critics.
In a similarly high-brow role, Kate Winslet starred with Christopher Eccleston in the film Jude, a modern interpretation of the Thomas Hardy novel, Jude the Obscure. She then appeared as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), and landed squarely on the A-list of leading ladies with her performance as Rose DeWitt, the heroine of James Cameron's record-breaking blockbuster Titanic. The film won numerous Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and scored Winslet her second Academy Award nomination for acting, this time for Best Actress. Her co-star, Gloria Stuart, also earned a nod in the supporting category for her portrayal of the older Rose DeWitt; the two actresses became the first ever to earn nominations for playing two versions of the same character.
On the heels of her first blockbuster hit, Winslet made two somewhat unlikely choices for her next projects: Hideous Kinky (1999) and Holy Smoke (1999). In Hideous Kinky, Winslet played a free-spirited single mother who brought her two daughters on a spiritual quest to Marrakech. For the Jane Campion-directed film, Holy Smoke, Winslet played Ruth Barron, a young woman who joined a religious cult.
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After the Britpop music scene of the early 90's, a new genre of celebrities stepped into the London spotlight from athletic superstars such as David Beckham to pop culture phenomenons like Simon Cowell and Susan Boyle. Alternative rock acts like Elastica and Oasis were replaced with soulful songstresses like Amy Whinehouse and Adele, and actors like Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Robert Pattinson became international superstars. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton also became a royal, social and fashion icon, as well as a defining figure of the decade. Biography celebrates these cultural icons of the new post-Britpop era.
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