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cate blanchett

Happy Birthday, Cate Blanchett, Award-Winning Actress

May 14, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
In 1998, Cate Blanchett appeared on filmgoers’ radar with her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I. Since then she has amazed audiences with her seemingly supernatural, “chameleonlike” ability to transform herself into a wide range of characters.

Early Days

Catherine Elise Blanchett was born in Melbourne, Australia on May 14, 1969. According to her Yahoo Movies biography, her mother June was a schoolteacher, and her father Robert, an American, worked in advertising until his untimely death from a heart attack when Blanchett was only 10 years old.

Although she entered the University of Melbourne to study art history and economics, Blanchett changed career tracks after appearing in a play. She went on to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Arts from 1990–1992. Yahoo Movies reports that "she developed an early reputation as a gifted actress." After graduation, Blanchett joined the Sydney Theatre Company where she performed in several productions.

Notable Accomplishments

During Blanchett’s first year on the stage in 1993, she received the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Newcomer Award, Biography.com reports. She made her television debut a year later with the Australian miniseries “Heartland.” In 1997, Blanchett appeared in her first feature film, “Paradise Road.” According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), that same year she won the Australian Film Institute’s Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in the Australian romantic comedy “Thank God He Met Lizzie.”

Blanchett grabbed the global spotlight when she starred as Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1998’s “Elizabeth.” Her portrayal of the young queen earned Blanchett a BAFTA award, a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

For the next ten years, Blanchett portrayed a wide range of film characters. In a 2003 interview, Daphne Merkin of The New York Times magazine spoke with the “chameleonlike” actress about her “uncanny ability to get under the skins of characters.”

Blanchett’s many roles on stage and screen have earned her more than 50 awards, including a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her 2004 portrayal of actress Katharine Hepburn in the Martin Scorsese movie “Aviator."

The Rest of the Story

The actress received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in "Notes on a Scandal" in 2007. In 2008, she received two Oscar nominations for her repeat performance as Queen Elizabeth I in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” and her unique portrayal of singer Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” for which she won a Golden Globe.

In early 2009, Blanchett talked with Steve Gorman of Reuters about her role in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a 2008 film that garnered five Golden Globe nominations. At 39 years of age, the star spoke about playing a woman who is facing death. "A role provides you with an opportunity to look at the seething mass of humanity in a different way," Blanchett said, "and certainly, I ... really focused on what it means to get older."

Blanchett is married to screenwriter Andrew Upton; the couple has three sons: Dashiell, Roman and Ignatius.

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