Kate Winslet knew she wanted to become
an actress at a very early age. "Being cast as the Virgin Mary was
my first acting buzz, if you like," Kate says. "I was only
five years old but I took it very, very seriously. I remember really,
really being Mary. Really, really feeling it." Kate was born on
October 5, 1975, in Reading, England. Her family was of theatrical
heritage, this practically made her an actress.
When Kate was 11, she attended the Redroofs Theatre School in
Maidenhead, which she would eventually leave at the age of 16. She got
her first job appearing in a Sugar Puffs commercial, dancing with the
Honey Monster. She made her television debut in the British television
drama Shrinks (1988). To find out the rest of her talented acting career
go to filmography.
"Since I was thirteen or fourteen, I've always felt older than I
actually am," Kate recalls. She had to battle a weight problem and
depression. At age 15, standing 5'6", Kate weighed as much as 185
lb. and was nicknamed 'Blubber' in high school. Kate was still
determined to become actress though, inspite her problems.
When she left Maidenhead, she landed a role on the British television
sitcom Get Back, just eight days after completing her examinations. Kate
had also found romance at sixteen with actor Stephen Tredre from Dark
Season, whom she remained in a relationship with for five years. Their
engagement was broken off recently when Tredre was diagnosed with cancer
and started to undergo chemotherapy. "He was with me all the
time," says Kate. "Even when I was 13 stone he never, ever
asked me to lose weight." She has also been quoted in interviews as
saying that the actor was "the other half of my soul."
Kate's big break would eventually come when she was cast as Juliet Hulme
in the critically-acclaimed movie Heavenly Creatures (1994). She was
working behind the counter of the Traiteur Pagnol delicatessen in
Primrose Hill, London when her life changed. "I was making pastrami
and dill sandwiches when I received the call telling me I had the role
in Heavenly Creatures," Kate said. Her debut won her international
recognition and awards (New Zealand Film and Television Award, Toronto
Film Festival Award, and Empire Magazine Award), along with movie
scripts from Hollywood in abundance.
While Kate was busily promoting Heavenly Creatures in the U.S., an
American representative from the William Morris agency came to see her
at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York at 11 o'clock one evening and
signed her. She would follow up her debut with an unexpected role as
Princess Sarah in A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995). Many reviewers
simply dismiss the movie, but later the same year Kate would redeem
herself by appearing in the heart-warming, Oscar-nominated role of
Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995), having convinced
producer Lindsay Doran that she was right for the part by out-reading
everyone at her audition.
Kate heard about her Oscar nomination while traveling in a car: "A
girlfriend was driving when my agent phoned by mobile to say
congratulations. I threw myself on the floor of the car in
excitement." The people at William Morris were now busy helping to
make her a household name. All of sudden, Kate Winslet found herself
'hot' in Hollywood, having achieved 'sex symbol' status amongst critics
The next year, Kate would return to the silver screen with back-to-back
performances as Sue Bridehead in Jude (1996) and Ophelia in Hamlet
(1996). These two roles were very well-received by critics but
inexplicably passed over for Academy Award nominations.
At the present, Kate is one of the most talented, up-and-coming young
actresses working in Hollywood. She has recently been featured on the
cover of Vanity Fair in the company of Cameron Diaz, Claire Danes, and
other actresses with brilliant careers ahead of them. Los Angeles
magazine has put her on their "The 40 Most Important People Under
40 list," and People magazine has declared Kate one of the "50
Most Beautiful People" in the world.
So far, Kate's rise to stardom (acquiring such titles as 'English Rose'
and 'Starlet Express') has given her a resume consisting entirely of
period films, thus earning her the nickname 'Corset Kate'. Kate has
expressed her desire to do a modern film to break this stereotype and
"throw away the corset. I really want to be a Valley Girl in a
feel-good American movie," she says. "I'd love to do some big
Her current movie is Titanic (1997), playing the role of Rose Dewitt
Bukater, an upper-class Philadelphian aboard the ill-fated ocean liner.
The official release date has been announced as December 19, 1997 in the
U.S. With the success of Titanic, bigger and better things will
definitely be forthcoming for Kate Winslet. Her next appearances will
come in Hideous Kinky, coming out on February 5th in England, and April
16th in North America, and Holy Smoke, where she stars for the brilliant
director Jane Campion. Hideous Kinky recently premiered in England to
rave reviews. Only time will tell if it becomes a relative success at
the box office, but since it is a smaller film, it won't have very wide
distribution. It will be interesting to see how her film career will
develop, for with such diverse talent, her future roles are surely going
to continue to amuse us. More films are to come. Kate brings
sophistication and style to the world of young actors and will
definitely prove to be a notable name. Without doubt, she's the actress
of our generation.
Date of Birth
- 5 October 1975
- Reading, Berkshire, England, UK
955 S. Carillo Dr. #200
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