Created on: January 22, 2013 Last Updated: January 23, 2013
The Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet (born 1975) has had a varied and interesting career ever since she made her feature debut in Peter Jackson's early film "Heavenly Creatures" in 1994. Most strongly identified with roles in period dramas thanks to her early parts in "Sense and Sensibility," "Titanic" and "Hamlet," Winslet has played a wide range of parts across film and television.
Reading's most famous daughter, Berkshire-born Kate Winslet began acting at the age of 12 in a commercial for the breakfast cereal Sugar Puffs. This was followed in the early 1990s by television appearances in the long-running medical drama "Casualty," and as teenager Reet in Russell T Davies's children's science-fiction drama "The Dark Season."
While the early 1990s was mostly spent in full-time education and TV roles, from 1994 onward Winslet was to be seen mostly on the big screen. 1994's "Heavenly Creatures" was something of a breakout film for Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, and Winslet quickly found herself in lead roles in "Hamlet," "Jude," "Sense and Sensibility" and 1997's "Titanic," where she gained international stardom opposite Leonard DiCaprio.
Released after "Titanic," but filmed beforehand, was 1998's "Hideous Kinky," a low-budget film in which Winslet played a young mother on the hippie trail in Morocco. Around this time Winslet's agents were reportedly "miserable" that the actress was not taking up the commercial opportunities provided by her exposure in "Titanic." When Winslet went on to star opposite Geoffrey Rush, Michael Caine and Joaquin Phoenix in "Quills" (about the imprisonment of the Marquis de Sade) they must have been thoroughly depressed.
Winslet has always opted for intelligent, well-written films that give her the opportunity to stretch her acting muscles. Perhaps this is why she has ended up in so many period dramas and adaptations, and perhaps this is also why at 37 she already has six Academy Award nominations and one Oscar to her name (for 2008's "The Reader"). In addition to the films listed above, she also appeared in "Finding Neverland" opposite Johnny Depp, and played the younger Iris Murdoch opposite Judi Dench in "Iris," for which she was also nominated for an Oscar.
Winslet also showed how life can imitate art in 2005 when she appeared in Ricky Gervais' "Extras" as a parody of herself, appearing in a film about the Holocaust so that she could finally win an Oscar. Three years later she finally won the award for her performance in "The Reader."
In her personal life, the naturally full-figured Winslet has had a sticky relationship with the press, as her weight has fluctuated over the years while she has persistently ridiculed faddy diets and Hollywood's fixation with starved actresses. She has also had two children, one with her first husband Jim Threapleton and another with "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes. Winslet recently married for a third time, to a man with the unlikely name of Ned Rocknroll.
Winslet has appeared in countless films and is still only 37. With several projects in development, she is set to continue gracing cinema screens for a long time to come.
Learn more about this author, Kenneth Andrews.
Click here to send this author comments or questions.
Below are the top articles rated and ranked by Helium members on:
Actor profile: Kate Winslet
Cast your vote!
Click for your side.