Kate Elizabeth Winslet was born on October 5, 1975 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
She was born into an entertaining family. Her parents, Roger and Sally, were both stage actors. Her mother's parents Oliver and Linda Bridges ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, and her Uncle Robert Bridges worked in London's West End theater district. She has three siblings; her sisters Anna and Beth (also actresses) and her brother Joss.
"Mum and dad were very much friends, and up to life. There was no anxiety for anything when I was growing up, they just taught me to be me."
Kate's first professional role was in a commercial for cereal where she was dancing with the Honey Monster. She was eleven years old. When later promoting her film The Holiday, she was interviewed on 'Good Morning America' and they showed a clip of what they thought was her commercial. The clip was actually not of her. She did not point that out to them because she did not want to get the researcher in trouble or embarrass them.
Around this time she also started acting lessons and that led to her formal training at a performing arts high school. She began to land a few small parts on television sitcoms and appearing on stage in various productions.
Her first big film was Heavenly Creatures in 1994. She was seventeen.
The film was the true story about two teenage girls that commit a murder. It was praised by critics but, to be honest, I did not like it.
She was still relatively unknown although the film got her name out there. She attended an audition the next year for Sense and Sensibility. She made a great impression on Emma Thompson which led her to get the role over all of the other actresses that tried out for it. She won a British Academy award for her portrayal of Marianne Dashwood as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
She followed Sense and Sensibility with two more period films, Jude in 1996 and Hamlet, also in 1996.
The role that made her a household name was playing Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron's Titanic in 1997. She received a Best Actress nomination for this movie as well which made her the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy Award nominations.
She and Leonardo DiCaprio became very close friends while filming. They alter filmed Revolutionary Road together as well. Her children call him "Uncle Leo."
"It's very important for me to make the statement that I am English and just because I've done one really big film, it doesn't mean that I don't want to keep a finger in the fantastic British film industry."
"After Titanic, it would have been completely foolish for me to go and try and top that. I'm an English girl, I've always loved England, I've never felt the desire to leave it for any particular reason. And whilst I'm ambitious and care very much about what I do, I'm not competitive. I also don't want to act every day of my life. ... So it was important to me after Titanic to just remind myself of why it was that I was acting in the first place, which is of course because I love it."
After the attention she received for Titanic, Kate wanted to make smaller independent films. She made quite a few small films over the years. After a few years she started making some big films again as well. Over the years she has made some really great films, some very well known and some that haven't been as successful. By 2015 she has been nominated for an Oscar six times. She has won once, a Best Actress Oscar for playing a former concentration camp guard in The Reader in 2008.
"People say to me, "You seem to have made this conscious decision to do independent films." In reality, I haven't. After each movie, I always think, how different can I possibly be?... Is this going to challenge me, is this going to inspire me, and is this going to make me love my job more than I already do?"
In 1998 she married Jim Threapleton, an assistant director. They had a daughter, Mia.
They divorced in 2001.
She married director Sam Mendes in 2003. They had a son, Joe. They were also divorced in 2010.
In 2012, she married Ned Rocknroll. He is Richard Branson's nephew and works for his uncle's space travel company Virgin Galactic as the head of Marketing Promotion and Astronaut Experience. They have a son, Bear.
While vacationing at Richard Branson's house in the Caribbean, the house caught fire. Branson credits Kate with saving his 90 year old mother by carrying her out of the burning house. Kate has stated that she just carried her down a few steps. She and her husband named their son Bear Blaze because they met in a house fire, or so it has been said.
She was pregnant with Bear whilst filming A Little Chaos and Divergent. During filming of Divergent they had to creative with the film angles, shooting above her waist, and having her carry things in front of her belly when she started showing sooner than expected.
"There is no way we are going to move out of England. Some might think that we want to live in Hollywood but that is not what we want at all. We will go and live in New York when it is necessary because of work but we prefer to be in England. I'm proud to be English - we both are. It's very important to me to retain that. I am an English girl and I love England. I have never felt the desire to leave. I am still ambitious and I will have to travel and live elsewhere because of that but England is always home."
Kate was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
She also shared a Grammy award with Graham Greene in 2000 for the Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
Her performance as Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 2004 is ranked #81 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
She received a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on March 17, 2014.
"I was on the tube just before Christmas and this girl turned round to me and said, "Are you Kate Winslet?". And I said, "Well, yes. I am actually." And she said, "And you're getting the tube?". And I said, "Yes." And she said, "Don't you have a big car that drives you around?". And I said, "No". And she was absolutely stunned that I wasn't being driven round in some flash car all the time. It was ludicrous."
Kate prefers to wear boots rather than an other kind of shoe because she has said that it makes her fell like her feet are "firmly on the ground."
My Top 5 favorite Kate Winslet roles:
#1: Sense and Sensibility
I was a teenager when Sense and Sensibility came out and it was one of my favorite movies instantly.
Marianne was my favorite girl character.
I related to Marianne so much. I was passionate and loved literature and I just felt like I could have been Marianne if I had been born into a different time period.
Kate became one of my favorite actresses because she did such a good job playing Marianne and making her feel so real to me.
I was just under twenty years old when Titanic came out and Kate had once again given me a character that I could really relate to. Of course I couldn't relate to her time and place and station in life but I definitely felt that angst of wanting to make sure you were living your life for yourself and not just doing what was expected of you by the 'grown ups'.
She did so well in this movie.
#3: Finding Neverland
This should be no surprise as I have mentioned this movie before. It is one of my favorite films and I loved Kate in it.
She plays the role of mother so well. She is still young and beautiful but comes across as very calm and serene in the role of mother. Of course, her character is hearbreaking as well. She is just perfection in this.
#4: The Holiday
This is one of my very favorite Christmas movies!
Once again, Kate has given us a character that is completely relatable.
I love watching her journey through this film.
I enjoy this film. It isn't necessarily one of my favorites but I do like it.
At first when I heard that Kate was playing Jeanine I couldn't really see it. She wasn't anything like I pictured her in my head. But once I saw it I knew that she was perfect for the role.
It isn't as fun to see her play someone that I don't like, but she does it really well.
I think Kate Winslet will always be one of my favorite actresses and I am excited to see what she will do next!
*What is your favorite Kate Winslet film?