Winslet, Kate 1975–

views updated May 18 2018

WINSLET, Kate 1975


Full name, Kate Elizabeth Winslet; born October 5, 1975, in Reading, Berkshire, England; daughter of Roger (an actor) and Sally (an actress; maiden name, Bridges) Winslet; sister of Anna Winslet and Beth Winslet (both actresses); niece of Robert Bridges (a stage actor); married Jim Threapleton (a director), November 22, 1998 (divorced, December 13, 2001); married San Mendes (a director), May 24, 2003; children: (first marriage) Mia; (second marriage) Joe Alfie.

Addresses: Agent Hylda Queally, William Morris Agency, 151 El Camino Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212; and Dallas Smith, Peters Fraser & Dunlop, Drury House, 3443 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England. Publicist Robert Garlock, PMK/HBH Public Relations New York, 650 Fifth Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10019.

Career: Actress. Appeared in British commercials.

Awards, Honors: Film Award, New Zealand Film and Television Awards, best foreign performer, 1995, London Critics Circle Film Award, British actress of the year, 1996, and Empire Award, best British actress, 1996, all for Heavenly Creatures; Actor Award, best supporting actress, 1995, Film Award, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, best performance by an actress in a supporting role, Screen Actors Guild Award, outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role, Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture, all 1996, all for Sense and Sensibility; Evening Standard British Film Award, best actress, 1997, for Jude and Sense and Sensibility; Golden Satellite Award nomination, International Press Academy, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picturedrama, 1997, and Empire Award, best British actress, 1998, both for Hamlet; Audience Award, European Film awards, best actress, Blockbuster Entertainment Award, favorite actressdrama, Academy Award nomination and Online Film Critics Society Award nomination, both best actress, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picturedrama, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picturedrama, Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role and outstanding cast performance (with others), European Film Award nomination, outstanding European achievement in world cinema, MTV Movie Award nominations, best female performance, best on-screen duo (with Leonardo DiCaprio), and best kiss (with DiCaprio), all 1998, Empire Award, best British actress, 1999, London Critics Circle Film Award nomination, British actress of the year, 1999, and German Golden Camera Award, outstanding international film, 2001, all for Titanic; Variety Club of Great Britain Award, film actress of the year, 1998; People's Choice Award nomination, favorite motion picture actress, 1999; Grammy Award (with others), National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, best spoken word album for children, c. 2000, for Listen to the Storyteller; Sierra Award nomination, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, best supporting actress, 2000, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picturedrama, Empire Award nomination, best actress, London Critics Circle Film Award nomination, British actress of the year, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actressdrama, all 2001, all for Quills; British Independent Film Award nomination, best actress, 2001, and Empire Award, best British actress, 2002, both for Enigma; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, best supporting actress, 2001, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture, Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, Film Award nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, best performance by an actress in a supporting role, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picturedrama, and Audience Award, European Film awards, best actress, all 2002, all for Iris; Evening Standard British Film Award, best actress, 2002, for Enigma, Iris, and Quills; Manchester Evening News Award, best supporting actress, for What the Butler Saw.


Film Appearances:

Juliet Hulme, Heavenly Creatures (also released as Heavenly Creatures: The Uncut Version ), Miramax, 1994.

Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, Columbia, 1995.

Princess Sarah, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Buena Vista, 1995.

Ophelia, Hamlet (also known as William Shakespeare's Hamlet ), Castle Rock, 1996.

Sue Bridehead, Jude, Gramercy, 1996.

Rose DeWitt Bukater, Titanic, Paramount, 1997.

Julia, Hideous Kinky (also known as Marrakech Express ), Stratosphere Entertainment, 1998.

Ruth Barron, Holy Smoke!, Miramax, 1999.

Madeleine "Maddie" LeClerc, Quills (also known as QuillsMacht der Besessenheit ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 2000.

Hester Wallace, Enigma (also known as EnigmaDas Geheimnis ), Manhattan Pictures International, 2001.

Voices of Annie and Mum, War Game (animated short film), [Great Britain], 2001.

Voice of Belle, Christmas Carol: The Movie (animated; also known as Ein Weihnachtsmaerchen ), MetroGoldwynMayer/United Artists Home Entertainment, 2001.

Young Iris Murdoch, Iris, Maramax/Paramount, 2001.

Clare, Plunge: The Movie, Longboard Entertainment, 2003.

Elizabeth "Bitsey" Bloom, The Life of David Gale (also known as Das Leben des David Gale ), Universal, 2003.

Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Focus Features, 2004.

Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, J. M. Barrie's Neverland, Mira-max, 2004.

Tula, Romance & Cigarettes, United Artists, 2004.

Mabel Stark, The Marvelous Mabel Stark, 2005.

Norma Helmer, A Doll's House (also known as Et Dukkehjem ), 2005.

Television Appearances; Series:

Reet, Dark Season, BBC, 1991.

Eleanor Sweet, Get Back, BBC, 19921993.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(In archive footage) Beyond Titanic, Arts and Entertainment, 1997.

(And in archive footage) Herself, Titanic: Breaking New Ground, Fox, 1998.

Herself, Titanic Mania, E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Voice of Brigid, Faeries, Starz!, 1999.

Herself, Being Mick, ABC, 2001.

Herself and song performer, Comic Relief Short Pants, 2001.

Narrator, Nefertiti: Resurrected (also known as Nefertiti: Revealed ), The Discovery Channel, 2003.

(In archive footage) Celebrity Naked Ambition, Channel 5, 2003.

(In archive footage) Making It a Holby, BBC, 2004.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Herself, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.

Herself, 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.

Herself, The Orange British Academy Film Awards, 2000, 2001.

Herself, The Seventh Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT, 2001.

Herself, Judi Dench: A BAFTA Tribute, BBC, 2002.

Presenter, The Orange British Academy Film Awards, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Presenter, The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2002.

Herself, The Laurence Olivier Awards, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Suzanne, "Family Matters," Casualty, BBC, 1993.

Herself, Clive Anderson All Talk, BBC, 1998.

Herself, The Clive James Show, 1998.

Herself, The Priory, 1999.

Herself, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004.

Herself, Parkinson, BBC, 2000.

Herself, Seitenblicke, 2002.

Herself, GMTV, ITV, 2002, 2004.

Herself, Frids film, 2003.

Herself, Revealed with Jules Asner, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Herself, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2003.

Herself, The Early Show, CBS, 2004.

Herself, Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 2004.

Herself, OnAir with Ryan Seacrest, syndicated, 2004.

Television Appearances; Other:

Shrinks, [Great Britain], 1988.

Anglo Saxon Attitudes (movie), Thames Television, 1992.

Stage Appearances:

Appeared as Geraldine, What the Butler Saw; as Sarah, A Game of Soldiers; and as Wendy, Peter Pan; appeared in the musical Adrian Mole.



Narrator (with others), Listen to the Storyteller, c. 2000.

(With others) Christmas Carol: The Movie (soundtrack recording), 2001.


"What If?," 2001.

Music Videos:

(In archive footage) "My Heart Will Go On" (song from the film Titanic ), by Celine Dion, 1997.

"What If?," 2001.



Newsmakers, issue 4, Gale, 2002.


Celebrity Bodies, autumn, 2001, pp. 5659.

Cosmopolitan, October, 1996, p. 1.

Elle, December, 1995.

Empire, issue 91, 1997, pp. 7680; October, 1997, pp. 12425.

Entertainment Weekly, January 26, 1996, p. 32; February 22, 2002, pp. 5253.

Evening Standard, September 6, 1999, p. 3.

Film Comment, March/April, 1998, p. 26.

Flicks, February, 1999, p. 26.

Glamour, February, 2002, pp. 16667, 180.

Harper's Bazaar, January, 1996, p. 59; July, 1997, p. 90.

Heat, December 15, 2001, pp. 1011.

Hello!, December 4, 2001, pp. 7276.

Interview, November, 2000, p. 149.

Looks, March, 1999, pp. 1015.

Mademoiselle, February, 2000, pp. 12023.

Movieline, January/February, 1995.

Newsweek, January 15, 1996.

New York Times Magazine, November 19, 2000.

OK!, August, 2002, p. 132; April 1, 2003.

People Weekly, March 4, 1996, p. 106; May 6, 1996, p. 175; February 23, 1998, p. 52; November 2, 1998, p. 109; December 7, 1998, p. 54; July 5, 1999, p. 86.

Premiere, February, 1997, pp. 7679; November, 1999, pp. 104110, 13840.

Premiere (Great Britain), Volume 5, number 3, 1997, pp. 4649.

Rolling Stone, March 5, 1998, pp. 4449, 78.

Sunday Times (London), January 13, 2002.

Time, October 26, 1998, p. 31.

Time Out, January 13, 1999, pp. 1618.

Times Magazine (London), January 23, 1999, pp. 1418, 20.

Total Film, June, 1997, pp. 4445.

Winslet, Kate

views updated May 29 2018


Nationality: British. Born: Reading, Berkshire, England, 5 October 1975; father Roger Winslet (actor), mother Sally; two sisters, Anna and Beth, both actors, one brother, Joss. Education: Redroofs Theatre School, Maidenhead, 1986–1991. Family: Married assistant director Jim Threapleton, November 1998. Career: Left school aged sixteen; gained acting experience in TV commercials; worked in a delicatessen after Heavenly Creatures, 1994; nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Sense and Sensibility, 1996. Awards: London Critics Circle ALFS Award for British Actress of the Year, for Heavenly Creatures, 1996; British Academy Awards (BAFTA) for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, for Sense and Sensibility, 1996; Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress, for Sense and Sensibility and Jude, 1997; European Film Awards Audience Award for Best Actress, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress, for Titanic, 1998. Agents: Dallas Smith, Peters Fraser and Dunlop Ltd., 503 The Chambers, Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, London SW10 0XF, UK; William Morris Agency, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10009, USA.

Films as Actor:


Heavenly Creatures (Jackson) (as Juliet Hulme)


A Kid in King Arthur's Court (Gottleib) (as Princess Sarah); Sense and Sensibility (Lee) (as Marianne Dashwood)


Jude (Winterbottom) (as Sue Bridehead); Hamlet (William Shakespeare's Hamlet) (Branagh) (as Ophelia)


Titanic (Cameron) (as Rose DeWitt Bukater)


Hideous Kinky (Marrakech Express) (MacKinnon) (as Julia)


Holy Smoke (Campion) (as Ruth)


Quills (Kaufman) (as Madeleine Le Clerc)


By WINSLET: articles—

"Kate's Winsome . . . and Then Some," interview with Jeff Dawson, in Entertainment Weekly (New York), 26 January 1996.

"An Englishwoman Abroad," interview with Trish Deitch Rohrer, in Premiere (New York), February 1997.

Interview with Stephen Applebaum in Total Film (London), June 1997.

"Breaking the Waves," interview with Richard Rayner, in Harper's Bazaar (New York), July 1997.

Lipsky, David, "The Unsinkable Kate Winslet," in Rolling Stone (New York), March 1998.

"A Rose in Bloom," interview with Simon Braund, in Empire Magazine (London), March 1999.

"The New Passions of Kate Winslet," interview with Holly Millea, in Premiere (New York), November 1999.

On WINSLET: articles—

Nathan, Ian, "The Breakthrough," in Empire (London), October 1997.

Pullinger, Kate, "Soul Survivor—Women Directors Special," in Sight and Sound (London), October 1999.

* * *

Kate Winslet—who is for American audiences the embodiment of English womanhood—began acting full-time at the age of sixteen and made her television debut in a commercial for Sugar Puffs breakfast cereal in the United Kingdom. She made several appearances in British TV dramas, such as the hospital-based soap, Casualty, before moving into film at the age of nineteen in Heavenly Creatures. Winslet grew up in a theatrical family in Reading, a town west of London, and wanted to be an actor from an early age. Interviewers describe her as brimming with energy and enthusiasm for life. David Lipsky, in Rolling Stone, explains: "Everything she says has special effects in it: Those effects are the words brilliant, absolutely and gorgeous, and because of them, what she says really does seem brilliant, gorgeous and absolute, a slightly better world than the one you live in."

Winslet has a reputation for taking on challenging projects, immersing herself in the roles she plays. Her big-screen debut in Heavenly Creatures, a film that explores murder and obsession, was difficult for an actress known for being intensely "method." In it she plays Juliet Hulme alongside Melanie Lynskey as Pauline Parker, in the true story of two New Zealand schoolgirls in 1954 who murder Parker's mother in order to stay together. The film was praised in particular for the subtlety of its portrayal of the two girls, and Winslet's strong performance established her as talented and determined young actress.

Winslet's on-screen persona as the typical English girl was cemented in the films Sense and Sensibility and Jude. A period costume adaptation of Jane Austen's novel of the same name, Sense and Sensibility saw Winslet playing Marianne Dashwood alongside Emma Thompson as Elinor. There was a danger here of casting to type, with Thompson playing the sensible older sister while Winslet immersed herself in romantic fantasies. But the two became friends, and Winslet benefited from Thompson's greater experience. Her next film role, as Sue Bridehead, came from the same mould, but Jude is a tragedy of unrelenting gloom, and provides a hint of Winslet's wider abilities, which she was to show more compellingly as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet in the same year.

After making her name in period films, Winslet became the envy of teenage girls everywhere when she co-starred with Leonardo di Caprio in Titanic. It is characteristic of her drive and determination that Winslet fought hard to win the chance to be in the film, telephoning director Cameron directly to tell him "I am Rose." Like many of Cameron's films, the making of Titanic was an arduous process: many scenes involved the actors being immersed in cold water for hours at a time, or suspended at the top of enormous structures. Yet Winslet took it all in stride, winning the respect of the crew for her good humour and lack of affectation.

After Titanic, Winslet had the opportunity to take on more high profile and lucrative projects, but her choice of film roles suggests more interest in acting than stardom. Hideous Kinky, her first film after the Cameron blockbuster, was an interesting, if disappointing choice, and however successful it is with the critics, Holy Smoke, Jane Campion's film about the effects of cult religious groups, is not a star vehicle.

Always more interested in pursuing her enthusiasms than doing what is expected of her, Kate Winslet's career so far has been a curious mixture of idiosyncratic serious movies and popular acclaim. While Titanic demonstrated her abilities in the role of romantic lead, she has yet to accumulate a body of work sufficient to prove herself as a character actress of lasting significance. Winslet has recently branched out into producing, and her first project, Therese Raquin, in which she will play the title role, is expected to appear in 2001.

—Chris Routledge