Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Born to a Texan father and an Australian mother, the Blanchett was 10 years old when her father died. A student of economics and fine arts at the University of Melbourne, she took a break from studying and ended up in Egypt as an extra on a boxing film. Abandoning her more pedestrian career plans, she enrolled in Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Art and honed her skills with the Sydney Theatre Company, winning the Sidney critic's Best Newcomer Award in 1993, before moving into film. Her third feature film, Oscar and Lucinda (1997), brought her international attention. For her starring role in Elizabeth (1998) she won a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Oscar. She followed up with supporting roles in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and An Ideal Husband (1999). Recent outings include The Man Who Cried (2000) and The Shipping News (2001). Married to screenwriter Andrew Upton since 1997, she gave birth of their first child, Dashiell John, December 2001. She also co-starred in the much-anticipated The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and has already wrapped sequels, which are due out in 2003 and 2004.