With a total of six Academy Award nominations and nine for the Golden Globe, Kate Winslet is widely considered to be one of, if not the best, British actress of her time. She has appeared in more than 25 films and two television series, all before the age of 40. Her resume includes the critically acclaimed titles “The Reader,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Finding Neverland,” and the movie that catapulted her to stardom in 1997, “Titanic.”
Born Kate Elizabeth Winslet on Oct. 5, 1975 in Berkshire, England she is the second of four children born to Sally Anne and Roger Winslet. She would later describe her parents as “jobbing actors,” a term used to describe someone who pursues an acting career solely for the money. Nonetheless, their vocation provided Winslet with an early introduction into the world of drama, which she would begin studying formally by the age of 11.
In 1992, Winslet beat out 175 other girls to land her first major role as Juliet Hulme in the 1994 film “Heavenly Creature.” Her performance gained her considerable renown in the United States and a writer from The Washington Post marveled, “As Juliet, Winslet is a bright-eyed ball of fire, lighting up every scene she’s in.”
Two years after her debut in “Heavenly Creature” Winslet appeared in “Titanic,” a feature that would later become the highest-grossing film of all time, earning over $2.7 billion. Audiences across the world fell in love with her portrayal of Rose, an internally conflicted aristocrat who becomes romantically involved with Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a talented young artist. These two actors reunited years later on the set of “Revolutionary Road” in 2008.
Since her breakthrough with “Titanic,” Winslet has taken on a gamut of roles from the quirky Clementine Kruczynski in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” to Bitsey Bloom, a determined journalist, in “The Life of David Gale.” She loves to step out of her comfort zone and was quoted saying “I wouldn’t dream of working on something that didn’t make my gut rumble and my heart want to explode.”
Winslet is currently filming “Labor Day,” which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2013.
Joshua Shapiro is a second-year student majoring in both English and education. He can be reached at JS762110@wcupa.edu.