Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett (born 14 May 1969 in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe) is an Australian actress of screen and stage. She has received critical acclaim and many accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and three BAFTA Awards.
She was appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 2012. In 2014, she was presented with a Doctor of Letters by Macquarie University in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the arts, philanthropy and the community, her third honorary degree from major Australian institutions. She came to international attention for her role as Elizabeth I of England in Shekhar Kapur's 1998 film Elizabeth, for which she won the British Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe award, and earned her first Academy Award for Best Actress nomination.
Her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's 2004 film, The Aviator, brought her critical acclaim and various accolades, including an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the first and only actor to win the award for portraying another Oscar-winning actor. In 2013, she starred as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, for which she won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best Actress. She is one of only six actresses to win Academy Awards in both leading and supporting acting categories, and the only Australian to win two acting Oscars.
A six-time Oscar nominee, she has also received nominations for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and I'm Not There (2007). Blanchett's other notable films include The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) and The Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), Veronica Guerin (2003), Babel (2006), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014).
Blanchett has also had an extensive career on stage and is a four-time Helpmann Award winner for Best Female Actor in a Play. Her earlier roles include the title role in Electra at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (1992), Ophelia in Hamlet at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney (1994), Susan in Plenty in the West End (1999), and the title role in Hedda Gabler with the Sydney Theatre Company in 2004. From 2008 to 2013, she and her husband Andrew Upton were co-CEOs and artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company; her roles included Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire in Sydney, New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center (2009), Yelena in Uncle Vanya in Sydney, Washington D.C at the Kennedy Center and New York at the Lincoln Center (2011), and Claire in The Maids with Isabelle Huppert in Sydney (2013) and New York at the Lincoln Center (2014).
Blanchett's husband is playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, whom she met in 1996 on the set of a TV show. They were married on 29 December 1997 and have three sons: Dashiell John (born 3 December 2001), Roman Robert (born 23 April 2004), and Ignatius Martin (born 13 April 2008).
After making Brighton, England, their main family home for much of the early 2000s, she and her husband returned to their native Australia. In November 2006, Blanchett stated that this was due to a desire to decide on a permanent home for her children, and to be closer to her family as well as a sense of belonging to the Australian (theatrical) community. She and her family live in Bulwarra, an 1877 sandstone mansion in the harbourside Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill. It was purchased for A$10.2 million in 2004 and underwent extensive renovations in 2007 to be made more "eco-friendly".
In 2006, a portrait of Cate Blanchett and family painted by McLean Edwards was a finalist for the Archibald Prize. Blanchett is a Patron of the Sydney Film Festival. She became a spokesperson for and the face of SK-II, the luxury skin care brand owned by Procter & Gamble, in 2005, having used the brand years prior at the recommendation of a makeup artist friend. In 2007, Blanchett became the ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation's online campaign – trying to persuade Australians to express their concerns about climate change. She is also the Patron of the development charity SolarAid.
Opening the 2008 9th World Congress of Metropolis in Sydney, Blanchett said: "The one thing that all great cities have in common is that they are all different." In early 2009, Blanchett appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps called "Australian Legends of the Screen", featuring Australian actors acknowledged for the "outstanding contribution they have made to Australian entertainment and culture". She, Geoffrey Rush, Russell Crowe, and Nicole Kidman each appear twice in the series: once as themselves and once in character; Blanchett is depicted in character from Elizabeth: The Golden Age. At the beginning of 2011, Blanchett lent her support for a carbon tax.
She received some criticism for this, especially from conservatives. In 2008, Blanchett and her husband became co-CEOs and artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company. The 2013 season with the Sydney Theatre Company was Blanchett's final one as co-CEO and artistic director. Blanchett has said: "Theatre: the making of it, the consumption of it, at its best has an aspect of the ambulance chase. It's walking the precipice of an imminent disaster, the crash, the missteps, the cock-up, the collapse. That energy and secret hope in the audience has to be harnessed ... Anything live, and truly 'alive' will contain seeds of danger." Blanchett has spoken passionately about feminism and politics, telling Sky News in 2013 that she was concerned that "a wave of conservatism sweeping the globe" was threatening women's rights.
She has also commented on the pressures women in Hollywood face now: "Honestly, I think about my appearance less than I did ten years ago. People talk about the golden age of Hollywood because of how women were lit then. You could be Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and work well into your 50s, because you were lit and made into a goddess. Now, with everything being sort of gritty, women have this sense of their use-by date." In January 2014, Blanchett took part in the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative to raise the public profile of sustainable fashion, founded by Livia Firth of Eco-Age.
Blanchett wore a pair of Fairmined earrings set with responsibly sourced diamonds by the luxury Jeweller Chopard. She is a patron and ambassador of the Australian Film Institute and its academy, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
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