Cate Blanchett earned an Academy Award nomination for her break-out performance as Queen Elizabeth I of England. A chronicle of the early years of her reign, Elizabeth is a brilliant recreation of the 16th century. Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush shines in a strong supporting role. Sex. Violence. Political intrigue. What else can you ask for?
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Cate BlanchettActorCate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old, her 40-year-old father died of a sudden heart attack. Her mother never remarried, and her grandmother moved in to help her mother. Cate graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992 and, in a little over a year, had won both critical and popular acclaim. On graduating from NIDA, she joined the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Caryl Churchill's "Top Girls", then played Felice Bauer, the bride, in Tim Daly's "Kafka Dances", winning the 1993 Newcomer Award from the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle for her performance. From there, Blanchett moved to the role of Carol in David Mamet's searing polemic "Oleanna", also for the Sydney Theatre Company, and won the Rosemont Best Actress Award, her second award that year. She then co-starred in the ABC Television's prime time drama Heartland (1994), again winning critical acclaim. In 1995, she was nominated for Best Female Performance for her role as Ophelia in the Belvoir Street Theatre Company's production of "Hamlet". Other theatre credits include Helen in the Sydney Theatre Company's "Sweet Phoebe", Miranda in "The Tempest" and Rose in "The Blind Giant is Dancing", both for the Belvoir Street Theatre Company. In other television roles, Blanchett starred as Bianca in ABC's Bordertown (1995), as Janie Morris in G.P. (1989) and in ABC's popular series Police Rescue (1994). She made her feature film debut in Paradise Road (1997). Cate married writer Andrew Upton in 1997. She had met him a year earlier on a movie set, and they didn't like each other at first. He thought she was aloof, and she thought he was arrogant, but then they connected over a poker game at a party, and she went home with him that night. Three weeks later he proposed marriage and they quickly married before she went off to England to play her breakthrough role in films: the title character in Elizabeth (1998) for which she won numerous awards for her performance, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama. Cate was also nominated for an Academy Award for the role but lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow. 2001 was a particularly busy year, with starring roles in Bandits (2001), The Shipping News (2001), Charlotte Gray (2001) and playing Elf Queen Galadriel in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy. She also gave birth to her first child, son Dashiell, in 2001. In 2004, she gave birth to her second son Roman. Also, in 2004, she played actress Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's film "Aviator" (2004), for which she received an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. Two years later, she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for playing a teacher having an affair with an underage student in "Notes on a Scandal" (2006). In 2007, she returned to the role that made her a star in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007). It earned her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. She was nominated for another Oscar that same year as Best Supporting Actress for playing Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" (2007). In 2008, she gave birth to her third child, son Ignatius. She and her husband became artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, choosing to spend more time in Australia raising their three sons. She also purchased a multi-million dollar home in Sydney, Australia and named it Bulwarra and made extensive renovations to it. Because of her life in Australia, her film work became sporadic, until Woody Allen cast her in the title role in Blue Jasmine (2013), which won her the Academy Award as Best Actress. She ended her job as artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, while her husband continued there for two more years before he too resigned. In 2015, she adopted her daughter Edith in her father's homeland of the United States. That same year, she and her husband sold their multi-million dollar home in Australia at a profit and moved to America. Reasons varied from her wanting to work more in America to wanting to familiarize herself with her late father's American heritage. She played the title role of Carol (2015), a 1950s American housewife in a lesbian affair with a younger woman, for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. While most actresses might slow down in their forties, Blanchett did the opposite by stretching her boundaries even further, such as when she played 13 different characters in Manifesto (2015) and then making her Broadway debut in 2017 in "The Present", which is her husband's adaptation of Chekhov's play "Platonov" for which she earned a Tony nomination as Best Actress in a Play. Also in 2017, she was selected for the highest honor in her birth country: the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).More
Geoffrey RushActorGeoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up. Rush attended Everton Park State High School during his formative years. His early interest in the theatre led to his 1971 stage debut at age 20 in "Wrong Side of the Moon" with the Queensland Theatre Company. Known for his classical repertory work over the years, he scored an unexpected hit with his Queensland role as Snoopy in the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". A few years later he moved to France to study but subsequently returned to his homeland within a short time and continued work as both actor and director with the Queensland company ("June and the Paycock," "Aladdin," "Godspell," "Present Laughter," "The Rivals"). In the 1980s Rush became a vital member of the State Theatre Company of South Australia and showed an equally strong range there in such productions as "Revenger's Tragedy," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Mother Courage...and Her Children," "Blood Wedding," "Pal Joey," "Twelfth Night" and as The Fool in "King Lear". Rush made an inauspicious debut in films with the feature Hoodwink (1981), having little more than a bit part, and didn't carry off his first major role until playing Sir Andrew Aguecheek in a movie production of Twelfth Night (1986). Yet, he remained a durable presence on stage with acclaimed productions in "The Diary of a Madman" in 1989 and "The Government Inspector" in 1991. Rush suffered a temporary nervous breakdown in 1992 due to overwork and anguish over his lack of career advancement. Resting for a time, he eventually returned to the stage. Within a few years film-goers finally began taking notice of Geoffrey after his performance in Children of the Revolution (1996). This led to THE role of a lifetime as the highly dysfunctional piano prodigy David Helfgott in Shine (1996). Rush's astonishing tour-de-force performance won him every conceivable award imaginable, including the Oscar, Golden Globe, British Film Award and Australian Film Institute Award. "Shine" not only put Rush on the international film map, but atypically on the Hollywood "A" list as well. His rather homely mug was made fascinating by a completely charming, confident and captivating demeanor; better yet, it allowed him to more easily dissolve into a number of transfixing historical portrayals, notably his Walsingham in Elizabeth (1998), Marquis de Sade in Quills (2000), and Leon Trotsky in Frida (2002). He's also allowed himself to have a bit of hammy fun in such box office escapism as Mystery Men (1999), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Banger Sisters (2002), Finding Nemo (2003) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). More than validating his early film success, two more Oscar nominations came his way in the same year for Quills (2000) (best actor) and Shakespeare in Love (1998) (support actor) in 2000. Geoffrey's amazing versatility continues to impress, more recently as the manic, volatile comedy genius Peter Sellers in the biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). Rush's intermittent returns to the stage have included productions of "Marat-Sade," "Uncle Vanya," "Oleanna," "Hamlet" and "The Small Poppies". In 2009 he made his Broadway debut in "Exit the King" co-starring Susan Sarandon. His marriage (since 1988) to Aussie classical actress Jane Menelaus produced daughter Angelica (1992) and son James (1995). Menelaus, who has also performed with the State Theatre of South Australia, has co-starred on stage with Rush in "The Winter's Tale" (1987), "Troilus and Cressida" (1989) and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (as Gwendolyn to his Jack Worthing). She also had a featured role in his film Quills (2000).More
JOSEPH FIENNESActorJoseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is one of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Ralph Fiennes, an actor; Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes, a musician; and Sophie Fiennes, a producer. He is of English, Irish, and Scottish origin. He was brought up in West Cork, Ireland. He left art school, and began working with the Young Vic Youth Theatre, and then went on to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His first professional stage appearance was in the West End in The Woman In Black, followed by A Month In The Country. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company for two seasons and performed roles in Dennis Potter's Son Of Man, Les Enfants Du Paradis, Troilus and Cressida, and Peter Whelan's The Herbal Bed.More
KATHY BURKEActorMs. Burke was born in Camden, London in 1964 at the Royal Free Hospital. Kathy's mother died when she was a baby and she was in foster homes for a short time until her father, who was a heavy drinker, could regain custody of Kathy and live with her two brothers. Kathy attended the Maria Fidelis Secondary School in Euston. She was encouraged to act at school and enrolled at the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. When Kathy was 17 years old, she was spotted by film director Mai Zetterling who was looking for young actresses to appear in the film Scrubbers (1982). At 22, Kathy wrote her first play "Mr Thomas". She directed it at the "Old Red Lion" and Ray Winstone appeared in the title role. Kathy is keenly interested in art and books and she collects first editions. She now lives in Highbury, London near Arsenal football ground.More