Cate Blanchett is an Australian actress and leading lady of film, known for her work in numerous high profile Hollywood films.
Blanchett was born in Melbourne, Australia to Robert Blanchett, a Texas-born United States Navy Petty Officer who later worked in advertising, and June, an Australian schoolteacher.
When Blanchett was 10, she lost her father to a heart attack.
She has two siblings; the elder, Bob, is a computer systems engineer, and her younger sister, Geneviève, is a theatrical designer.
She is of French ancestry.
Blanchett attended primary school in Melbourne at Ivanhoe East Primary School before completing secondary education at Methodist Ladies' College, where she explored her passion for acting.
She studied economics and fine art at the University of Melbourne before leaving Australia to travel.
When she was 18, Blanchett went on a vacation to Egypt. A fellow guest at a cheap hotel in Cairo asked if she wanted to be an extra in a movie, and the next day she found herself in a crowd scene, cheering for an American boxer who was losing to an Egyptian.
She returned to Australia and later moved to Sydney to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art; graduating in 1992 and beginning her career in the theatre.
Her first major stage role was opposite Geoffrey Rush in the 1993 David Mamet play Oleanna. She also appeared as Ophelia in an acclaimed 1994–95 Company B production of Hamlet, directed by Neil Armfield, starring Rush and Richard Roxburgh.
Blanchett appeared in the mini-series Heartland opposite Ernie Dingo, the mini-series Bordertown and in the Police Rescue episode, "The Loaded Boy".
She made her film debut as an Australian nurse captured by the Japanese in a production of Paradise Road directed by Bruce Beresford, co-starring Glenn Close and Frances McDormand.
Blanchett's first high-profile role was as Elizabeth I of England in the 1998 movie Elizabeth. This role earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, losing to Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love.
However, Blanchett's performance won her a British Academy (BAFTA) Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.
The following year, Blanchett was nominated for another BAFTA Award for her supporting role in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for playing Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. This made Blanchett the first person ever to garner an Academy Award for playing a previous Oscar-winning actor/actress.
Already an acclaimed actress, Blanchett received a host of new fans when she appeared in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies. She played the role of the High Elf Queen Galadriel in all three films, which holds the record for the highest grossing trilogies of all time.
In 2006 she starred in both Babel opposite Brad Pitt, and Notes on a Scandal playing Sheba Hart opposite Dame Judi Dench. Dench won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for playing Elizabeth I, the same year Blanchett lost for playing the same historical figure, albeit in a different category.
She received her third Academy Award nomination for her performance in the film (Dench was also Oscar nominated).
Blanchett will reprise her role as Elizabeth I in the upcoming sequel tentatively entitled Golden Age. She is set to star as a young Bob Dylan in the feature film I'm Not There.
As of 2008, she and her husband will commence three-year contracts as artistic co-directors of the Sydney Theatre Company. The contracts include a clause that will allow either of them to take three months out each year to pursue other activities.
Also in 2008, Blanchett will play as of yet an unspecified role in the forthcoming Indiana Jones IV, tentatively scheduled for a May 22, 2008 release.
Blanchett also works as the face of SK-II, the luxury skin care brand owned by Procter & Gamble.
Blanchett's husband is playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, whom she met in 1996 while she was performing in a production of The Seagull. They were married the following year 1997.
It was not love at first sight, however. "He thought I was aloof and I thought he was arrogant," Blanchett later remarked. "It just shows you how wrong you can be. But once he kissed me that was that."
The two were married on December 29, 1997.
Their first child, Dashiell John, was born on December 3, 2001; their second child, Roman Robert, was born on April 23, 2004.
The younger son received a minor burn injury on May 15, 2005 while the family was in Marrakech, Morocco, for the filming of the movie Babel. After initial treatment there, Blanchett flew with him to London for further treatment.
After making England her main family home for most of the early 2000s, she and her husband returned to their native Australia.
Blanchett said in a Vogue interview of November 2006: "Andrew and I realised how much Australia meant to us. We saw the theatre community in Sydney and we felt, well, we know you all; we have worked with many of you. We have tried to live a few other places, but something really hit us in the gut. It's just a feeling about what home is. It became clear to us, particularly after the children were born, that family and the theatrical community in Australia were a large part of who we are."