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Cate Blanchett

Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett (born May 14, 1969) is an Australian actress best known for her portrayal of elf queen Lady Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings. Blanchett came to international attention in the 1998 film Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur, in which she played Elizabeth I of England. She is currently the artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company. Blanchett was born in Ivanhoe, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of June, an Australian property developer and teacher, and Robert "Bob" Blanchett, a Texas-born United States Navy Petty Officer who met Blanchett's mother while stationed in Melbourne and who later worked as an advertising executive. When Blanchett was 10, she lost her father to a heart attack. She has described herself during childhood as "part extrovert, part wallflower". 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 Arts at the University of Melbourne before leaving Australia to travel overseas. Her first major stage role was opposite Geoffrey Rush in the 1993 David Mamet play Oleanna, for which she won the Sydney Theatre Critics' Best Newcomer Award. Blanchett made her international film debut with a supporting role as an Australian nurse captured by the Japanese Army during WW2 in Bruce Beresford's 1997 film Paradise Road, which co-starred Glenn Close and Frances McDormand. Her first leading role, also in 1997, was as Lucinda Leplastrier in Gillian Armstrong's production of Oscar and Lucinda opposite Ralph Fiennes. Her first high-profile international role was as Elizabeth I of England in the 1998 movie Elizabeth, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Blanchett lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow for her role in Shakespeare in Love but won 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. Already an acclaimed actress, Blanchett received a host of new fans when she appeared in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. She played the role of the High Elf Queen Galadriel in all three films, which hold the record as the highest grossing film trilogy of all time. In 2005, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 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. In 2007, Blanchett was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People In The World and also one of the most successful actresses by Forbes magazine. She will next be seen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as the villainous Russian Agent Irina Spalko, and also in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, both of which will be released in 2008. Blanchett's husband is playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, whom she met in 1996 while she was performing in a production of The Seagull. She and her family live in "Bulwarra", a 1877 sandstone mansion in the harbourside Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill.

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