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Cate Blanchett - Biography

The Oceans 8, Tár and Elizabeth star was born in 1969

Cate Blanchett smiling and looking to the right in a blue dress© Getty Images
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
Updated: June 21, 2023
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Cate Elise Blanchett was born May 14, 1969, in Melbourne Australia. A household name, the multi award-winning actress is known for her leading roles in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Carol, and The Aviator, and has also starred in several film franchises such as Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Ocean's 8

Early life

The daughter of schoolteacher June, and Texan naval officer Bob Blanchett who came ashore in Melbourne and never left, Cate's early life was marred by the death of her father from a heart attack when she was just ten years old. Following some travelling as a young woman - during which she became an extra on a boxing film in Egypt - Cate enrolled at Australia's National Institute Of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, from which she graduated in 1992. 

Film career

Within a year from her graduation, Cate had appeared on stage in Timothy Daly's Kafka Dances (for which she won the Sydney Theatre Critics' Best Newcomer Award) and a production of Oleanna by David Mamet (for which she won Best Actress). When director Gillian Armstrong was looking for someone to star opposite Oscar-nominee Ralph Fiennes in Oscar And Lucinda, it was Cate who sprang to mind, and when Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur saw the result, he knew he'd found his queen.

MORE: Cate Blanchett’s private family life: all about the Oscar nominee's kids, husband and where she calls home 

Wary of being typecast and reluctant to take the traditional Hollywood path marked out for ingenues, Cate afterwards opted instead for supporting roles in Pushing Tin and The Talented Mr Ripley. Despite her relatively minor role in Ripley, many believe she provided the emotional center of the film. Back-to-back films followed, including Bandits, Charlotte Gray and The Shipping News. But it was her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator which finally earned her first Academy Award in 2005. 

Since then, Cate has remained an in-demand actor capable of starring roles in all kinds of films, from indie darlings such as Tár to the biggest blockbuster hits such as Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok. She has also continued to make appearances on stage, such as when she acted in the Sydney Theatre Company's revival of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2009. She made her Broadway debut in 2017, acting in The Present, for which she was nominated for the Tony for Best Actress in a Play.

Personal life

In 1996 she met her future husband, screenwriter Andrew Upton, while performing in a stage production of The Seagull. It was hardly love at first sight, however. "He thought I was aloof and I thought he was arrogant," Cate told Vanity Fair in 1999. "It just shows you how wrong you can be. But once he kissed me that was that." 

The two were married in 1997 and welcomed a son, Dashiell John in December 2001. Their second son Roman Robert followed in April 2004. In 2008 they welcomed their third son, Ignatius Martin. Cate and Andrew then adopted a daughter, Edith Vivian Patricia in 2015.

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