Cate Blanchett: Snapshot

Cate Blanchett
Date of Birth
May 14, 1969
Birth Place
Melbourne, Australia
In 1998, Aussie newcomer Cate Blanchett shaved back her hairline to create a commanding forehead (and performance) in the biopic Elizabeth. She nabbed her first Academy Award nomination for playing the Virgin Queen and eventually won the Oscar in 2004 for taking on screen legend Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

Although Blanchett has been named one of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful and is applauded for her risk-taking red carpet style, she considers having an "actor's face" the "greatest compliment." The versatile actress has morphed into folk singer Bob Dylan, reprised her star-making role in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and played an elven queen in The Lord of the Rings franchise. She added a second Oscar to her resumé in 2014, taking home the Best Actress trophy for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

Cate Blanchett: Video

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The Australian actress is as daring as she is stylish – see all her high-style looks (2:22)

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Cate Blanchett: Five Fun Facts

  1. For 1998's Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett spent three months with her hairline shaved and her brows and lashes bleached. "It was one of the most liberating times of my life because I didn't even bother," Blanchett told PEOPLE.
  2. While growing up in sunny Australia, Cate Blanchett spent hours slathered in oil on her roof. "I always bemoaned the fact that I wasn't a bronzed surfer chick," she told PEOPLE. "I've had to accept the fact that I'm pale."
  3. Cate Blanchett donned prosthetic ears to play Galadriel, the elf queen, in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. "I did [the role] for my husband; he's obsessed by my ears," she told the AP.
  4. For her role as Bob Dylan in the biopic I'm Not There, Cate Blanchett told W, "I just strapped those breasts down and went for it."
  5. Cate Blanchett and husband Andrew Upton will take over as co-artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company – Australia's largest theater company – in 2008. "It's hugely demanding and an enormous stretch," Blanchett said of the three-year appointment, where she will oversee a company of 12 actors and more than a dozen productions a year.

Cate Blanchett: Biography

late 1970s

January 01

An Early Loss

At 10, Blanchett loses her father, Robert, who dies of a heart attack. Her mother June raises her and her two siblings in Melbourne, Australia. "I do feel that loss," Blanchett tells the Sydney Morning Herald in 1994. "I have always believed there isn't enough time."


Cate Blanchett

Cate the Great

Blanchett studies at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and Sydney Theatre Company (pictured with costar Aden Young). She appears in many stage productions, including Oleanna with Geoffrey Rush. "There was a buzz about Cate even when she was in drama school," Rush tells the Los Angeles Times in 1998. "There was always just something special about Cate, an excitement, an aura."


Cate Blanchett

Beyond Theatre

Blanchett jumps to film as a sympathetic nurse in Paradise Road with Frances McDormand (right). She also lands her first major role opposite Ralph Fiennes in Gillian Armstrong's Oscar and Lucinda. The film's trailer, which features Blanchett as a 19th century gambling heiress, grabs the attention of director Shekhar Kapur, who fights to cast the unknown actress in his Queen Elizabeth I biopic.

Read More on Cate Blanchett's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Heidrun Lohr/AP

Edited by Julia Wang

Cate Blanchett

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