Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett in The Talented Mr. Ripley

Cate Blanchett in “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

When Cate Blanchett emerged as Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 magisterial biopic “Elizabeth,” it didn’t take long to realize that a major acting force had arrived – “Elizabeth” was Cate’s first Oscar nomination at the age of 29, and in less than 10 years, she would amass four more nods from the Academy; including two in 2007. Rest assured all this praise is deserved – a look at Cate’s resume reveals she has appeared in some of the most intriguing films of the past decade.

Cate was born in Australia in 1969 to an Australian mother and United States Navy officer father. It was at the Methodist Ladies’ College in which Cate began a serious pursuit of the acting craft and by her early 20s was on stage in “Oleanna,” the David Mamet play with Cate opposite Geoffrey Rush. In an incredibly swift amount of time, Cate was among the rising young talents in her profession when “Elizabeth” premiered in 1998. For the role, Cate was not only nominated not for an Oscar and a Screen Actor’s Guild award, but also won the Golden Globe and BAFTA. In many ways, it was just the beginning. In addition to the five Oscar nominations she had earned by 2008, Cate’s award history also included seven Golden Globes (winning for “Elizabeth” and “I’m Not There”), 11 Screen Actors Guild trophies (claiming two), and five BAFTA nominations.

But those are just awards. In the past 10 years, Cate – while working with the best in the business in Judi Dench, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey just to name a few – has portrayed such strong characters as Galadriel from all three “Lord of the Rings,” Katharine Hepburn from “The Aviator” (for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar), Lena Brandt in “The Good German,” Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” and twice as Queen Elizabeth.

But those are just characters. She has worked with directors Anthony Minghella (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Sam Raimi (“The Gift”), Barry Levinson (“Bandits”), Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”), Lasse Hallstrom (“The Shipping News”), Jim Jarmusch (“Coffee and Cigarettes”), Ron Howard (“The Missing”), Wes Anderson (“The Life Aquatic”), Martin Scorsese (“The Aviator”), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”), Steven Soderbergh (“The Good German”), and Steven Spielberg (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) among others.

But describing Cate Blanchett’s accomplishments is not enough. You have to see her, and in doing so, you’ll get as close to Queen Elizabeth, Katharine Hepburn, or Dylan as if it were really them. Indiana Jones not only has to deal with the Russians now, but a Soviet Cate Blanchett is probably his worst nightmare.

Get the latest on Cate by following our Cate Blanchett tag.


Cate Blanchett should have won the Oscar in 2007!
Our editors selected Cate Blanchett in our feature of Oscar snubs.

Cate on the Screen

Cate Blanchett’s breakout role came in 1998’s “Elizabeth,” only four short years after her big screen debut, and the actress has gone on deliver consistently good work since then. Some of her highlights include “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Aviator,” “Notes on a Scandal,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “I’m Not There,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and more recently, Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” and the “Hobbit” trilogy.

Cate Says

On failing:
“If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously!”

On her introduction to acting:
“I remember the first film I did, the lead actor would in between scenes be reading a newspaper or sleeping and I’d think, ‘How can you do that?’”