Bio / Info
Blanchett was born in Ivanhoe, a suburb of 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 partial 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 walked off from the set. 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.