Catherine lise “Cate” Blanchett (born May 14, 1969) is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning Australian actress and stage director. She has won various other acting awards, most notably two SAGs and two BAFTAs, as well as the Volpi Cup at 64th Venice International Film Festival.
Blanchett came to international attention in the 1998 film Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur, in which she played Elizabeth I of England. She is also well known for her portrayals of the elf queen Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, a role which brought her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She and her husband Andrew Upton are currently artistic directors 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”. She has two siblings; her older brother, Bob, is a computer systems engineer, and her younger sister, Genevieve, worked as a theatrical designer and received her Bachelor of Design in Architecture in April 2008.
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. 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 losing to an Egyptian in the film Kaboria, starring the late Egyptian actor Ahmed Zaki. Blanchett 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.