Kate Elizabeth Winslet, CBE (born 5 October 1975), is an English actress and singer. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader (2008). She has won awards from the Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association among others, and has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award for television acting, winning once for her role as Mildred Pierce in the 2011 mini-series of the same name. In 2012 she received the Honorary César Award for her life and acting career.
Brought up in Berkshire, Winslet studied drama from childhood, and began her career in British television in 1991. She made her film debut in Heavenly Creatures (1994), for which she received her first notable critical praise. She achieved recognition for her subsequent work in a supporting role in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and for her leading role in Titanic (1997), the highest-grossing film at the time.
Since 2000, Winslet's performances have continued to draw positive comments from film critics, and she has been nominated for various awards for her work in such films as Quills (2000), Iris (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), The Reader (2008) and Revolutionary Road (2008). Her performance in the last of these prompted New York magazine critic David Edelstein to describe her as "the best English-speaking film actress of her generation". The romantic comedy The Holiday and the animated film Flushed Away (both 2006) are among the biggest commercial successes of her career.
Winslet was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 2000. She has been included as a vocalist on some soundtracks of works she has performed in, and the single "What If" from the soundtrack for Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) was a hit single in several European countries.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, Winslet is the second of four children of Sally Anne (née Bridges), a barmaid, and Roger John Winslet, a swimming pool contractor. Her parents were "jobbing actors", which led Winslet to comment that she "didn't have a privileged upbringing" and that their daily life was "very hand-to-mouth". Her maternal grandparents, Linda (née Plumb) and Oliver Bridges, founded and operated the Reading Repertory Theatre, and her uncle, Robert Bridges, appeared in the original West End production of Oliver!. Her older sister, Anna, and younger sister, Beth, are also actresses. Her younger brother, Joss, is the only sibling who did not pursue an acting career.
Winslet began studying drama at the age of 11 at the Redroofs Theatre School, a co-educational independent school in Maidenhead, Berkshire, where she was head girl. At the age of 12, Winslet appeared in a television advertisement directed by filmmaker Tim Pope for Sugar Puffs cereal. Pope said her naturalism was "there from the start"