Before she played the eccentric Clementine in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” or journalist Iris Simpkins in one of our fave chick flicks “The Holiday,” Kate Winslet was the sensitive yet spunky Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron’s “Titanic.” With the re-release of “Titanic” in 3-D this week, Kate returns as the first-class socialite smothered by her mother and trapped in a boring life of dinner parties and tight corsets. Let’s take a look back at her career before and after the revolutionary film.
Born in Reading, England, on October 5, 1975, Kate grew up in a household of thespians. Her parents were stage actors, her grandparents founded the Reading Repertory Theatre, and her uncle was in the original production of “Oliver!” in London’s West End. Destined for a career in the same industry, she began studying drama at the Redroof’s Theatre school at the young age of 11. When she was 12, she landed her first role in a commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal and according to the director, her talent was “there from the start.”
Kate’s first roles started off on the small screen. She co-starred in the BBC children’s TV series “Dark Season,” and appeared in the 1992 made-for-TV movie “Anglo-Saxon Attitudes,” the sitcom “Get Back” and the medical drama “Casualty” in 1993. In 1994, she landed a lead role in “Heavenly Creatures,” a film that received widespread praise and landed a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. Kate won an Empire Award and a London Film Critics’ Circle Award for British Actress of the Year—needless to say, it was her breakout performance.
But her awards didn’t stop there. She shined as the second lead in 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility” alongside Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Her role as the spontaneous Marianne Dashwood won her a BAFTA, a SAG Award and even Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. And then in 1997, her career soared with “Titanic” and those who weren’t already taking notice of the actress were paying attention then.
Exceeding everyone’s expectations, the film became the highest-grossing movie ever (only to be beat out by Cameron’s “Avatar” in 2009). Kate won our hearts as Rose who was desperately searching for a simple life of happiness. She found that happiness—and subsequently, love—in Jack Dawson, played by the dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio. The pair made our cheeks turn bright red at their steamy love scene, cringe at the sight of Rose trying to break Jack free from handcuffs and cry with the famous line: “I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.” But it was just the beginning of the bright star’s career.
The next 12 years saw her take on an array of roles from period pieces like “Quills,” where she played a chambermaid, to “All the King’s Men” where she joined the cast of Sean Penn and Jude Law as Jude’s love interest. And while none of the films garnered the success of “Titanic,” Kate’s acting was nothing less than superb.
In 2008, she scored again with roles in “The Reader” and “Revolutionary Road.” The latter saw her reunite with Leonardo to portray a failing relationship instead of a flourishing one. Her stunning turn landed her a Golden Globe for Best Actress. The former received mixed reviews as a film, but won her the very much deserved Best Actress award at the Oscars.
Since then Kate made her way back to the small screen where she played Mildred Pierce in the 2011 HBO miniseries of the same name. And while she doesn’t have anything else lined up for 2012, we’re excited to reminisce about the ’90s this weekend when we sail again on the “Titanic.”
Are you going to see “Titanic” this weekend? What are you thoughts on Kate’s incredible career? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!