Oscars 2009: Kate Winslet profile

Born into an acting family in Reading, Berkshire, she knew from an early age what career she wanted to follow.

She attended a drama and dance school but found it difficult to fit in and was nicknamed ‘Blubber’ because she tipped the scales at nearly 14 stone. Having watched her parents struggle for work, she never thought of acting as a route to stardom and instead envisaged herself in stage and television roles. Roles in children’s drama Dark Season and a cameo in Casualty duly followed. “I would have been quite happy to be a jobbing actor. It was never about being famous,” she said.

However, her film debut as a murderous schoolgirl in Heavenly Creatures, a low-budget feature directed by Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson, made Hollywood sit up and take notice of the talented tenager. Her next film, Sense and Sensibility (1995), earned her first Oscar nomination and won her a Bafta. She is the youngest actress to earn six Oscar nods

In 1997 she starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. There were fears it would be the biggest-budget flop in Hollywood history. Instead, it became the highest-grossing film of all time with a box office gross of $1.8 billion.

From then on, Winslet had the pick of roles but stayed away from blockbusters and opted for more offbeat fare, from Hideous Kinky to the quirky musical Romance & Cigarettes. She even released a single, What If, from the soundtrack of Christmas Carol: The Movie, which made the top 10.

Her weight has been a topic for discussion throughout her career. Her curvaceous figure has set her apart from Hollywood’s size zero actresses and she joked that pregnancy had left her with a bottom like “purple sprouting broccoli”. She sued a women’s magazine which wrongly suggested she had visited a ‘diet doctor’ and protested when GQ airbrushed her to within an inch of her life for a cover shoot. “I really want these young women to know we don’t look like this,” she said.

Full published article at: Telegraph.co.uk

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