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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May, 2003, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Blanchett to play Beatrix Potter
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett was nominated for her portrayal of Elizabeth I

Cate Blanchett is set to take the lead in a biopic about the life of celebrated author Beatrix Potter, according to reports.

The Elizabeth star will play the young writer who created the much-loved characters of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck, reports industry website Screen Daily.

Australian Blanchett, who has made her home in the UK, was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in 1999.

Filming is due to begin in the UK later in the year, directed by Bruce Beresford, whose credits include the Pierce Brosnan film Evelyn and the Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy.

The film will be the latest in a series focusing on British authors following Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours and Gwyneth Paltrow's upcoming role as Sylvia Plath in Ted and Sylvia.

The movie will concentrate on Potter's little-known private life from her early days in London to her settling in Cumbria after she married.

Beatrix Potter
Potter lived in Cumbria

Born in 1866, she was the daughter of a wealthy family, but had an isolated childhood.


While her brother was sent away to boarding school, she was educated at home and had no other children to play with and spent a lot of time with pets that would later inspire her stories.

She began writing after creating the character of Peter Rabbit in a letter to a friend's children in 1902, and in all she produced 23 books.

As well as her writing talents the film will explore her romantic life including her romance with Norman Warne, which was frowned upon by her family.

They became engaged but he died a month later from leukaemia.

Potter eventually married William Heelis and they lived together on a farm in Cumbria until her death in 1943 at the age of 77.

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14 Apr 03  |  Gloucestershire
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17 Nov 02  |  England
Windfall as Peter Rabbit turns 100
11 Jul 02  |  England

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