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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 16:20 GMT
Morton: From Nottingham to Hollywood
Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton plays a mother of two in In America
Hollywood cannot get enough of Samantha Morton, the 26-year-old Nottingham-born actress whose performance as an Irish immigrant in family drama In America landed her a second Oscar nomination earlier this year.

The first was for her breakthrough performance as a deaf mute woman in Woody Allen's 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown.

But British audiences were already familiar with her work thanks to TV series like Soldier Soldier and Cracker.

Born in 1977, Morton left school at 13 to train at the Central Junior Television Workshop, founded by the local broadcaster of the same name.

A series of small roles led to her being cast as a drug-addicted prostitute in ITV's Band of Gold.

Costume parts in TV versions of Jane Eyre, Tom Jones and Jane Austen's Emma followed. But it was her remarkable portrayal of a grief-stricken daughter in 1997's Under the Skin that brought her to Allen's attention.

The Oscar-winning director cast her in his jazz-age comedy, even though she publicly admitted having seen none of his films.

Despite not having a single word of dialogue, she landed an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

Morton achieved further acclaim as a heroin addict in Jesus' Son and as a disturbed supermarket clerk in Morvern Callar.

Samantha Morton in Code 46
Samantha Morton will next be seen in sci-fi romance Code 46
On the back of these eye-catching performances she landed her most prominent role to date - as a psychic "pre-cog" in Steven Spielberg's futuristic thriller Minority Report.

Renowned for her forthright views and strong opinions, Morton had a daughter in February 2000 with actor Charlie Creed-Miles and briefly quit acting to raise her.

It is perhaps ironic then that the Academy has chosen to recognise her performance as a young mother in Jim Sheridan's In America.

"Of all the films I've ever done this was the most personal," she told the BBCi Films website last year.

"At the end of In America, I realised the most important thing is family and love."

Next up for Morton is a role alongside fellow Oscar nominee Tim Robbins in science-fiction romance Code 46.

She will soon be seen alongside another Academy Award hopeful - Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp - in 17th century romp The Libertine.

The future looks bright for Morton - and if she does go on to even greater success, rest assured it will be on her terms.



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