Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Profile: Kate Winslet

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
Titanic, which also starred Leonardo DiCaprio, is Winslet's most famous film

Kate Winslet has finally won her first Academy Award after a run of five unsuccessful nominations.

The star's success came for her role in The Reader, capping a number of prizes leading up to the Oscars.

"I get very emotional about these things," said Winslet at a recent Hollywood event. "I'm too emotional to lose, and I'm too emotional to win."

The 33 year-old's remarks came in the wake of this year's Golden Globe awards, which saw her take home two statuettes, and the Screen Actors Guild awards where she was also recognised.

Her contrasting roles in The Reader and Revolutionary Road secured a double triumph at the Globes.

Winslet had two nominations in the best actress category at the British Academy Film Awards - with her role in The Reader beating her part in Revolutionary Road.

Disturbed

Born in Reading, Berkshire in 1975, Kate Elizabeth Winslet has enjoyed a varied and successful career.

She began acting in the BBC's children's science fiction serial Dark Season in 1991, making further small screen appearances in Casualty and Anglo-Saxon Attitudes.

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes
Winslet married film and theatre director Sam Mendes in 2003
But it was not until 1993 that she moved to the big screen, landing the role of Juliet Hulme in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures.

Winslet's performance as a disturbed teenager in 1950s New Zealand saw her garlanded by both Empire magazine and the London Film Critics' Circle.

That was followed in 1996 by Sense and Sensibility, a Jane Austen adaptation that proved to be a financial and critical success.

Winslet scooped a Bafta for her performance as the flighty Marianne Dashwood, which also saw her nominated for an Oscar.

Costume roles opposite Christopher Eccleston in Jude and Kenneth Branagh in Hamlet kept her in the public eye.

However, it was playing the impetuous Rose Dawson in 1997's Titanic that finally made her an international star.

Tragedy

James Cameron's film, a massive box-office hit, went on to win 11 Oscars, though Winslet herself was once more overlooked.

Tragedy struck shortly afterwards when Winslet's partner of five years, actor and writer Stephen Tredre, died from bone cancer.

Kate Winslet and Ricky Gervais
Winslet was nominated for an Emmy for her appearance in Extras
The actress wed director Jim Threapleton in 1998, though their marriage ended in divorce three years later.

Winslet tied the knot again in 2003, this time with the Oscar-winning director of American Beauty, Sam Mendes.

Their son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born later that year, Winslet having already had a daughter, Mia Honey, with Threapleton.

Winslet has never made any secret that she will always put her family first and has turned down roles because of it.

She was offered a part in Woody Allen's 2005 film Match Point but declined it.

She also turned down the lead role in Shakespeare in Love, opting to appear in Hideous Kinky instead.

Satirical

But Winslet's ability has not been the only focus of press attention over the years.

The actress's weight has always been a talking point, with Winslet taking legal action on occasion against various magazines that have made claims about it.

In 2005 the actress returned to TV to star in an episode of Ricky Gervais's comedy series Extras.

The actress, who played a satirical version of herself, earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest performance in a comedy series.

In addition to Sense and Sensibility, Titanic and The Reader, Winslet received Oscar nominations for Iris, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Little Children.

Hardly surprising, then, that many felt 2009 was Kate Winslet's year.

After all, only one actress in history - veteran player Thelma Ritter of All About Eve fame - was nominated as many times without actually winning.

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