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PRACTICAL MAGIC

NICOLE KIDMAN (Gillian Owens) was already an acclaimed actress in her native Australia when she came to the notice of American audiences in the Phillip Noyce thriller "Dead Calm." Her subsequent starring roles include "Days of Thunder," "Billy Bathgate" (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination), "Far and Away," "My Life," "Malice," "Batman Forever" and Jane Campion's adaptation of "The Portrait of a Lady." Her starring role in Gus Van Sant's acclaimed black comedy, "To Die For," brought her a Golden Globe for Best Actress, along with Best Actress awards from the Boston Film Critics, National Broadcast Film Critics, London Film Critics and the Seattle Film Festival; she was also nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the American Comedy Awards.

Born in Hawaii, Kidman grew up in Australia, where she enrolled in drama school at age 10. She made her professional debut in an Australian film, "Bush Christmas," at 14 and began to mix her schoolwork with working in film and theater. Her theater credits include starring roles in Wedekind's "Spring Awakening" for the Australian Theater for Young People and "Steel Magnolias" at the Sydney Seymour Center, for which she was nominated "Best Newcomer" by the Sydney Theater Critics.

Kidman's role in the much-lauded 1985 Kennedy-Miller mini-series "Vietnam" made her a virtual overnight star in Australia. Only 17 at the time, she was voted Best Actress of the Year by the Australian public and the Australian Film Institute for her performance. In addition to public and critical acclaim, her performance in the series also attracted the attention of filmmakers throughout Australia. Her subsequent portrayal of the terrorized wife in "Dead Calm" was praised by critics in Australia and abroad.

Following the success of "Dead Calm," Kidman reunited with the production team of Kennedy-Miller for a second critically acclaimed mini-series, "Bangkok Hilton," and, once again, was voted Best Actress of 1989 by the Australian public.

Most recently she starred with George Clooney in "The Peacemaker" for director Mimi Leder. Her upcoming projects include Stanley Kubrick's film, "Eyes Wide Shut"; and this Fall, Kidman is starring in David Hare's play, "The Blue Room" (at London's Donmar Warehouse Theatre), directed by Sam Mendes and co-starring Iain Glenn.

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