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THE GIFT

Since graduating from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) CATE BLANCHETT (Annie Wilson) has worked extensively in theater. She is a member of Company B, a loose ensemble of actors including Geoffrey Rush, Gillian Jones and Richard Roxburgh based at Belvoir St. under the direction of Neil Armfield. Her roles included Miranda ("The Tempest"), Ophelia ("Hamlet," for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award), Nina ("The Seagull") and Rose ("The Blind Giant is Dancing").

For the Sydney Theater Company (STC), she has appeared in Caryl Churchill's "Top Girls," David Mamet's "Oleanna" (for which she was awarded The Sydney Theater Critics Award for Best Actress), Michael Gow's "Sweet Phoebe" (also for the Croyden Wearhouse, London) and Timothy Daly's "Kafka Dances" (also for the Griffin Theatre Company), for which she received the Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer.

For the Almeida Theater in 1999, Blanchett played Susan Traherne in David Hare's "Plenty" on London's West End.

Her television credits include lead roles in "Bordertown" and "Heartland," both for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Her film roles include Susan McCarthy in Bruce Beresford's Paradise Road; Lizzie in Thank God He Met Lizzie, an anti-romantic comedy directed by Cherie Nowlan for which Blanchett was awarded both the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and the Sydney Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress; and Lucinda in Oscar and Lucinda, opposite Ralph Fiennes and directed by Gillian Armstrong, a role that earned her an AFI nomination for Best Actress.

In 1998, Blanchett portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in the critically acclaimed Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She also earned Best Actress Awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the London Film Critics Association, the On-line Film Critics, the Variety Critics and the UK Empire Award. She also received a Best Actress nomination from the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

In 1999, Blanchett appeared in Pushing Tin with John Cusack, a black comedy about air traffic controllers directed by Mike Newell; An Ideal Husband, directed by Oliver Parker; and The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by Anthony Minghella, for which she received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Blanchett will next be seen starring in Sally Potter's The Man Who Cried, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Also, Blanchett plays Galadriel, Queen of the Elves, in Peter Jackson's much anticipated Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novels.

The actress recently wrapped production on Heaven, opposite Giovanni Ribisi and directed by Tom Tykwer. She is currently in production on Bandits, with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, directed by Barry Levinson. In 2001, Blanchett will play the title role in Charlotte Gray, directed by Gillian Armstrong and based on Sebastian Faulks' bestselling novel.

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