Kate Winslet was born in England to actor Roger Winslet and Sally Bridges-Winslet. She began studying acting at 11 and at age 12 she appeared in a commercial. Her first acting job was dancing with the Honey Monster in a commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal.
“I never had a desire to be famous ... I was fat,” she says. “I didn't know any fat famous actresses ... You know, once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Because you always think that you just look a little bit wrong or a little bit different from everyone else. And I still sort of have that.”
Nevertheless she continued acting and appeared in over 20 plays. She went on to make her television debut for the BBC, before being cast in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures. When Kate Recorded a song for the soundtrack for the movie Christmas Carol – The Movie, the producers were so impressed at her efforts they decided to release the ballad – called "What If?" – as a single. It reached the top ten in the United Kingdom.
She then was under Ang Lee’s direction in Sense and Sensibility where he required her to practice Tai Chi. “Acting, and the privilege of being able to do it for a living, is so important to me. I don't turn up and just hope for the best. I really fret about it. I do my homework; I prepare myself for the experience of playing a particular character.”
In 1996 Winslet began filming Titanic in the role of Rose, which she had gotten after convincing James Cameron through letters, phone calls and pleading with him to give her the role. Telling him she was his Rose.
"Titanic was totally different and nothing could have prepared me for it. ... We were really scared about the whole adventure. ... Jim [Cameron] is a perfectionist, a real genius at making movies.” She would parlay the fame obtained in that film on to play in small independent movies sometimes using her status from Titanic to back the projects like Quills and later Little Children.
Winslet has three children and is currently married to Ned Rocknroll, who is Richard Branson’s nephew. "It's very tempting to have a nanny and live in a gated community and have a chef – I'd love to have a few dinners cooked for me. But I don't want that for my children. When they're older, if people say to them, 'Did you have a chef?' I want them to be shocked by the question. Real luxury is having the time to read endless stories in bed with my children. And I get that all the time. I'm so blessed.”
Her children refer to very close friend and Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio as "Uncle Leo". He also bought Kate an inscribed gold ring, after they filmed Revolutionary Road. However, Winslet keeps the inscription a secret.
To date Winslet has collected a grand total of 11 Golden Globes nominations, winning thrice: a rare double win in 2009 for Revolutionary Road (Best Actress – Drama) and The Reader (Best Supporting Actress) and as Best Actress in a TV Movie or Mini Series in 2012 (Mildred Pierce). She holds a unique distinction in Academy Awards history as well: Only twice have two actresses been nominated for playing the same character in the same film. The first two were Gloria Stuart and Kate in Titanic. The second two were Judi Dench and Kate in Iris.