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Kate Beckinsale, real name Kathrin Romary "Kate" Beckinsale (born 26 July 1973), is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing (1993) while still a student at Oxford University. She then appeared in British costume dramas such as Prince of Jutland (1994), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Emma (1996), and The Golden Bowl (2000), in addition to various stage and radio productions. She began to seek film work in the United States in the late 1990s and, after appearing in small-scale dramas The Last Days of Disco (1998) and Brokedown Palace (1999), she had a break-out year in 2001 with starring roles in the war film Pearl Harbor and the romantic comedy Serendipity. She built on this success with appearances in the biopic The Aviator (2004) and the comedy Click (2006).Read Full Bio >>
Early life and career
Beckinsale became known as an action star following an appearance in 2003's Underworld and has since starred in many action films, including Van Helsing (2004), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Whiteout (2009), as well as Contraband, Underworld: Awakening, and Total Recall (all in 2012). She also makes occasional appearances in smaller dramatic projects such as Snow Angels (2007), Winged Creatures (2008), Nothing but the Truth (for which she earned a Critic's Choice Award nomination in 2008), and Everybody's Fine (2009). She will next appear in the legal drama The Trials of Cate McCall.
Born and raised in London, Beckinsale's parents are actor Richard Beckinsale (1947–1979) and actress Judy Loe. She had an eight-year relationship with Welsh actor Michael Sheen from 1995 until 2003; they have one daughter. She married American film director Len Wiseman in 2004 and relocated to Brentwood, Los Angeles. Publications such as Esquire and People have repeatedly included Beckinsale in their annual rankings of the world's sexiest and most beautiful women. She has worked occasionally as a model in television and print campaigns to promote Gap denim, Diet Coke, Absolut Vodka, and Lux shampoo.
Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series "Rising Damp" (1974), "Porridge" (1974) and "The Lovers" (1970). He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.
Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition - once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia - cured - and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.
Her major acting debut came in a TV film about World War II called One Against the Wind (1991) (TV), filmed in Luxembourg during the summer of 1991. It first aired on American television that December. Kate began attending Oxford University's New College in the fall of 1991, majoring in French and Russian literature. She had already decided that she wanted to act, but to broaden her horizons she chose university over drama school. While in her first year at Oxford, Kate received her big break in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (1993). Kate worked in three other films while attending Oxford, beginning with a part in the medieval historical drama Royal Deceit (1994), cast as Ethel. The film was shot during the spring of 1993 on location in Denmark, and she filmed her supporting part during New College's Easter break. Later in the summer of that year she played the lead in the contemporary mystery drama Uncovered (1995). Before she went back to school, her third year at university was spent at Oxford's study-abroad program in Paris, France, immersing herself in the French language, Parisian culture and French cigarettes.
A year away from the academic community and living on her own in the French capital caused her to re-evaluate the direction of her life. She faced a choice: continue with school or concentrate on her flourishing acting career. After much thought, she chose the acting career. In the spring of 1994 Kate left Oxford, after finishing three years of study. Kate appeared in the BBC/Thames Television satire Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV), filmed in London and East Sussex during late summer 1994 and which opened to spectacular reviews in the United States, grossing over $5 million during its American run. It was re-released to U.K. theaters in the spring of 1997.
Acting on the stage consumed the first part of 1995; she toured in England with the Thelma Holts Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull". After turning down several mediocre scripts "and going nearly berserk with boredom", she waited seven months before another interesting role was offered to her. Her big movie of 1995 was the romance/horror movie Haunted (1995), starring opposite Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud, and filmed in West Sussex. In this film she wanted to play "an object of desire", unlike her past performances where her characters were much less the siren and more the worldly innocent. Kate's first film project of 1996 was the British ITV production of Jane Austen's novel Emma (1996) (TV). Her last film of 1996 was the comedy Shooting Fish (1997), filmed at Shepperton Studios in London during early fall. She played the part of Georgie, an altruistic con artist. She had a daughter, Lily, in 1999 with actor Michael Sheen.
Beckinsale returned to work in 2012 with appearances in three action films. Beckinsale first appeared in the action thriller Contraband. She had a supporting role as the wife of Mark Wahlberg's character, a former criminal who gets forced back into a life of crime after his family members are threatened. The film was directed by Baltasar Kormákur, who also starred in the Icelandic language version of the film, Reykjavík-Rotterdam. The San Francisco Chronicle felt Beckinsale was "stuck in a bit of a thankless role as the victimised wife, but she does try to infuse a harder edge to the character". The Hollywood Reporter stated that "Beckinsale, her innate classiness calibrated down a few notches, has little to do but be supportive, worried and, eventually, besieged". Entertainment Weekly felt that the "woman-in-peril stuff is second-rate, giving off a whiff of exploitation" while Variety found the repeated violence towards Beckinsale's character disturbing. The film had a production budget of $25 million and has grossed over $96 million worldwide. Beckinsale next reprised her role as Selene in the fourth instalment of the vampire franchise Underworld: Awakening. The franchise was initially conceived of as a trilogy and Beckinsale was not "intending to do another one" but was convinced by the quality of the script. The Hollywood Reporter noted that "when she’s not actually fighting, her performance consists of little more than striding purposefully toward or away from the camera". The Los Angeles Times remarked that she "finally manages to perfect the monotone delivery she'd been honing for the series' first two entries". The film had a production budget of $70 million and has grossed over $160 million worldwide. With adjustments for inflation, Underworld:Awakening is the lowest grossing Beckinsale-led film in the franchise.
Also in 2012, Beckinsale appeared as the villainess in the sci-fi action remake Total Recall, directed by her husband Len Wiseman. She has said that Wiseman joined the project because he was unable to receive studio financing for an original sci-fi idea: "You’re constantly finding yourself having to defend doing a remake when you didn’t really want to make one in the first place." The film received mainly negative reviews. Variety found her performance "one-note" while The Hollywood Reporter described her as "one-dimensional". USA Today remarked that she "spends much of the movie strutting down hallways and looking relentlessly, though blandly, nasty". The New York Post asserted that Beckinsale "vastly overstays her welcome". The film has grossed $183 million from a production budget of over $200 million.
Beckinsale has filmed The Trials of Cate McCall opposite Nick Nolte and James Cromwell. She plays a recovering alcoholic lawyer who becomes convinced that a woman was framed for murder. She was drawn to the "great character" and found the director Karen Moncrieff "very clever and interesting". In June 2013, Beckinsale will film an appearance in Eliza Graves alongside Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. In the psychological thriller loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, she will play a patient in a mental institution.<< Less Bio
|2012||Costume Designers Guild Awards||Won|
|2009||Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Actress||Nothing But the Truth (2008).||Nominated|
|2007||People's Choice Awards, USA||Favorite Female Action Star||Nominated|
|2007||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Scream||Vacancy (2007).||Nominated|
|2006||MTV Movie Awards||Best Hero||Underworld: Evolution (2006).||Nominated|
|2006||Teen Choice Awards||Movies - Choice Chemistry||Click (2006).||Nominated|
|2006||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Bloodiest Beatdown||Underworld: Evolution (2006).||Nominated|
|2005||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||The Aviator (2004).||Nominated|
|2005||People's Choice Awards, USA||Favorite Female Action Movie Star||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress - Drama/Action Adventure||Van Helsing (2004) and Underworld (2003).||Nominated|
|2004||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Actress||Underworld (2003).||Nominated|
|2004||MTV Movie Awards||Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer||Nominated|
|2002||Razzie Awards||Worst Screen Couple||Pearl Harbor (2001).||Nominated|
|2002||MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Pearl Harbor (2001).||Nominated|
|2002||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Actress||Serendipity (2001).||Nominated|
|2001||Teen Choice Awards||Film - Choice Chemistry||Pearl Harbor (2001).||Nominated|
|1999||London Critics Circle Film Awards||British Supporting Actress of the Year||The Last Days of Disco (1998).||Won|
|1997||Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival||Best Actress||Shooting Fish (1997).||Won|
"Star Trek Into Darkness" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
"PUNK: Chaos to Couture" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals
London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14 - Burberry Prorsum - Arrivals
"Total Recall" UK Premiere - Arrivals
"Total Recall" Germany Premiere - Arrivals
"Total Recall" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals