Rachel Weisz (surname pronounced "vice") (born
7 March 1971) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning, and
BAFTA-nominated English actress.
Weisz was born in London in 1971. Her father, George Weisz, is a
Hungarian-born Jewish inventor whose family fled to England in order
to escape Nazi persecution. Her mother, Edith, is a Vienna-born
Austrian Catholic psychoanalyst and aspiring actress of part Ashkenazi
Jewish and part Italian Catholic heritage. Weisz was raised Jewish.
Weisz read English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. She graduated with
a 2:1. During her university years she appeared in various student
productions, co-founding a student drama group called Cambridge
Talking Tongues, which went on to win a Guardian Student Drama Award
at the Edinburgh Festival for an improvised piece called Slight
Her breakthrough role was that of Gilda in Welsh director Sean Mathias's
1995 West End revival of Noël Coward's 1933 play Design for
Living at the Gielgud Theatre. Having already worked for television,
with strong parts in major UK series such as Inspector Morse (1993),
Weisz started her cinema career in 1995 with Chain Reaction and
then appeared Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty. She followed
this work with more English films including Swept from the Sea,
The Land Girls, and Michael Winterbottom's I Want You. Since then
she has starred in a number of films including The Mummy (1999),
Enemy at the Gates (2001), About a Boy (2002), Runaway Jury (2003)
and Constantine (2005). Her stage work includes the role of Catherine
in a London production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer
and Evelyn in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things at the Almeida Theatre
(also film). In a recent interview, Ms. Weisz expressed her admiration
for Harry Houdini, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jackie
Onassis, amongst others, but it is for singer Elvis Presley that
she keeps her greatest love.
In 2005, Weisz starred in The Constant Gardener, a film adaptation
of a John le Carré thriller of the same title set in the
slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya. For this role, Weisz won
the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the 2006 Golden
Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the 2006 Screen Actors Guild
Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting
Role. In her home country, she was recognized as a leading role
for the film according to the nomination from the BAFTA Film Awards
and winnings from the London Critics Circle Film Awards and British
Independent Film Awards.
In 2006, Weisz will star in The Fountain, written and directed
by her fiancé, Darren Aronofsky. In the same year, she plans
to star in a New York production of August Strindberg's Miss Julie,
playing the titular role.
Weisz is engaged to American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. They have
a son, Henry Chance, born on May 31, 2006. The couple reside in
Brooklyn. Weisz previously dated actor Alessandro Nivola, actor
Neil Morrissey, and director Sam Mendes.
2006: The Fountain
2005: The Constant Gardener
2003: Runaway Jury
2003: The Shape of Things
2002: About A Boy
2001: The Mummy Returns
2001: Enemy at the Gates
1999: The Mummy
1998: Swept from the Sea
1996: Chain Reaction
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