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Cate Blanchett

Spotlight

No one can question this Aussie actress’ commitment to her work or her impressive range. Having started on stage with the National Institute of Dramatic Art and Sydney Theatre Company, the pale beauty made the leap to film in 1997 opposite Frances McDormand in “Paradise Road” and Ralph Fiennes in “Oscar and Lucinda,” the trailer for which convinces the director of “Elizabeth” to cast the virtual unknown as the titular lead in his royal biopic. It earns her the first of her five Academy Award nominations. She won one for playing Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator,” making her the only actor to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner. It also establishes the lengths she’ll go to in order to perfect a performance as she spent three months shaving back her hairline and bleaching her brows and lashes. She perfected a Long Island accent for “Pushing Tin,” donned prosthetic ears for the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy/”The Hobbit” and strapped down her boobs to play folk singer Bob Dylan. She’s managed to steal scenes from myriad Sexiest Men Alive — Brad Pitt (“Babel” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), George Clooney (“The Good German,”) Matt Damon (Talented Mr. Ripley”) and Harrison Ford (the fourth “Indiana Jones” film). In real life, she only has eyes for husband, screenwriter Andrew Upton, and is the proud mother of three sons — Dashiell, Roman and Ignatius.

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