Birth Date: July 26, 1973
Birth Place: London, England
Height: 5' 8"
Quote: "If someone had told me years ago that sharing a sense of humour was so vital to partnerships, I could have avoided a lot of sex!"
Kate Beckinsale is poised for major stardom. Already a huge hit in Britain, her role in what looks to be 2001's summer blockbuster, Pearl Harbor, has her set to be Hollywood's next big thing. The road to stardom, however, hasn't been easy.
Kate had acting in her blood; her mother Judy Loe is a casting director for the BBC and has appeared in numerous British sitcoms, and father Richard Beckinsale rose to comedic fame in Britain. Growing up in a famous household had its perks.
Kate was able to attend exclusive schools growing up, enrolling at Flexlands Private School in London. Kate started flexing her creative muscle early, beginning ballet lessons and getting involved in numerous creative writing avenues. She went on to win the W.H. Smith Young Writer's competition twice in her teens.
But in 1979, tragedy struck. Her father died of a heart attack, leaving Kate's mother to raise the 6 year old alone. This coupled with normal teenage growth and development saw Kate battle through anorexia and eventually develop a fairly chronic smoking habit, which she currently maintains. She was able to fight off the anorexia, but the disorder caused her teenage years to be tumultuous ones.
In 1991, however, life took a positive turn, as Kate nailed a role in the television film Once Against the Wind. Kate had decided that she might want to follow in her parents' footsteps and become an actress on her own accord, and this role was perfect for her. However, it didn't fully convince her, so she decided to pursue a career via college. She applied and matriculated at New College Oxford, where she studied French and Russian literature.
It was during her third year that she made the decision to leave school to pursue acting full time. She had been studying abroad in Paris, and the time away from the crunch of schoolwork and demands of college life gave her some space to evaluate the direction her life was taking. She decided that her heart lie in acting, so she abandoned her education and chose to focus solely on her passion.
Her choice turned out to be a good one. She finally hit the big time in her role as hero in Kenneth Branagh's 1993 Much Ado About Nothing. The film was Kate's first to receive international appeal, and exposured her to the critical American audience. She continued working on a number of films in Britain, but two subsequent Hollywood releases would prove pivotal stepping stones. The Last Days of Disco, an odd film that received reviews across the board was important, but her role in the Claire Dane's film Brokedown Palace, although not a box office success, nor critical success for that matter, simply offered up the exposure this British lass was searching for.
After that, all it took was a little fate. For some reason, Charlize Theron, an actress who seems to be unable to refuse any role pushed her way (she admits disappointment over being passed over in favor of Elizabeth Berkely for Showgirls) pulled out of Pearl Harbor. Her decision to pull out in favor of Sweet Novemeber ranks right up there with Janeane Garofalo's decision to pass on the role of Gail Weathers in the Scream trilogy in favor of a film that eventually went straight to video. Nonetheless, the producers scrambled to replace Theron and chose Kate. The film promises to expand Kate's audience and showcase her talent.
Off the screen, Kate formally dated aviation legend Eugene Pascual, and the two were engaged but never married. Kate and actor Michael Sheen have a daughter together, Lily Mo Sheen (born January 31, 1999). In June 2003, she became engaged to the director of Underworld, Len Wiseman, and the two were married on May 9, 2004 in Bel-Air, California.
Kate Beckinsale Filmography
Whiteout (2008) .... Carrie Stetko
Snow Angels (2007) .... Annie
Click (2006) .... Donna Newman
Underworld: Evolution (2006) .... Selene
The Aviator (2004) .... Ava Gardner
Van Helsing (2004) .... Anna Valerious
Tiptoes (2003) .... Carol
-- aka Tiny Tiptoes
Underworld (2003) .... Selene
Laurel Canyon (2002) .... Alex
Serendipity (2001) .... Sara Thomas
Pearl Harbor (2001) .... Nurse Lt. Evelyn Johnson
-- aka Pearl Harbour
The Golden Bowl (2000) .... Maggie Verver
Brokedown Palace (1999) .... Darlene Davis
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998) (TV) .... Alice
The Last Days of Disco (1998) .... Charlotte Pingress
Shooting Fish (1997) .... Georgie
Emma (1996) (TV) .... Emma Woodhouse
Haunted (1995) .... Christina Mariell
Marie-Louise ou la permission (1995) .... Marie-Louise
Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV) .... Flora Poste
Prince of Jutland (1994) .... Ethel
-- aka Royal Deceit
Uncovered (1994) .... Julia
Much Ado About Nothing (1993) .... Hero
Anna Lee: Headcase (1993) (TV) .... Thea Hahn
Rachel's Dream (1992) (TV) .... Rachel
One Against the Wind (1991) (TV) .... Barbe Lindell
"Devices and Desires" (1991) (TV Mini Series) .... Young Alice Mair (voice)
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