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Rachel Weisz

Date of Birth: 3/7/1970

Occupation: Actress
Rachel Hannah Weisz

Born 7 March 1970

Rachel Weisz an English film and theatre actress and former fashion model. She started her acting career at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she co-founded the theatrical group Cambridge Talking Tongues. The group was awarded the Student Drama Award for the improvised piece Slight Possession during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by The Guardian.

Rachel started working in television, appearing in Inspector Morse, the British mini-series Scarlet and Black, and the television movie Advocates II. She made her film début in the 1994 film Death Machine, but her breakthrough role came in the 1996 movie Chain Reaction, leading to a high-profile role as Evelyn Carnahan-O’Connell in the films The Mummy, in 1999, and The Mummy Returns in 2001. Other notable films include Enemy at the Gates, About a Boy, Constantine, The Fountain and The Constant Gardener, for which she received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for her supporting role as Tessa Quayle.

Rachel also works in theatre. Her stage breakthrough was the 1994 revival of Noel Coward’s play Design for Living, which earned her the ’London Critics’ Circle Award for the most promising newcomer. Her performances also include the 1999 Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer, and their 2009 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in the latter play earned her the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress of 2009.

Rachel was born in Westminster, London, England, and grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is an Austrian-born teacher turned psychotherapist. Her father, George Weisz, was a Hungarian-born inventor. Her parents fled to England during the Holocaust and Second World War. Her father is Jewish and her mother has Jewish Austrian and Italian ancestry. Her maternal grandfather, Alexander Teich, was a secretary of the World Union of Jewish Students; whilst one of her maternal great-grandmothers was from Italy. She has a sister, Minnie, who is a photographer and curator.

Her parents valued the arts, and encouraged her and her sister to form opinions of their own by introducing them to family debates. Her parents later divorced. Rachel left North London Collegiate School and attended Benenden School for one year completing A’ levels at St Paul’s Girls School. She claimed that she was a bad student until an English Literature teacher inspired her at the age of sixteen.

Rachel started modelling when she was fourteen. In 1984, she gained public attention when she turned down an offer to star in King David, along with Richard Gere.

After school, she entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she graduated with a 2:1 in English.

Once she finished her university education, she was offered a place at drama school, but she chose to look for work. In those years, she started taking small television roles. Despite her rising career, she felt deeply unhappy at times, having days in which she could not drag herself out of bed because of her unhappiness. This situation led to her undergoing therapy three times a week for five years.

Rachel started her film career with a minor role in the 1994 film Death Machine, but her first major role came in the 1996 film Chain Reaction, which also starred Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman. She next appeared as Miranda Fox in Stealing Beauty, directed by the Italian Academy Award-winner Bernardo Bertolucci.

In 1999 she played Greta in the historical film Sunshine. The same year, her international breakthrough came with the 1999 adventure movie The Mummy, in which she played the female lead opposite Brendan Fraser. She followed this up with the sequel The Mummy Returns in 2001, which grossed an estimated £275 million worldwide, (equivalent to approx £361 million in 2012) higher than the original’s £165 million (equal to approx £231 million in 2012 dollars).

In 2000 she portrayed Petula in the film Beautiful Creatures, following this up with 2001’s Enemy at the Gates, and the 2002 comedy-drama About a Boy, with Hugh Grant, based on Nick Hornby’s 1998 novel. In 2003 she played Marlee in the adaptation of John Grisham’s legal thriller novel The Runaway Jury, along with Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack and Gene Hackman; as well as starring in the film adaptation of the romantic comedy-drama play The Shape of Things.

Her next appearance, in 2005, was in Fernando Meirelles’s The Constant Gardener. The movie was critically acclaimed, earning her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

In 2006, she starred in Darren Aronofsky’s romantic drama The Fountain. That same year, she provided the voice for Saphira in the fantasy film Eragon; and rejected an offer to star in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor due to script issues.

Rachel began dating American filmmaker and producer Darren Aronofsky in the summer of 2001. They met backstage at London’s Almeida Theatre, where she was starring in The Shape of Things. She moved to New York City with Aronofsky the following year; in 2005, they were engaged. Their son, Henry Chance, was born on 31 May 2006 in New York City. The couple resided in the East Village in Manhattan. In November 2010, Rachel and Darren announced that they had been apart for months, but remain close friends and are committed to raising their son together in New York.

Rachel began dating actor Daniel Craig in December 2010 and they married on 22 June 2011 in a private New York ceremony, with only four guests in attendance, including Rachel’s son and Daniel’s daughter.

In 2009, Rachel expressed her views on Botox to Harper’s Bazaar - "It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen. Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?"

In 2001, she was involved in a traffic accident, while travelling in a cab that was hit by a truck, she was unharmed.

During her career, she has been featured on the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Esquire. She serves as a muse to fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, and was named L’Oréal’s global ambassador in 2010.

Rachel, a British citizen by birth, became a naturalized American citizen in 2011

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