Raised in Reading, Berkshire, England since the day she was born on October 5, 1975, Kate had received strong influence from her family that led her to the decision of becoming a professional actress at such a young age. Both of her parents, Roger and Sally Bridges-Winslet, as well as her uncle, Robert Bridges, are stage actors while her maternal grandparents, Oliver and Linda Bridges, ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, so her growth of interest in performing arts hardly could be resisted indeed. In order to pursue her dream, the 11-years-old girl then entered Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead, England, thus was involved in some stage productions of "Adrian Mole", "Peter Pan", "A Game of Soldiers", and "What The Butler Saw" which led to her first award nomination from the Manchester Evening News in 1994.
Encountered her screen debut through a British TV series entitled "Shrinks" (1990), Kate afterwards left her school earlier in 1991 to develop an acting career and managed to appear in several other TV programs, such as "Dark Season" (1991), "Get Back" (1992), "Anglo Saxon Attitudes" (1992), plus "Casualty" (1993). A bright opportunity approached when the 17-years-old girl successfully earned her first film role in an audition for Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures", beating out 175 hopefuls to portray an obsessive adolescent named Juliet Hulme. Released in 1994, the thriller drama flick surprisingly became a major critical success despite its fair result, consequently brought her to public attention while also served as a good vehicle to land roles in bigger productions, "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" along with "Sense and Sensibility" which both came up in 1995.
Cast alongside Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant in "Sense and Sensibility", Kate displayed such an excellent performance as Marianne Dashwood so that she was bestowed Best Supporting Actress nomination in four prestigious award events by 1996, namely BAFTA Awards, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards in which she later won the title. This great attainment automatically provoked the spotlight to direct its bright light upon her yet it was James Cameron's "Titanic" (1997) that truly catapulted her to widespread recognition together with considerable popularity as it turned out to be the highest grossing film of all time with tremendous worldwide income of more than 1.8 billion U.S. dollar. Furthermore, this romantic drama feature guided her to acquire her second nomination at Academy Awards in 1998, this time in the category of Best Actress in Leading Role.
Much to everyone's surprise, Kate unexpectedly chose to be involved in a smaller project entitled "Hideous Kinky" (1999) instead of continuing to star in other Hollywood blockbuster movies after the sensational result of "Titanic." Previously dated Stephen Tredre and Rufus Sewell, she then fell in love with the film's third assistant director, James Threapleton, subsequently held her marriage ceremony on November 22, 1998. In the meantime, her career ran on steady path as she kept being busy in filming Jane Campion's "Holy Smoke" (1999) opposite Harvey Keitel and "Quills" (2000) together with Geoffrey Rush, Michael Caine, also Joaquin Phoenix. She then went on to take shoot for "Enigma" (2001), a British drama picture set in World War II, from April to June 2000 in spite of her pregnancy.
Giving birth to Mia Honey Threapleton on October 12, 2000, Kate took her time to nurture this baby girl before announced her next project, a biopic feature of British writer Iris Murdoch, by March 2001. Six months later she made a shocking statement of her separation with James and by December, the couple officially had their divorce papers signed off. Meanwhile, "Iris" (2001), in which she played the young version of this celebrated literary figure, garnered rave reviews from the critics, leading her to once again became the Best Supporting Actress nominee at Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and BAFTA Awards in 2002. Marked February 2003 with her wonderful enactment in "The Life of David Gale," this particular year also saw the green-eyed beauty happily married to acclaimed director Sam Mendes on May 24 and the couple's joy as they welcomed Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes on December 22, 2003.
Kate started the year 2004 with an appearance opposite Jim Carrey in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" which directed her to grab another nomination at Academy Awards, making her the only actress under the age of 30 to be nominated for four times in the event. Cast as the leading lady in "Finding Neverland" (2004), she next was seen starring alongside James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, and Steve Buscemi in John Turturro's "Romance & Cigarettes" (2005) then portraying Anne Stanton, the daughter of state governor who formerly had an affair with Jack Burden, played by Jude Law, in "All the King's Men" which came up in 2006. Slated to contribute her enchanting voice in "Flushed Away" (2006) and "Gnomeo and Juliet" (2008), this blonde actress satisfyingly added "The Holiday" and "Little Children" as her other 2006 projects.
To Kate's delight, the latter vehicle joyously turned out to lead her once again as an Oscar nominee in best actress slot by 2007 apart from similar nods she scored at the prestigious Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards, and BAFTA Awards that year. On the heels of the attainment, the beauty quickly found herself reuniting with her "Titanic" co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time after the blockbuster in "Revolutionary Road" (2008), an adaptation of the Richard Yates novel directed by her own husband.