Cate Blanchett was born in the Melbourne. Her father was a United States Navy petty officer. and died When Blanchett was 10, leaving her mother to raise the family on her own. During her teens, Blanchett dressed in masculine sense and also experimented goth and punk phases. She shaved her head at one point!
Blanchett pursued Economics and Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne but had to drop out to travel abroad. She played an American cheerleader as an extra in an Egyptian boxing movie, as she was in need of money. On returning to Australia, she enrolled in the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, to pursue an acting career and graduated from NIDA in 1992. She continued doing stage roles. She received the Sydney Theatre Critics’ Best Newcomer Award for her performance in Kafka Dances and won Best Actress for her performance in Oleann. This made her the first actor to win both categories in the same year. Blanchett made her feature film debut in Paradise Road (1997), co-starring Glenn Close.
Her first leading role was in Oscar and Lucinda (1997), opposite Ralph Fiennes, which earned her first AFI Award nomination as Best Leading Actress. Her first prestigious international role was as Elizabeth I of England in the acclaimed film Elizabeth (1998), directed by Shekhar Kapur. The film flung her to stardom, and her performance reaped wide respect, earning her the Golden Globe Award and (BAFTA), and her first Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She won her first Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actress for her acclaimed portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. This made Blanchett the first actor to collect an Academy Award for playing an Oscar-winning actor. Cate Blanchett is also the only Australian actor to win two acting Oscars.