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Her first screen appearance, at the age of 15, was in the British television series Dark Season (1991).She made her film debut playing a teenage murderess in Heavenly Creatures (1994), and received her first BAFTA Award for playing Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995).For her narration of a short story in the audiobook Listen to the Storyteller (1999), Winslet won a Grammy Award.She performed the song "What If" for the soundtrack of her film Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001).She prepared for the part by reading the transcripts of the girls' murder trial, their letters and diaries, and interacted with their acquaintances.While promoting Heavenly Creatures in Los Angeles, Winslet auditioned for the minor part of Lucy Steele for a 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Sense and Sensibility, starring and written by Emma Thompson.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, Winslet studied drama at the Redroofs Theatre School.Divorced from the film directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes, Winslet has been married to the businessman Ned Rocknroll since 2012. She worked simultaneously with the Starmaker Theatre Company in Reading.She participated in over 20 of their stage productions, but was rarely selected as the lead due to her weight.Impressed by her reading, Thompson cast her for the much larger part of the recklessly romantic teenager Marianne Dashwood.The director Ang Lee wanted Winslet to play the part with grace and restraint—aspects that he felt were missing from her performance in Heavenly Creatures—and thus asked her to practice tai chi, read gothic literature, and learn to play the piano.
The science fiction romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), in which Winslet was cast against type in a contemporary setting, proved to be a turning point in her career, and she gained further recognition for her performances in Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), and The Reader (2008).