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Rachel Weisz

Rachel Hannah Weisz (born March 7, 1970) is an Academy Award-winning English actress. She became well-known after her roles in the Hollywood films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, and has since continued appearing in major film roles. Weisz (pronounced Vice) was born in London, England and grew up in the Hampstead Garden suburb. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is a Vienna-born Austrian teacher turned psychotherapist. Her father, George Weisz, is a Hungarian-born inventor whose family fled to England to escape Nazi persecution. Weisz's father is Ashkenazi Jewish and her mother has been referred to as either Catholic, Jewish, or having Jewish ancestry. Weisz was raised in a cerebral Jewish household and refers to herself as Jewish. Weisz has a sister, Minnie Weisz, who is an artist. Weisz was educated at North London Collegiate School. She was then sent to Benenden School and eventually settled in St Paul's Girls' School. She then entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she graduated with a 2:1 in English. During her university years she appeared in various student productions, co-founding a student drama group called Cambridge Talking Tongues, which went on to win a Guardian Student Drama Award at the Edinburgh Festival for an improvised piece called Slight Possession. Her breakthrough role was that of Gilda in Welsh director Sean Mathias's 1995 West End revival of Noel Coward's 1933 play Design for Living at the Gielgud Theatre. Having already worked for television, with parts in major UK series such as Inspector Morse (1993), Weisz started her cinema career in 1995 with Chain Reaction and then appeared in Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty. She followed this work with more English films including My Summer with Des, Swept from the Sea, The Land Girls, and Michael Winterbottom's I Want You. Although she received favourable critical recognition for her work to this point, her breakout into wide audience recognition came from a popular serio-comic horror movie The Mummy, in which she played the lead female role. Since then she has starred in a number of films including The Mummy Returns (2001), which grossed higher than the original, as well as Enemy at the Gates (2001), About a Boy (2002), Runaway Jury (2003) and Constantine (2005). Her stage work includes the role of Catherine in a London production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer and Evelyn in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things at the Almeida Theatre (also film). In 2005, Weisz starred in Fernando Meirelles's The Constant Gardener, a film adaptation of a John le Carré thriller of the same title set in the slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya. For this role, Weisz won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress,[11] the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. In her home country, she was recognized as a leading role for the film according to the nomination from the BAFTA awards and winnings from the London Critics Circle Film Awards and British Independent Film Awards. In 2006 Weisz was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The same year, she starred in The Fountain and also provided the voice for Saphira in Eragon. Her upcoming films include the Wong Kar-wai-directed drama My Blueberry Nights (in which she plays an "anti-Southern belle") and director Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom, in which she plays a wealthy American woman targeted by two con man brothers (Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo). On 7 July 2007, Weisz presented at the American leg of Live Earth. Weisz is engaged to American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. They have been dating since 2002. They have a son, Henry Chance, born on May 31, 2006 in New York City. The couple reside in the East Village in Manhattan. They are considering getting married in a traditional wedding ceremony at the oldest synagogue in New York. Weisz previously dated actor Alessandro Nivola, actor Neil Morrissey, director Sam Mendes, and actor/comedian Ben Miller.
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