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Rachel Weisz Biography

Rachel Weisz (pronounced "Vice") was born in London, England on March 7, 1971, to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe; her Viennese mother is a psychoanalyst while her Hungarian father is an inventor credited with inventing life-saving respiratory medical equipment.

At the age of 15, Rachel Weisz began working as a model, but a change of heart led her to acting. Her parents were adamant about her receiving a college education before pursuing acting (incidentally, her mother originally wanted to act as well), so she studied literature at Cambridge's Trinity Hall.

rachel weisz in stealing beauty
The Cambridge student got involved in drama at the same time, co-founding a theater group known as Talking Tongues; she co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the productions. Some of the Talking Tongues' works were performed at the Edinburgh Festival, and in 1991, Rachel won a student drama award for a play she wrote and starred in.

Rachel got her first big break in a theater production of Noel Coward's Design for Living, for which she received the Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer. She then moved to television, where she starred in the 1993 made-for-TV movie Dirtysomething and the BBC miniseries The Scarlet and the Black. She then appeared in the series Inspector Morse in 1993, and in the made-for-TV movies White Goods and Seventeen in 1994.

With nothing more than television roles to her name, Rachel was cast as a junior executive in the science-fiction film Death Machine in 1995.

But her big breakthrough came in 1996, when she was cast in Bernardo Bertolucci's stunning coming-of-age film, Stealing Beauty. Although the film's star was Liv Tyler, Rachel Weisz still managed to steal a bit of the spotlight as Miranda Fox, a snobbish artist's daughter.

rachel weisz in the mummy
Rachel was next cast in a string of smaller movies (not necessarily with smaller actors), such as 1996's Chain Reaction, co-starring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman, as well as 1997's Swept from the Sea, Going All the Way (in which she played Ben Affleck's girlfriend and starred with Rose McGowan), and Bent, in which she played a prostitute.

After roles in The Land Girls and I Want You in 1998, Rachel Weisz leapt to blockbuster status and international fame with her lead female role in the unraveled hit of 1999, The Mummy.

Rachel returned to her roots as a Hungarian Jew in the epic film Sunshine (1999), where she starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in a role that garnered her a Genie Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2000. That same year, she was also nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Actress in an Action Movie and a Saturn Award for Best Actress, both for The Mummy.

After starring in Beautiful Creatures in 2000, Rachel Weisz rang in the New Year by co-starring with Joseph Fiennes (another Fiennes brother) and Jude Law (her Primrose Hill neighbor) in the WWII Battle of Stalingrad film, Enemy at the Gates.

rachel weisz in the mummy returns
Although the latter didn't blow up at the box office, the sequel to The Mummy opened with record highs in 2001, breaking box-office records. Rachel returned with Brendan Fraser as Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell/Princess Nefertiri, making audiences scramble to see her, as well as The Rock and Patricia Velasquez. Despite Rachel's success in film, she still continued to take to the stage; she starred in an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer, for which she earned the 1999 Barclays Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as the London production of The Shape of Things, in which she starred as an American sculptress.

rachel weisz in constantine
Rachel was next seen in About a Boy (2002) with Hugh Grant and Toni Collette, The Shape of Things (2003), Confidence (2003), Runaway Jury (2003), Envy (2004), and Constantine (2005) with Keanu Reeves.

In 2005, Rachel was also seen in The Constant Gardener opposite Ralph Fiennes once again, and in 2006, The Fountain with Hugh Jackman, Ellen Burstyn and Mark Margolis.

Rachel has also graced the cover of several magazines such as Tatler and Bikini, and despite her flair for posing, she declined Hugh Hefner's offer to appear in his renowned magazine. So the entire male population didn't get to see dear Rachel, but some lucky males have been allegedly romantically linked to her, including her My Summer With Des co-star Neil Morrissey, her I Want You co-star, Alessandro Nivola, her Chain Reaction and Constantine co-star Keanu Reeves, and American Beauty British director, Sam Mendes. In June 2005, she got engaged to Requiem for a Dream director Darren Aronofsky.

rachel weisz in eragon
Rachel Weisz took her stab at a children's novel adaptation and her voice starred in Eragon, which hit theaters in 2006. The novel, which was already grossly popular, made it to the big screen with high hopes and it managed to do fairly well -- though not as well as some boy wizards and hobbits have done in the past.

Rachel Weisz also starred alongside Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti in the holiday comedy Fred Claus in 2007. And she tried her hand at a romantic comedy alongside Jude Law (once again), Norah Jones, Natalie Portman, and David Strathairn in My Blueberry Nights (2007).


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