Born: March 07, 1970
Date of Birth: March 7, 1970
The daughter of a Jewish refugee from Budapest and a psychoanalyst from Vienna, Rachel Weisz was born in London, England and educated at Benenden and St Paul's School for Girls.
When Weisz was 13, her mother sent a holiday snapshot to fashion magazine Harpers & Queen and presto, she started modeling. Casting agents working on the feature film King David spotted her in the magazine and offered her the part of Richard Gere's daughter in the period piece. After making her big screen debut at 14, she continued to model, appearing in Vogue before heading for Trinity College in Cambridge to study English. There, she set up a theater group, Cambridge Talking Tongues, with three friends and took plays to the Edinburgh Festival.
In 1992, they took an improvised piece called Slight Possession to the Edinburgh Festival and, while the show won a Guardian award, Weisz was approached by a theatrical agent. In 1994, she walked off with the Critics' Circle award for Best Newcomer for her performance in Design For Living at the Gielgud Theatre.
She went on to star in the BBC's adaptation of Scarlet And Black which was followed by a series of films including Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty in 1996, Amy Foster, a Second World War cutie in The Land Girls, alongside Ben Affleck in Going All The Way, and in the disastrous film Chain Reaction opposite Keanu Reeves, which she thought was "a terrible film."
But it was 1999's surprise hit The Mummy that gave her the greatest exposure. As Evelyn, the librarian who finds herself on an adventure in Egypt, Weisz wanted the part immediately after reading Stephen Sommers' script.
"I thought it was a great part for a woman," she has said. "I thought it was a character part, a comedy part. Normally women in those sorts of action movies are dippy and bimbo who just shout 'help'."
And to think she almost gave up acting for school. "I was so bookish. I really got into it. I was thinking of staying for a Ph.D. But it put me off of acting. I spent three years in analyzing text and doing practical criticism and all that. If you start doing that with your plays and stuff, you act really badly because you have to be quite stupid to act."
Her ambition paid off in 2006 when she won a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for her work in the award-winning film The Constant Gardener (2005), as well as her first Academy Award.
In 2007 and 2008, she played both leading and supporting roles in major motion pictures, notably in the romance My Blueberry Nights (2007), Definitely, Maybe (2008) and The Brothers Bloom (2008) opposite Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. P>
In 2009, she put her trust in Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Amenabar and took on a role in his historical drama Agora (2010), then worked with director Peter Jackson on the supernatural drama The Lovely Bones (2010) opposite Mark Wahlberg. She followed this up with roles in The Whistleblower (2011), Dream House (2011), and The Deep Blue Sea (2012). She also starred in the fourth film of the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy in 2012, followed by a starring turn in Fernando Meirelles' drama 360, and the fantasy reboot Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013).
The award-winning actress can more recently be seen in the black comedy The Lobster (2015) opposite Colin Farrell, the romantic drama The Light Between Oceans (2016) starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender, the biopic Denial (2016), and the independent drama Complete Unknown (2016) alongside Michael Shannon.