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22 - 03 - 2008, 17:57
English Man
..:: ::..

English Man is on a distinguished road
Nicole Kidman

A promising debut as a teen actress in her native Australia lead Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman to Hollywood in the early 1990s, where she quickly established herself as an engaging female lead in several major films. Her popularity, however, was largely due to a high-profile marriage to mega-star Tom Cruise, which put her front and center in a paparazzi hurricane that obscured her own talents for nearly a decade. After their high-profile divorce in 2001, Kidman defied critics and naysayers with a string of dazzling performances in almost every genre of film from high drama like her Oscar-winning work in "The Hours" (2002), to historical epics like "Cold Mountain," (2003) to even musicals, in which she dazzled moviegoers with her impressive pipes in "Moulin Rouge" (2001). She even nailed comedy roles, like her modern-day Samantha in "Bewitched" (2005) and, even more memorably, as the over-the-top wannabe weather girl in the black comedy, "To Die For" (1995). In fact, due in large part to her incredible reinvention and acting versatility to say nothing of her fashion reign as queen of the red carpet by 2007, she had succeeded in completely erasing her previous identity as Mrs. Tom Cruise by becoming the highest paid actress in the film industry, as well as a much sought-after spokesperson for high fashion commercials and print work.
A dual citizen of Australia and the United States she was born on June 20, 1967 to Australian parents in Hawaii Kidman spent her earliest years in Washington, D.C. before returning to Australia, where her father maintained a career as a biochemist and psychologist and her mother was a nursing instructor. Her performing career got an early start with ballet training at three and showed a natural talent for acting in her primary and high school years. In 1983, she debuted in the Australian kids action-comedy, BMX Bandits; she soon made for an engaging juvenile lead in the popular holiday feature Bush Christmas (1983) and 12 episodes of the family series Five Mile Creek (7 Network, 1983-85). In 1984, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which caused her to temporarily halt her higher education and help provide for the family by working as a massage therapist at age 17. After her mothers recovery, Kidman again pursued acting at Sydneys Australian Theatre for Young People.
By the mid-1980s, the pale-skinned redhead with the china doll face was a regular on Australian television, with notable appearances in several series and TV-movies, including the girlfriend of a conscientious objector in the 1987 miniseries Vietnam (which began a series of collaborations with director John Duigan) and an alluring script girl in the comedy Emerald City (1988), which earned her a nomination from the Australian Film Institute. The following year proved to be a watershed for Kidman; she starred as a young Englishwoman sentenced to death for smuggling drugs in the acclaimed Australian miniseries Bangkok Hilton (1989); even more importantly, she garnered international acclaim in Phillip Noyces tense thriller Dead Calm, about a couple (Kidman and Sam Neill) who unknowingly rescue a shipwrecked psychopath (Billy Zane) who then torment them. After critics singled out Kidmans performance as the determined wife, Hollywood soon called for her talents. And at the forefront of that rush to sweep her up and bring her to the States was Hollywoods then biggest star Tom Cruise who had first noticed her in Dead Calm and insisted she be his next leading lady. Despite the fact that she was a relative nobody in the States and did not represent the typical bombshell leading lady of the day, Cruise got what he wanted.
Unfortunately, the American movie industry proved to be an awkward match for Kidman. Her first American feature, Tony Scotts Days of Thunder (1990), was a crass and over-amped NASCAR drama that gave her little to do than trade overwrought glances with her new benefactor, Tom Cruise. She returned briefly to John Duigan and Australia for Flirting (1991), his sequel to his charming coming-of-age movie The Year My Voice Broke (1987) in which she co-starred as a repressed student at a girls boarding school. Also included in the cast was beautiful blonde actress Naomi Watts, with whom Kidman would remain a close friend after the two had met at an audition years before. Critics applauded her turn as a seductive moll to gangster Dutch Schultz in Billy Bathgate -- even earning a Golden Globe nomination for her performance (which included her first on-screen nude scene) but audiences and fans of the original E.L. Doctorow novel stayed away in droves. Her next few years were marked by mediocre projects and occasional box office success, including Ron Howards overblown historical epic Far and Away (1992) with then husband Cruise, the medical thriller Malice (1993) opposite Alec Baldwin, the dreary melodrama My Life (1993) with Michael Keaton, and perhaps worst of all, Joel Schumachers laughable Batman Forever (1995), with Val Kilmer as the Caped Crusader, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, and Kidman as a psychiatrist and love interest. Few could deny however, that no matter how bad the latter film, Kidmans softened fiery mane and glamour-girl makeup showed a beautiful new side even a sexy side to the actress.
No matter what quality work Kidman was racking up though, however, the most notable aspect of her Hollywood tenure in those days was her relationship with Cruise, which blossomed on the set of Days of Thunder. By the time of the movies release in 1990, the pair had married; by 1992, they had adopted a daughter, Isabella, and in 1995, a son, Connor, followed. Due to Cruises stratospheric profile in the film industry, Kidman was soon a regular feature in magazines and tabloids, which frequently questioned her position on his well-publicized relationship with the Church of Scientology, as well as his sexual orientation. Regardless of the speculation, the couple enjoyed a lengthy and seemingly happy relationship for the remainder of the decade and well into the early 2000s. There was no denying that had she not had the worlds biggest movie star on her arm, Kidmans talent no matter how impressive would not have fast-tracked like it did throughout the 1990s as the taller half of the most famous couple in the world.
Meanwhile, Kidman found more rewarding work in independent features, starting with Gus Van Sants black comedy To Die For, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination (and revived her standing in the eyes of critics) as a dense but ruthless weather girl who gains the national attention she craved by pressing a high schooler (Joaquin Phoenix) into murdering her husband (Matt Dillon). Her kinetic performance was so wacky and histrionic, that she was mesmerizing in a way she had never been before on screen. It was, in fact, this role in To Die For which truly made not only the Hollywood community but moviegoers in general perk up and notice her apart from her famous husband. Energized by the critical and popular acceptance, she then partnered with Jane Campion for a well-regarded adaptation of Henry James Portrait of a Lady (1996), which saw her make significant changes to her appearance, including the donning of a corset to bring her waistline down to 19th-century proportions. The Peacemaker (1997), with George Clooney, and the supernatural comedy Practical Magic (1998) with Sandra Bullock, were agreeable, if easily forgettable, time wasters, but Kidman closed out the century by co-starring with Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the final film effort by legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Unfortunately, the project generated more controversy for Cruise and Kidmans uncomfortable-to-watch awkward love scenes, following a tabloid allegation that the pair needed a coach to instruct them on convincing love-making following the release of the film. Not surprisingly, the litigious couple more Cruise than Kidman later sued for defamation and won. Not helping matters was an explicit orgy sequence that was clumsily edited for American audiences by Warner Bros. after Kubrick suddenly passed away after the film was in the can.
The media scrutiny surrounding Kidman and Cruise intensified even further when the couple separated in 2000 shortly before their tenth wedding anniversary. No cause aside from irreconcilable differences was given, though the press reported that Kidman was three months pregnant at the time of the separation and subsequently suffered a miscarriage. Other reports said the miscarriage preceded the divorce announcement, with Cruise filing in 2001, with his only public comment being the mysterious and often pondered, Nic knows what she did. The marriage was dissolved in that same year, leaving Kidman seemingly devastated particularly when the actor took up with yet another unknown star in his current film Vanilla Sky (2001) Penelope Cruz. In interviews several years after their union came to an end, Kidman remarked that she bore Cruise no ill feelings, and still felt love for her former husband but also remarked humorously at the time, that the one good thing about the marriage dissolution was that she could finally wear heels again.
Kidman bounced back from this unfortunate turn of events all of which went down during the publicity tours for her next film the dazzling Moulin Rouge (2001), director Baz Luhrmanns visually stunning, post-modern musical about the doomed romance between a writer (Ewan McGregor) and a dancehall singer and courtesan (Kidman). Moviegoers swooned over the old-fashioned romance and musical numbers something not seen or really accepted en mass on screen for many years. Even critics were wowed by Kidmans vocal skills; her duet with McGregor the sweeping Come What May was a massive hit in her native Australia and placed highly on numerous international charts, leading to a subsequent duet with UK pop sensation Robbie Williams on a cover of Somethin Stupid, from his 2001 album Swing When Youre Winning. For her efforts, Kidman landed her first Oscar nomination and took home a Golden Globe.
Moulin Rouge truly marked the beginning of Kidmans career as a top box office draw. She followed the musical with a dramatic about-face as a terrified mother trapped in her own home by mysterious figures in Alejandro Amenabars marvelous ghost story, The Others (2001), before returning to indie fare with the quirky thriller Birthday Girl (2002), in which she played a Russian mail order bride who makes trouble for her new husband (Ben Chaplin). That same year, Kidman buried her looks under layers of makeup to play the troubled author Virginia Woolf, whose life and work provides a link for women in the 1950s and the modern day in Stephen Daldrys acclaimed, The Hours (2002). An unrecognizable Kidman triumphed in the role, bringing home an Oscar for her intense performance something her ex-husband had yet to win as well as a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The following year, she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was honored by the American Cinematheque.
Kidman branched into producing with In the Cut (2003), Jane Campions sexually charged thriller with Meg Ryan as a rare female boxing manager She also kept a hand in indie-minded fare by starring in Lars von Triers controversial experimental drama Dogville (2003), as a gangsters moll who endures tremendous cruelty at the hands of the population of a small town; as well as a troubled cleaning woman who enters into an affair with a married college professor (Anthony Hopkins) in Robert Bentons poorly received adaptation of Philip Roths The Human Stain (2003). That same year, she finally scored with the epic Civil War romance Cold Mountain, which brought her another Golden Globe nod. The latter picture also brought her back to the tabloid pages with reports that she had indulged in an affair with her co-star, Jude Law, but Kidman fought back and won undisclosed damages from the UK paper that printed the rumor. However, Kidman did date rocker Lenny Kravitz during this period as well. It seemed to readers and fans that Kidman as big a star as her ex was finally enjoying the fruits of her labor dating desirable men, being the go-to clotheshorse for top designers and having her pick of any parts in town.
From 2004 to 2006, Kidmans output varied wildly in both ********************* and quality. She suffered through the disastrous remake of The Stepford Wives (2004) and her arthouse feature of the period, Birth (2004), which raised eyebrows for a scene in which 10-year-old actor Cameron Bright whose character is believed to be a reincarnated adult slips naked into a bath with Kidman (who earned a Golden Globe nod for her performance). The Interpreter (2005) was a moderately successful thriller by Sydney Pollack about a United Nations interpreter (Kidman) who becomes embroiled in an international assassination plot, while Bewitched (2005) was an unnecessarily convoluted adaptation of the classic television series (ABC, 1964-1972) which tanked miserably at the box office, despite a winning performance by Kidman and a cast that included Will Ferrell, Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine and Steve Carell. Despite what appeared to be a career slump, Kidman remained exceptionally popular with moviegoers, and highly paid for her efforts. In fact, 2006 and 2007 reports named her the highest paid actress in the film industry. She also won a place in the record books by becoming the highest paid actress per minute for her appearance in a series of television spots for the famed perfume, Chanel No. 5. Kidmans take for these commercials, which were noticeably directed by her old Moulin Rouge buddy Baz Luhrmann, was a reported $3.71 million.
In 2005, Kidman met Australian country singer Keith Urban at an event in Los Angeles. The pair began dating six months later, eventually marrying in 2006. Urban, who had struggled with drug addiction in previous years, later checked himself into rehab in late 2006, and emerged sober in early 2007. His new wife reportedly stood by his side, often visiting him in rehab. Kidman returned to features in 2006 with Fur (2006), an ambitious (if confusing) imagined biography of troubled photographer Diane Arbus. She later lent her speaking voice to the Marilyn Monroe-soundalike mother of Mumbles, the penguin protagonist of the Oscar-winning animated feature Happy Feet (2006), which also featured her crooning a version of the Prince hit Kiss with fellow Aussie co-star Hugh Jackman on its soundtrack. Kidman later paired with Daniel Craig for The Invasion (2007), a critically blasted remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956/1978) which was actually slated for a 2006 release, but studio-requested reshoots pushed its release to the following year. Kidman broke several ribs during a stunt sequence during the reshoots. The incident wasnt the first time Kidman had been injured during the making of a movie; she hurt her knee during one of the more complicated dance numbers in Moulin Rouge, which forced her to drop out of David Finchers thriller Panic Room (2002).
Kidmans extensive work with charities and political organizations received a fraction of the global scrutiny her film career garnered. A Goodwill ambassador with UNICEF Australia since 1994, Kidman campaigned tirelessly for disadvantaged children in her home country; she was later honored by the United Nations as a Citizen of the World in 2004, and with the Companion of the Order of Australia award, the highest civilian order from that country in 2006. She also designed a T-shirt for the Little Tee Campaign which supported breast cancer care.
Kidman returned to arthouses with the comedy-drama Margot at the Wedding (2007) by Squid and the Whale (2005) director and screenwriter Noah Baumbach. In this film, Kidman was in familiar territory as a neurotic writer who clashes with her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) over her choice of fiance (Jack Black). She then shifted gears to play a villainess (her first in her career) in the epic fantasy The Golden Compass (2007), an elaborate adaptation of Philip Pullmans The Northern Lights, the first novel in the massively popular His Dark Materials trilogy.
  • Also Credited As:
    Nicole Mary Kidman
  • Born:
    on 06/20/1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Job Titles:
    Actor, Singer
  • Daughter: Isabella Jane Kidman Cruise. Born Dec. 22, 1992 in Florida; adopted by Kidman and Cruise in January 1993
  • Father: Antony Kidman. Australian; involved with labor movement and progressive causes
  • Mother: Janelle Kidman. Australian; edits her husband's books; involved with feminist causes; was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984
  • Sister: Antonia Kidman Hawley. Born c. 1971
  • Son: Connor Anthony Cruise. African-American; born on Jan. 17, 1995 in Florida; adopted with Cruise on February 5, 2001
Significant Others
  • Companion: Eric Watson. Owner of the "Warriors" rugby league club in New Zealand; rumored to have briefly dated in 2004
  • Companion: Lenny Kravitz. Began dating early 2003; split January 2004, when Kravitz was photographed with another woman; rumored to have been briefly engaged
  • Companion: Marcus Graham. Australian; had relationship in the late 1980s
  • Companion: QTip. Rumored to have briefly dated in 2003; introduced by Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Companion: Russell Crowe. Romantically linked in October 2002; was later reported that the source who claim to have witnessed Kidman and Crowe kissing, dancing, etc., admitted that he lied; both deny they were ever romantically involved
  • Companion: Steve Bing. Rumored to have briefly dated in 2004/05
  • Companion: Tobey Maguire. Rumored to have briefly dated in 2002; eight years younger than Kidman
  • Husband: Keith Urban. Met in January 2005, at a gala dinner in L.A. honoring noted Australians; rumors that they were dating began in July 2005; announced engagement May 2006; married June 25, 2006 in Sydney, Australia
  • Husband: Tom Cruise. Born July 3, 1962; met while filming "Days of Thunder" (1990); married on Dec. 24, 1990 in Telluride, Colorado; co-starred in "Far and Away" (1992) and "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999); announced separation in February 2001; divorce finalized on Aug. 8, 2001
  • Husband: Tom Cruise. born on July 3, 1962; married on December 24, 1990 in Telluride, Colorado; co-starred in "Days of Thunder" (1990), "Far and Away" (1992) and "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999); announced separation in February 2001; Cruise filed for divorce on February 7, 2001; divorce finalized on August 8, 2001
  • Companion: Marcus Graham. Australian; had relationship in the late 1980s
  • Companion: Q-tip. rumored to be dating as of January 2003; reportedly introduced by Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Companion: Russell Crowe. rumored to be dating as of October 2002; was later reported that the source who claim to have witnessed Kidman and Crowe kissing, dancing, etc admitted that he lied; Crowe later became engaged to girlfriend Danielle Spencer in December 2002
  • Companion: Tobey Maguire. 8 years younger than Kidman; reportedly dating since March 2002
  • North Sydney Girls' High School, Sydney, Australia
  • Philip Street Theatre, Sydney, Australia
  • 1970 Family returned to live in an affluent Sydney suburb
  • 1970 Studied dance at age three
  • 1971 Non-professional acting debut as a sheep in a Nativity play at age four
  • 1977 Began acting at age 10
  • 1983 Appeared in Australian teen film, "BMX Bandits"
  • 1983 Cast as Annie in the series "Five Mile Creek"; appeared in the last 12 episodes of the series
  • 1983 Made Australian film debut in "Bush Christmas"
  • 1985 Gave breakthrough TV performance in the Kennedy-Miller miniseries, "Vietnam"; reportedly underwent a six-and-a-half-hour improvisational audition to land the role; episodes directed by John Duigan and Chris Noonan
  • 1986 Cast as a rock star who falls for a windsurfer in "Windrider"
  • 1987 Reteamed with director Duigan on the Australian telefilm "Room to Move"
  • 1989 Breakthrough screen role as Sam Neill's young wife in the thriller "Dead Calm," directed by Philip Noyce
  • 1989 Offered terrific turn as a woman duped into carrying drugs who is caught and imprisoned in the TV drama "Bangkok Hilton"
  • 1990 Teamed again with John Duigan on "Flirting"; best pal Naomi Watts also in cast
  • 1990 US film debut, "Days of Thunder" opposite future husband Tom Cruise
  • 1991 Gave a strong performance as a mobster's mistress in the underappreciated "Billy Bathgate," directed by Robert Benton
  • 1992 Co-starred as an Irish lass who heads to Oklahoma with her lover (Cruise) in the Ron Howard directed "Far and Away"
  • 1993 Cast as a young wife who desperately wants a child in "Malice"
  • 1993 Starred opposite Michael Keaton in the drama "My Life"
  • 1995 Delivered a critically-acclaimed portrayal of a brutally ambitious weather girl in Gus Van Sant's black comedy "To Die For"
  • 1995 Portrayed the love interest of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the overblown "Batman Returns"
  • 1996 Played Isabel Archer in Jane Campion's sumptuous (but ineffectual) adaptation of Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady"; Campion had originally offered her the role then made her audition for the part
  • 1997 Offered a fearsomely serious approach to her role as Dr. Julia Kelly, acting head of the White House Nuclear Smugling Group, in the action thriller "The Peacemaker"
  • 1998 Co-starred with Sandra Bullock as sisters who happen to be witches in "Practical Magic"
  • 1998 Made London stage debut in David Hare's "The Blue Room," where the actress briefly appeared nude; show transferred to NYC in November marking Kidman's Broadway debut
  • 1999 Starred opposite Cruise as a husband and wife experiencing marital discord in the Stanley-Kubrick directed "Eyes Wide Shut"; filmed over a 14-month period from November 1996 to January 1998
  • 2001 Had singing and dancing role as the courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor in the Baz Luhrmann-directed "Moulin Rouge!"; reportedly beat out Courtney Love for the role; received first Best Actress Oscar nomination
  • 2001 Played a high-strung mother in the period thriller "The Others," written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar
  • 2001 Recorded "Somethin' Stupid" with singer Robbie Williams; had Number One hit record in Great Britain
  • 2002 Cast as Virginia Woolf in "The Hours," the feature adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer-winning novel; received a SAG nomination for her performance
  • 2003 Announced as the new celebrity spokeswoman for Chanel No. 5, the top selling fragrance in the world
  • 2003 Co-starred opposite Anthony Hopkins in "The Human Stain," an adaptation of Philip Roth's novel
  • 2003 Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Jan. 13, 2003)
  • 2003 Starred with Jude Law in Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain"; received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a dramatic role
  • 2004 Co-starred with Matthew Broderick in the remake of ''The Stepford Wives,'' Bryan Forbes' 1975 cult classic about upper-crust women being replaced by robots with sunny dispositions
  • 2004 Played a woman on the run from the mob, hiding out in a small town in "Dogville" directed by Lars von Trier
  • 2004 Starred in "Birth" with Cameron Bright and Lauren Bacall, as a woman who becomes convinced that a ten year old boy is the reincarnation of her dead husband; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actress (Drama)
  • 2005 Cast as Samantha in the big-screen adaptation of "Bewitched"
  • 2005 Starred opposite Sean Penn in Sydney Pollack's "The Interpreter"
  • 2006 Portrayed photographer Diane Arbus in "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus"
  • 2007 Co-starred with Daniel Craig in "The Invasion," a film based on the 1956 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
  • 2007 Played the villainous Mrs. Coulter in "The Golden Compass" a film adaptation of the first part of His Dark Materials trilogy
  • 2007 Portrayed a neurotic writer, who disapproves of her sister's fianc in director Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding"
  • Born in Hawaii
  • On doctors' advice, withdrew from leading role in "Panic Room" (filmed 2001), directed by David Fincher, because of a recurring knee injury; replaced by Jodie Foster
  • Reteamed with director Baz Luhrmann for the epic "Australia" (lensed 2007)
  • Spent first three years of life living in Washington, DC where her father did research on breast cancer
  • Starred on the Australian stage in "Steel Magnolias" and "Spring Awakening"


Nicole Kidman


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