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Rachel Hannah Weisz ( " "; born 7 March 1970) is an English actress and model. She gained wide public recognition after her portrayal of Evelyn "Evy" Carnahan-O'Connell in the films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. In 2001, she starred opposite Hugh Grant in the hit About a Boy and continued to garner leading roles in Hollywood productions. Her performance in The Constant Gardener (2005) won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, along with other major motion picture awards.

Early life and background

Weisz was born in Westminstermarker, Englandmarker, and grew up in the Hampstead Garden Suburbmarker. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is a Viennamarker-born Austrianmarker teacher turned psychotherapist. Her father, George Weisz, is a Hungarianmarker-born inventor and engineer. Her parents fled to England during WW2. Weisz's father is Jewish and her mother, an émigré from Vienna, has been referred to as either Catholic, or Jewish (and in the same article, "Half-Italian"). 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 the private North London Collegiate Schoolmarker. She later boarded at the private Benenden Schoolmarker and then enrolled at the private St Paul's Girls' Schoolmarker. She then entered Trinity Hall, Cambridgemarker, 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.



Having already worked for television productions, with parts in such major UK television series 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 alongside Brendan Fraser. She followed this up with two hits, The Mummy Returns (2001), which grossed higher than the original, and About a Boy (2002) with Hugh Grant. Since then, her other film work has included Runaway Jury (2003) and Constantine (2005).

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 Kiberamarker and Loiyangalanimarker, Kenyamarker. For this performance, Weisz won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, 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 recognised 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.

The same year, she starred in The Fountain and also provided the voice for Saphira in the fantasy film Eragon. Her subsequent films include the Wong Kar-wai-directed drama My Blueberry Nights (in which she played 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). She plays the lead role of Hypatia of Alexandria in the historical drama film Agora, released in October 2009.


Her breakthrough role was that of Gilda in Welshmarker director Sean Mathias's 1995 West Endmarker revival of Noel Coward's 1933 play Design for Living at the Gielgud Theatremarker. Her other 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 Theatremarker (also film) at its, then, temporary location in London's Kings Cross. In 2009 she is currently playing Blanche DuBois in a Donmarmarker revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.


On 7 July 2007, Weisz presented at the American leg of Live Earth. She is represented by Independent Models in Londonmarker.

Personal life

Weisz is engaged to Americanmarker filmmaker and producer Darren Aronofsky. They have been dating since 2002. They have a son, Henry Chance, born on 31 May 2006 in New York Citymarker. The couple reside in the East Villagemarker in Manhattanmarker. Weisz also serves as a muse to fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.


Year Film Role Notes
1995 Death Machine Junior Executive
1996 Chain Reaction Dr. Lily Sinclair
Stealing Beauty Miranda Fox
1997 Bent Prostitute
Going All the Way Marty Pilcher
1997 Swept from the Sea Amy Foster
I Want You Helen
1998 The Land Girls Ag (Agapanthus)
1999 The Mummy Evelyn "Evy" Carnahan Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Empire Award for Best British Actress
Sunshine Greta Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Tube Tales Angela
2000 Beautiful Creatures Petula
This Is Not an Exit: The Fictional World of Bret Easton Ellis Lauren Hynde
2001 Enemy at the Gates Tania Chernova Nominated — European Film Award for Best Actress
The Mummy Returns Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell/Princess Nefertiri
2002 About a Boy Rachel
2003 Confidence Lily
The Shape of Things Evelyn Ann Thompson
Runaway Jury Marlee
2004 Envy Debbie Dingman
2005 Constantine Angela Dodson/Isabel Dodson Nominated — Teen Choice: Movie Scream Scene
The Constant Gardener Tessa Quayle Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year
British Independent Film Award
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress

2006 The Fountain Izzi/Isabella I of Castile
Eragon Saphira (voice)
2007 Fred Claus Wanda
My Blueberry Nights Sue Lynn
2008 Definitely, Maybe Summer Hartley (Natasha)
2009 The Brothers Bloom Penelope
The Lovely Bones Abigail Salmon completed
Agora Hypatia completed
2010 The Whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac filming
Dirt Music Georgie Jutland pre-production

Awards and honours

Weisz gained numerous honours for her work in The Constant Gardener, which included: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Furthermore, the critical acclaim she received for her performance also garnered her the London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actress of the Year, the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress and the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, she was nominated for the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2006, Weisz was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Weisz also received the BAFTA LA British Artist of the Year award in 2006.


  1. There are conflicting sources for the year of Weisz' birth. The British Film Institute and others give 1970 BFI | Film & TV Database | WEISZ, Rachel; a Guardian article gives 1971. Her birth was registered in March quarter of 1970 in Westminster
  2. IndieLondon: Definitely Maybe - Rachel Weisz interview - Your London Reviews
  3. Aslet, Clive. Design for living, The Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2007. Accessed 6 May 2008.
  4. Rachel Weisz biography
  5. Joseph, Claudia. Rachel's Weisz guy. 5 June 2005.
  7. Silverman, Stephen M. Rachel Weisz Has a Boy. 1 June 2006.
  9. Academy Invites 120 to Membership. 5 July 2005.

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