Rachel Weisz (1971-) b. London, England.
Educated at Benenden and St Paul’s, Rachel Weisz began acting while studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. After leaving college she started out modelling. She later began acting and won a most promising newcomer award in 1994 for her London stage performance in Noel Coward‘s Design for Living. She made her film debut the following year in the derivative low-budget b-movie Death Machine (1995). Higher budget features like Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty.(1995) and Chain Reaction (1996) followed but failed to make a critical or commercial impact. She moved to Los Angeles in 1997 with her then boyfriend and worked on pop-promo director Mark Pellington’s mediocre Going All the Way (1997) but quickly returned to the UK.
Back in England, Weisz earned roles in further flops like Michael Winterbottom’s I Want You (1998) and the WWII drama The Land Girls (1998); she also met boyfriend Neil Morrissey on the set of tv comedy-drama My Night With Des. She made her breakthrough in action movie blockbuster The Mummy (1999), producing a neat comic turn as an adventurous librarian. Weisz once again moved to the US; setting up a second home in New York.
Weisz dutifully appeared in the sequel to The Mummy; the imaginatively titled The Mummy Returns (2001), and also featured opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy (2002), in the John Grisham courtroom thriller Runaway Jury (2003) and alongside Keanu Reeves in Constantine (2005). In 2005, Weisz starred in Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener (2005), a film adaptation of a John le Carré thriller, and her performance won Weisz the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.