Kate Winslet

Ever since making her impressive feature debut in the acclaimed "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), actress Kate Winslet amassed a résumé full of exquisite performances of which most of her contemporaries could have only dreamed. In fact, by the time she was only 22, Winslet broke the record for being the youngest actress to have received two Academy Award nominations - the first for her star-making turn in "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) and the second for her performance in James Cameron's landmark epic "Titanic" (1997). The latter had the potential for locking her into a steady string of Hollywood blockbusters, but Winslet wisely chose to retreat into the independent world, where she found her bearings in acclaimed fare like "Hideous Kinky" (1999) and "Quills" (2000). But her bread and butter was always her ability to play free-spirited women tinged with sexuality - sometimes with a comic flair, as she did in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004); other times, with deeply tragic undertones like in "Little Children" (2006). After finally winning an Oscar for her tragic performance in "The Reader" (2008), Winslet charted a new course on the small screen with her critically acclaimed role in the cable miniseries, "Mildred Pierce" (HBO, 2011), which helped stake her claim as being one of the most accomplished and versatile actresses of her generation.