Born in Melbourne, Australia on May 14, 1969. Her mother is Australian, her father, who died when she was ten years old, was from Texas. She is of French ancestry and claims a vague relation to Louis Bleriot (1872-1976), who was the first aviator to cross the English Channel. She has been married to screenwriter Andrew Upton since 1997.
Blanchett is a graduate of the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). During the first year after graduation, she won both the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle's Newcomer Award and the Rosemont Best Actress Award - the latter for the role as Carol, starring opposite Geoffrey Rush in David Mamet's Oleanna.
After doing several tv series and a tv-series-turns-film (Police Rescue: The Movie), Blanchett made her large screen debut in 1996. Her major breakthrough came with the title role of Elizabeth (1998) - as Queen Elizabeth I, again co-starring Geoffrey Rush. Blanchett received critical acclaim and numerous awards, although the Academy Award for best actress went to Gwyneth Paltrow in 1999 - the same year Blanchett and Paltrow both played in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Recently, the role gaining her the most attention has been that of Galadriel, elf queen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
According to Blanchett's biggest fan site, one of her personal mantras is "If you fail, fail gloriously" - but I shouldn't think we have seen to much of her failing on the screen so far, gloriously or otherwise.