A look back at this day in film history
November 28
Kate Winslet October 5, 1975
Kate Winslet Born

Kate Winslet was born on October 5, 1975 in the English of Reading. She admits that while she “didn't have a privileged upbringing,” she grew up with two prior generations of actors. Her grandparents on her mother’s side ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, and those on her dad’s side worked in vaudeville. Both her parents pursued acting careers, although neither was able to sustain them professionally. From a young age, Kate Winslet dove into acting, fighting for parts in school plays, even getting into the competitive Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead. But there, her working class roots and weight –– her schoolmates cruelly nicknamed her “blubber” –– distinguished her from her more entitled peers. In addition to a fierce sense of ambition, Winselt took from her childhood a keen sense of the unfair demands that society, even Hollywood, puts on women. By 12 she got her first TV commercial (turning into a honey bear monster in a Sugar Puffs cereal). By 13 she got bits in TV shows, appearing in several mini-series. Then at 17, while making a ham sandwich at the deli where she worked part time, she got the call that Peter Jackson had cast her in HEAVENLY CREATURES. Her role as a day-dreaming murderous teen won her a London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year, and changed her life.  The next year she was cast by Ang Lee to play Marianne Dashwood in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, a role for which she received her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Two years later in the blockbuster TITANTIC, she got her first nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She would continue to get nominated––four times for Leading and twice for Supporting Actress (including for Best Actress in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND in 2004). She finally won Best Actress in 2008 for THE READER. Her singular focus and dramatic versatility led New York Magazine critic David Edelstein in 2009 to hail her as "the best English-speaking film actress of her generation."

More Flashbacks
Meet Me In St. Louis November 28, 1944
Meet Me in St. Louis opens in Technicolor

Opening November 28, 1944, Vincente Minelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis was one of the most commercially successful pictures of its day.

Read more »
November 28, 1938
Michael Ritchie born

Michael Ritchie, one of the most skilled yet underrated Hollywood directors of the 1970s, was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on this day in 1938.

Read more »
November 28, 1946
Dante's Divine Comedy of Horrors

In many ways, Joe Dante, born on this day 62 years ago today, is a film director from another age. Dante, a New Jersey native whose parents were golf pros, grew up in 1950s America and continues to embody the ethos of that decade in much of his film work. His influences, for example, include cartoonist Chuck Jones, champion of colorful 50s film comedy Frank Tashlin and B-movie mogul Roger Corman, and it was Corman who first initiated him into the world of movie production after Dante had spent some years as a film critic. Dante first enjoyed success with the Jaws­-inspired creature feature Piranha (1978) which he followed up with the werewolf movie The Howling (1981), another Corman production. Afterwards he graduated to big budget movies, often working for friend Steven Spielberg, and scored with hits like Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987) and also indulged in nostalgic joint exercises like Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) and episodes of Spielberg’s Amazing Stories TV show. His work has always affectionately looked back on a time when cinema was all about tall tales, monsters, aliens and other such fun excesses of the cinema of bygone years, and Dante tapped into this most directly in Matinee (1993), his film about a William Castle-like producer whose productions thrived on gimmicks and shock tactics. Since the early 1990s, though, Dante has worked mostly in television, where he directed the cult series Eerie, Indiana, only occasionally returning to the big screen for movies like the kid-oriented Small Soldiers (1998) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). Now, however, Dante looks set to return to the fore with two projects which will that staple of 50s schlock horror, 3-D technology, which is popular once again 50 years on thanks to its revitalization through digital technology.

Read more »