JULIE CHRISTIE Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Julie Frances Christie                                                                 
Born: 14 April 1941 Chabua, Assam, India                                                     
Julie Frances Christie (born 14 April 1941) is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe-,             
BAFTA Award-, and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning British actress. She was a               
pop icon of the "swinging London" era of the 1960s.                                           
Christie was born in Chabua, Assam, India, then part of the British Empire, as               
the first of two children by her mother Rosemary (née Ramsden) and father                   
Frank St. John Christie. Rosemary was a Welsh-born painter and childhood friend               
of actor Richard Burton. Frank ran the tea plantation around which Christie grew             
up. She had a brother and a half-sibling from her father's affair with an                     
Indian mistress. Christie's parents separated during her childhood. She was                   
baptized in the Anglican church, and studied at a convent school in England (from             
which she was later expelled), also living with a foster mother from the age of               
six. After her parents' divorce, Christie spent time with her mother in rural                 
Wales. As a teenager she attended Wycombe Court, a boarding school for girls in               
Buckinghamshire, and played the role of the Dauphin in a school production of                 
George Bernard Shaw's "St. Joan". She later studied at the Central School of                 
Speech and Drama before getting her big break in 1961 in a science fiction                   
series on BBC television, entitled A for Andromeda.                                           
Christie's first major film role was as Liz, the friend and would-be lover of                 
the eponymous Billy Liar played by Tom Courtenay in the 1963 film directed by                 
John Schlesinger. Schlesinger, who only cast Christie after another actress                   
dropped out of his film, directed her in her breakthrough role, as the amoral                 
model Diana Scott in Darling (1965), a role which the producers originally                   
offered to Shirley MacLaine. Though virtually unknown before Darling (1965),                 
Christie ended the year 1965 by appearing as Lara Antipova in David Lean's                   
adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (1965), which was one of                 
the all-time box office hits, and as Daisy Battles in Young Cassidy, the John                 
Ford-Jack Cardiff directed biopic of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey. In 1966, the             
25-year-old Christie won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Darling (1965).               
Later, she played Thomas Hardy's heroine Bathsheba Everdene in Schlesinger's Far             
from the Madding Crowd (1967) and the lead character, Petulia Danner, (opposite               
George C. Scott) in Richard Lester's Petulia (1968).                                         
In the 1970s, Christie starred in such films as Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs               
Miller (1971) (her second Best Actress Oscar nomination), The Go-Between (again               
co-starring Alan Bates, 1971), Don't Look Now (1973), Shampoo (1975), Altman's               
classic Nashville (also 1975, in an amusing cameo as herself opposite Karen                   
Black and Henry Gibson), Demon Seed (1977), and Heaven Can Wait (1978). She                   
moved to Hollywood during the decade, where she had a high-profile (1967-1974),               
but intermittent relationship with actor Warren Beatty who described her as "the             
most beautiful and at the same time the most nervous person I had ever known".               
Following the end of the relationship, she returned to the United Kingdom, where             
she lived on a farm in Wales. Never a prolific actress, even at the height of                 
her fame and bankability in the 1960s, Christie made fewer and fewer films in                 
the 1980s. She had a major supporting role in Sidney Lumet's Power (1986), but               
other than that, she avoided appearances in large budget films and appeared in               
riskier fare.                                                                                 
Christie has turned down many leading roles in films such as They Shoot Horses,               
Don't They?, Anne of the Thousand Days and The Greek Tycoon. Christie also                   
signed on to play the female lead in American Gigolo opposite Richard Gere,                   
however when Gere dropped out and John Travolta was cast in the role, Christie               
too dropped out from the project. Gere changed his mind and took back the role,               
however it was too late for Christie as her part was already taken by Lauren                 
Hutton. Julie Christie also had to drop out of the leading role in Agatha due to             
breaking her wrist whilst roller-skating; the part was filled by Vanessa                     
Christie made a comeback with her appearance as Gertrude in Kenneth Branagh's                 
Hamlet (1996). Despite her training, it was her first-ever venture into                       
Shakespeare. She next starred as the unhappy wife in Alan Rudolph's domestic                 
comedy-drama Afterglow (1997). Critics were delighted with her performance, for               
which she received her third Oscar nomination. Since then, Christie has appeared             
mostly in small roles in English and American films.                                         
Christie made a brief appearance in the third Harry Potter film, Harry Potter                 
and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), playing Madame Rosmerta. That same year, she             
also appeared in two other high-profile films: Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, and                 
Marc Forster's Finding Neverland, in which she played Kate Winslet's mother. The             
latter performance earned Christie a BAFTA nomination as supporting actress in               
Christie portrayed the female lead in Away From Her, a film about a long-married             
Canadian couple coping with the wife's Alzheimer's disease. A role in which she               
won the Genie Award for Best Actress. Based on the Alice Munro short story "The               
Bear Came Over the Mountain", the movie is the first feature film directed by                 
Christie's sometime co-star, Canadian actress Sarah Polley. She only took the                 
role, she says, as Polley is her friend. On her part, Polley said that Christie               
liked her script but initially turned it down as she was ambivalent about acting.             
It took several months of persuasion by Polley before Christie finally accepted               
the role, which was written with her in mind.                                                 
Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2006 as                 
part of the TIFF's Gala showcase, Away From Her drew rave reviews from the trade             
press, including the Hollywood Reporter, and the four Toronto dailies. The                   
critics singled out the performances of Christie and her co-star, Canadian actor             
Gordon Pinsent, and Polley's assured direction.  Her luminous                               
performance created an "Oscar buzz", leading the distributor, Lions Gate Films,               
who bought the film at the TIFF to release the film in 2007 in order to build up             
momentum during the awards season.                                                           
On December 5, 2007, Christie won the Best Actress Award from the National Board             
of Review for her performance in Away From Her. She also won the Golden Globe                 
Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for             
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture,                 
and a Genie Award for the same film. On January 22, 2008, Christie received her               
fourth Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for             
the 80th Academy Awards.                                                                     
In 2008 Christie narrated a short film for the British-based charity Survival                 
International, "Uncontacted Tribes", featuring previously unseen footage of                   
remote and endangered peoples. Christie has been a long-standing supporter of                 
the charity, and in February 2008 was named as its first 'Ambassador'.