Nicole Mary Kidman, AC (born 20 June 1967) is an Australian actress, singer and film producer. Kidman's breakthrough film role was in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm. Following several films in the early 1990s, she came to worldwide recognition for her performances in Days of Thunder (1990), Far and Away (1992), and Batman Forever (1995). She followed these with other successful films in the late 1990s. Her performance in the musical Moulin Rouge! (2001) earned her second Golden Globe Award and first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her performance as Virginia Woolf in the drama film The Hours (2002) received critical acclaim and earned Kidman the Academy Award for Best Actress and Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin film festival.
Kidman's other notable films include To Die For (1995), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Others (2001), Cold Mountain (2003), Dogville (2003), The Interpreter (2005) and Australia (2008). Her performances in Birth (2004) and The Paperboy (2012) earned her Golden Globe nominations for best actress and supporting actress, respectively. Her performance in 2010's Rabbit Hole (which she also produced) earned Kidman further accolades, including a third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In 2012, she earned her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in Hemingway & Gellhorn.
Kidman has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1994 and for UNIFEM since 2006. In 2006, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, and was also the highest-paid actress in the motion picture industry. As a result of being born to Australian parents in Hawaii, Kidman has dual citizenship in Australia and the United States. Kidman founded and owns the production company Blossom Films.
Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were temporarily in the United States on educational visas. Kidman can therefore claim citizenship in Australia and the United States. Her father, Antony David Kidman, who died in September 2014, was a biochemist, clinical psychologist, and author. Her mother, Janelle Ann (née Glenny), is a nursing instructor who edits her husband's books and was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby. Kidman's ancestry includes Scottish and Irish heritage. Her paternal great-great-great-grandfather was Sir Sidney Kidman (1857–1935), an Australian pastoralist who owned or co-owned huge areas of the Australian outback.
At the time of Kidman's birth, her father was a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He soon became a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States. Opposed to the war in Vietnam, which was causing social unrest in both Australia and the United States, Kidman's parents participated in anti-war protests while they were living in Washington, D.C. The family returned to Australia when Kidman was four and her parents now live on Sydney's North Shore. Kidman has a younger sister, Antonia Kidman, a journalist and TV presenter.
Kidman attended Lane Cove Public School and North Sydney Girls' High School. She was enrolled in ballet at three and showed her natural talent for acting in her primary and high school years. Kidman revealed she was timid as a child, saying, "I am very shy – really shy – I even had a stutter as a kid, which I slowly got over, but I still regress into that shyness. So I don't like walking into a crowded restaurant by myself; I don't like going to a party by myself." In 1984, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which caused Kidman to temporarily halt her education and help provide for the family by working as a massage therapist at age seventeen. She studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Victoria, and at the Phillip Street Theatre in Sydney, with actress and friend Naomi Watts who had attended the same high school. This was followed by attending the Australian Theatre for Young People. Here she took up drama, mime and performing in her teens, finding acting to be a refuge. Due to her fair skin and naturally red hair, the Australian sun forced the young Kidman to rehearse in halls of the theatre. A regular at the Phillip Street Theatre, she received both encouragement and praise to pursue acting full-time.
In 1983, aged 16, Kidman made her film debut in a remake of the Australian holiday season favourite Bush Christmas. By the end of 1983, she had a supporting role in the television series Five Mile Creek and began gaining popularity in the mid-1980s after appearing in several film roles, including BMX Bandits, Watch the Shadows Dance, and the romantic comedy Windrider