Nicole Mary Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to father Anthony, a clinical psychologist and biochemist of Scottish descent, and mother Janelle, a nursing instructor of Irish descent.
Shortly after Kidman’s birth, the family moved to Washington DC in order for her father to pursue his research on breast cancer. When Kidman was only three-years-old, the family moved again, this time to her parents’ native Sydney, Australia.
Beginning with ballet lessons at age four, Kidman went on to study at the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney. In 1983, aged 16, Kidman dropped out of high school and made her film debut in the Australian holiday season favourite, ‘Bush Christmas’ (1983). This led to a number of both television and film offers in Australia, throughout the rest of the 1980s. Her film roles include the lead in ‘BMX Bandits’ (1983), ‘Windrider’ (1986), ‘Watch the Shadows Dance’ (1987), and ‘Emerald City’ (1988).
She was also in made-for-television movies such as ‘Skin Deep’ (1983), ‘Chase Through the Night’ (1983), ‘Matthew and Son’ (1984), ‘Room to Move’ (1987) and ‘An Australian in Rome’ (1987).
Kidman made her US debut, opposite Sam Neil and Billy Zane, in the at-sea thriller ‘Dead Calm’ (1989). It certainly was a turning point in her life, both professionally and personally, as the following year, she starred in the racetrack romance ‘Days of Thunder’ (1990), opposite Tom Cruise, the man who would become her husband.
After a whirlwind courtship, they enjoyed a romantic marriage on Christmas Eve in 1990. Next up for Kidman was another Australian film ‘Flirting’ (1991). She starred with Cruise in Ron Howard’s ‘Far and Away’ (1992 and with Michael Keaton in ‘My Life’ (1993). Cruise and Kidman adopted two children, Isabella Jane (born 22 December 1993) and Connor Anthony (born 17 January 1995).
She played Dr Chase Meridian in Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman Forever’ (1995). However, it was her role in ‘To Die For’ (1995). It showcased her range of talents, as well as her brilliant comic timing, and gained her a Golden Globe Award and critical approval for her performance. She went on to make ‘The Leading Man’ (1996) and to play the lead role of Isabel Archer in the critically acclaimed ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ (1996). She was in the action thriller, ‘The Peacemaker’ (1997) and the amusing ‘Practical Magic’ (1998). In a strange twist of fate, Kidman and Cruise played a married couple in Stanley Kubrick’s sexual thriller, his final film, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999), shortly before their own marriage came to an end. Kidman was three months pregnant when Cruise left her and she subsequently had a miscarriage.
They announced their separation in 2001, citing career conflicts and their marriage was dissolved. Kidman did not allow this to interfere with her career and that same year she played the spellbinding Satine in the musical ‘Moulin Rouge!’ (2001), for which she won her second Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and also received an Academy Award nomination.
She starred in films, ‘The Others’ (2001), a mystery/thriller about photosensitive children in a haunted house, and Jez Butterworth’s ‘Birthday Girl’ (2001). She also teamed up with Robbie Williams to record a remake of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra duet ‘Something Stupid’ (2001). Donning a prosthetic nose, she played an Academy Award-winning role for Best Actress, as Virginia Woolf in ‘The Hours’ (2002). Then came ‘Dogville’ (2003) and ‘The Human Stain’ (2003. The ‘Cold Mountain’ (2003) set was plagued by rumours of an affair with her co-star Jude Law. She then donated the money to an orphanage in the Romanian town where the movie was filmed. Kidman won a Golden Globe Award nomination. She was then romantically linked to Lenny Kravitz, whom she met in 2003 and dated into 2004. Her next film, ‘The Stepford Wives’ (2004) was not very well met by critics.
Then followed ‘Birth’ (2004) a thriller with Lauren Bacall; Sydney Pollack’s ‘The Interpreter’ (2005); and fantasy/romance ‘Bewitched’ (2005).
In 2006, she played Dianne Arbus in the biography ‘Fur’.
Her next film ‘Invasion’ was a failure but she soon returned to form in ‘Margot at the Wedding’ and in ‘The Golden Compass’ in which she played the villain in 2007.
Kidman teamed up with director Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Australia’ in 2008. She returned to musicals in 2009, starring in ‘Nine’. Despite being on the screen for less time than her co-stars, she earned her third Screen Actor Guild’s award nomination.
In 2010, she appeared in ‘Rabbit Hole’, which was followed by ‘Just Go With It’ and ‘Trespass’ in 2011. She will next be starring in ‘Stoker’, ‘The Paperboy’ and TV movie ‘Hemmingway and Gelhorn’ with Clive Owen in 2012. She will also appear in ‘The Danish Girl’ about the world’s first postoperative transsexual.
Kidman met handsome country singer Keith Urban, 38, from New Zealand at a gala for Australians, held in Los Angeles in January 2005. After being together 11 months, they married on 25 June 2006.
The 39-year-old, slightly tearful bride looked radiant in her vintage ivory dress designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga. She was accompanied by her father. The church overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Kidman was greeted by thousands of excited fans.
The groom cried when he saw his ethereal bride, lit by 1,000 candles, walking up the aisle and the wedding party was made up of family and close friends.
Kidman supports a variety of charities and causes, including being the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Australia since 1994 and focussing on disadvantaged children around the world. She was honoured as a Citizen of the World by the United Nations in 2004 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia, for both her work with charities and for her service to the performing arts.
She is also involved in the Little Tee Campaign for Breast Cancer Care, promoting cancer awareness.