Nicole Kidman : biography

20 June 1967 -

Religious and political views

Kidman is a practising Roman Catholic. She attended Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney. Following criticism of The Golden Compass by Catholic leaders as anti-Catholic, Kidman told Entertainment Weekly that "the Catholic Church is part of her 'essence'", and that her religious beliefs would prevent her from taking a role in a film she perceived was anti-Catholic.

During her divorce from Tom Cruise, she stated that she did not want their children raised as Scientologists. She has been reluctant to discuss Scientology since her divorce. Kidman's name was in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times in August 2006 that condemned Hamas and Hezbollah and supported Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. Kidman has donated to U.S. Democratic party candidates., NewsMeat.com, 16 October 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2006.

Wealth, philanthropy and honours

In 2002, Kidman first appeared on the Australian rich list published annually in the Business Review Weekly with an estimated net worth of A$122 million. In the 2011 published list, Kidman's wealth was estimated at A$304 million, down from A$329 million in 2010.

Kidman has raised money for, and drawn attention to, disadvantaged children around the world. In 1994, she was appointed a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and in 2004, she was honoured as a "Citizen of the World" by the United Nations. Kidman joined the Little Tee Campaign for breast cancer care to design T-shirts or vests to raise money to fight the disease; motivated by her mother's own battle with breast cancer in 1984.

In the 2006 Australia Day Honours, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "service to the performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer, to health care through contributions to improve medical treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research, to youth as a principal supporter of young performing artists, and to humanitarian causes in Australia and internationally." However, due to film commitments and her wedding to Urban, it was 13 April 2007 that she was presented with the honour. It was presented by the Governor-General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery, in a ceremony at Government House, Canberra.

Kidman was appointed goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 2006. In this capacity, Kidman has addressed international audiences at UN events, raised awareness through the media and testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs to support the International Violence against Women Act. Kidman visited Kosovo in 2006 to learn about women's experiences of conflict and UNIFEM's support efforts. She is the international spokesperson for UNIFEM's Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative. Kidman and the UNIFEM executive director presented over five million signatures collected during the first phase of this to the UN Secretary-General on 25 November 2008.

In the beginning of 2009, Kidman appeared in a series of postage stamps featuring Australian actors. She, Geoffrey Rush, Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett each appear twice in the series: once as themselves and once as their Academy Award-winning character. People.com, 4 February 2009 On 8 January 2010, alongside Nancy Pelosi, Joan Chen and Joe Torre, Kidman attended the ceremony to help Family Violence Prevention Fund break ground on a new international center located in the Presidio of San Francisco.

Early life

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.Dickerson, James L. Nicole Kidman, Citadel Press, 2003, p.1 Her father, Antony David Kidman, is 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. 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.Dickerson, James L. Nicole Kidman, Citadel Press, 2003, p. 2 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.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine