Nicole Mary Kidman AC (born June 20, 1967) is an Academy Award-winning actress, and one of Hollywood's leading actresses. She has also ventured into singing. Kidman holds dual citizenship as both an Australian and an American.

Early life and education
Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Dr. Anthony David Kidman, who was involved with the labor movement and progressive causes, and Janelle Ann MacNeille, who edited her husband's books. Her mother is of Scottish descent and her father a descendant of an immigrant farmer. At the time she was born, her father was a cancer research specialist in Washington, D.C. The family returned to Australia when Kidman was four years old, when her father took on a lectureship at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Kidman has a younger sister, Antonia, born in 1970. Kidman's parents and sister both reside in Greenwich, a suburb on Sydney's North Shore. Kidman, a Catholic, attended Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney with her sister.

Kidman started taking ballet lessons when she was four. This led to studies at Sydney's Australian Theatre for Young People, where she is now Patron, then at the Philip Street Theatre, where she majored in voice production and theatre history. Living in Longueville, New South Wales, she studied at North Sydney Girls High School, but dropped out when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; Kidman concentrated on her family responsibilities until her mother's recovery.

Early career

Her first appearance on film came in 1983 when, as a fifteen year-old, she appeared in the Pat Wilson music video for the song Bop Girl. By the end of the year she had secured a supporting role in the television series Five Mile Creek and four film roles, including BMX Bandits and Bush Christmas. During the 1980s she appeared in several Australian movies and TV series, notably including the soap opera A Country Practice, the mini-series Vietnam (1986), Emerald City (1988), and Bangkok Hilton (1989).
In 1989, she appeared in the thriller Dead Calm as Rae, the wife of naval officer John Ingram (Sam Neill), held captive on a Pacific Ocean yacht trip by the psychotic Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane). In 1990 she appeared opposite Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, a stock car racing movie. After this, Kidman starred with Cruise in Ron Howard's Far and Away (1992). In 1995, Kidman featured in the ensemble cast of Batman Forever.

Critical success

Kidman (with a prosthetic nose) in her Academy Award-winning role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002).Her second film in 1995, To Die For, a satirical comedy that earned her praise from critics. She won a Golden Globe Award, and five other best actress awards for her portrayal of the murderous newscaster Suzanne Stone Maretto. Kidman and Cruise portrayed a married couple in Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, Stanley Kubrick's final film.

In 2002, Kidman received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, in which she played the courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor. The same year she had a well-received starring role in the horror film The Others. While in Australia filming Moulin Rouge!, Kidman injured her knee, so that Jodie Foster had to replace her in the film Panic Room.

The following year, Kidman won critical praise for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, in which the prosthetics applied to her made her almost unrecognizable. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, along with a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and numerous critics awards. In the same year she took a hand at film production for the film In the Cut. In 2003, Kidman starred in three very different films. Dogville, by Danish director Lars von Trier, an experimental film set on a bare soundstage. Secondly, she co-starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in the film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain. Many critics felt that both Kidman and Hopkins were miscast. Cold Mountain, a love story of two Southerners separated by the Civil War, was her final release that year, and garnered her a Golden Globe Award nomination.

In 2004, Kidman appeared in the critically panned remake of The Stepford Wives alongside Glenn Close, Faith Hill and Bette Midler. In September of the same year, Birth, in which the 37-year-old actress' character has an encounter with a 10-year-old boy (played by Cameron Bright) who attempts to convince her that he is a reincarnation of her dead husband, was met with a mixed reception primarily due to a scene where the boy strips and joins Kidman in the bathtub. Despite this, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Kidman was nominated for another Golden Globe Award. Kidman's two movies in 2005 were The Interpreter, directed by Sydney Pollack, and Bewitched, co-starring Will Ferrell, based on the 1960s TV sitcom of the same name; the latter fared abysmally with critics and at the box office.

In conjunction with her success in the film industry, Kidman became the face of the Chanel No. 5 perfume brand. She starred in a campaign of television and print ads with Rodrigo Santoro, directed by Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann to promote the fragrance during the holiday season in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The four-minute commercial produced for Chanel No. 5 perfume made Kidman the record holder for the most money paid per minute to an actor after she reportedly earned $US3.71 million. During this time, Kidman was also listed as the 45th Most Powerful Celebrity on the 2005 Forbes Celebrity 100 List. She made a reported US$14.5 million in 2004-2005. On People magazine's list of 2005's highest paid actresses, Kidman was second behind Julia Roberts with a US$16 million to US$17 million per-film price tag.

Kidman has at least five movies in production over the next two years. She has completed filming the Diane Arbus bio-pic Fur, director Oliver Hirschbiegel's science fiction movie The Visiting and Noah Baumbach's as-yet-untitled comedy-drama. She has also provided her voice for the animated movie Happy Feet. She is currently working on the film adaptation of the first part of the His Dark Materials trilogy in which she plays the villainous Mrs. Coulter. She is also set to star in director Wong Kar-wai's next film, The Lady from Shanghai and Baz Luhrmann's yet-to-be titled Australian period film, which has been delayed due to schedule conflicts.

Singing

Nicole Kidman and Robbie Williams in the "Somethin' Stupid" music videoNot known as a singer prior to Moulin Rouge!, Kidman had several well received vocal performances in the film. Her collaboration with Ewan McGregor on the song "Come What May" from the film's soundtrack debuted and peaked at 27 in the UK Singles Chart. Later she collaborated with Robbie Williams on the song "Somethin' Stupid", a cover of the old swing song on Williams' swing covers album Swing When You're Winning. It debuted and peaked at 8 in the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart, and at number 1 for three weeks in the UK. It was the UK Christmas number 1 Single for 2001.