Blanchett was born in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe. Her mother, June (née Gamble), was an Australian property developer and teacher, and her father, Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., was a Texas native who was a US Navy Petty Officer and later worked as an advertising executive. The two met while Blanchett's father's ship, USS Arneb, was in Melbourne. When Blanchett was ten, she lost her father to a heart attack. She has two siblings; her older brother, Bob, is a computer systems engineer, and her younger sister, Genevieve, worked as a theatrical designer. In 1997, Blanchett married screenwriter Andrew Upton.
Blanchett had begun her stage career in 1992 in Sydney, Australia, and made her film debut in Bruce Beresford's Paradise Road five years later.
She is most famous for portraying Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien, in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 - 2003), but is also known for roles elsewhere such as in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (1998) as Queen Elizabeth I, The Aviator (2004) as actress Katharine Hepburn, and the 2015 film Cinderella as Cinderella's stepmother. She won two Academy Awards in 2005 and 2014, for roles in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, and has received over a hundred other film awards.
She reprised her role as Galadriel again for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2012).
Blanchett's other films include Babel (2006), Notes on a Scandal (2006), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
In 2018, she was among the highest paid actresses globally.
- She is one of only two cast members to appear in all six of Peter Jackson's films, the other being Ian McKellen.
- She appeared in the 2004 film The Aviator, which also featured Ian Holm.
- She appeared in the 2005 film Stories of Lost Souls, which also featured Billy Boyd.
- She appeared in the 2005 film Little Fish, which also featured Hugo Weaving.
- She appeared in the 2007 film Hot Fuzz, which also featured Martin Freeman.
- She appeared in the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which also featured John Hurt.
- She appeared in the 2010 film Robin Hood, which also featured Luke Evans.
- She appeared in the 2013 film The Turning, which also featured Hugo Weaving and Miranda Otto.
- She appeared in the 2017 film Thor: Ragnarok, which also featured Karl Urban and Benedict Cumberbatch.
- She appeared in the 2018 film Ocean's 8, which also featured Richard Armitage.