British actress Kate Winslet splits from husband

It wasn’t clear whether divorce proceedings have begun


* Actress Kate Winslet * Image Credit: AP

London: British movie star Kate Winslet has separated from her film director husband Sam Mendes after nearly seven years of marriage, their law firm said.

The surprise split puts an end to a golden couple of Britain’s show business world, buttressed by matching Oscars and a host of commercial successes and artistic accolades.

The pair’s law firm, Schillings, said the split was “entirely amicable and is by mutual agreement.”

Winslet, 34, shot to international stardom on the back of her appearance opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron’s “Titanic,” and sealed her reputation with an Academy Award for best actress for her role in “The Reader” in 2009.

Mendes, 44, was already an acclaimed stage director by the time he won an Oscar for directing “American Beauty” in 1999.

The pair married in a small, low-key ceremony in the Caribbean in May 2003. It was Winslet’s second marriage. Her first, to British director Jim Threapleton, ended in divorce in 2001.

Winslet has an 9-year-old daughter, Mia, from her marriage to Threapleton and a 6-year-old son, Joe, with Mendes. Schillings’ statement said Winslet and Mendes were “fully committed to the future joint parenting of their children.”

It wasn’t clear whether divorce proceedings have begun. The statement said no further comment would be made, and calls and e-mails seeking comment from the law firm weren’t immediately returned.

Born into a family with a strong thespian tradition, Winslet threw herself into acting early, securing bit roles in TV dramas in her early teens.

Her breakthrough came in Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures,” which traced the obsessive relationship between two schoolgirls in 1950s New Zealand.

She went on to run through a number of other stage and film roles – including a memorable turn as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of “Hamlet” – but stardom would not come until “Titantic,” one of the most commercially successful films in cinematic history.


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