Nov. 1st, 1972
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Toni Collette's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Toni Collette (born November 1, 1972) is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense (1999) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Collette was born in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three children born to Bob Collette, a truck driver, and Judy Collette, a customer service representative. From age 6 she was brought up in suburban Sydney. At the age of 11 she showed her phenomenal acting skills when she faked appendicitis out of boredom and longing for attention; her act was so convincing that doctors had to remove her appendix, even though the test showed nothing wrong with it.
At 16, she left school and enrolled in National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). At that time she was a struggling actress, supporting herself by delivering pizzas. After 18 months of studies, she left NIDA for her feature film debut as Wendy Robinson opposite 'Russell Crowe' and 'Anthony Hopkins' in Spotswood (1992), and earned herself a nomination for Best Supporting Actress from the Australian Film Institute.
Collette made her stage debut with the Sydney Theatre Company, as Sonya in 'Anton Chekhov' Uncle Vanya, a performance that won her a critic's circle award as Best Newcomer. She also appeared in stage productions at the Belvoir Street Theatre under directorship of 'Geoffrey Rush'. In 1994 she won the Australian Best Actress in a lead role for her work in Muriel's Wedding (1994) for which she had to gain 40 pounds in seven weeks.
In 1995 Collette came to Hollywood with a supporting role in The Pallbearer (1996), then had a string of supporting roles. Her first lead as Diana Spencer, an Australian woman who shares the name and birthday of Princess Diana, in comedy Diana & Me (1997), was obscured by the real Diana's death which practically occurred at the same time when the movie was released. Her breakthrough came with the role as Lynn Sear in The Sixth Sense (1999), for which she quite rightly won an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her latest memorable role as Sheryl, a beaten-down but loving mother, in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), is also a fine ensemble work with 'Abigail Breslin', 'Greg Kinnear', 'Steve Carell', 'Paul Dano', and 'Alan Arkin'.
Since 2003 Collette has been married to musician Dave Galafassi, with whom she recorded her singing and songwriting debut album, titled 'Beautiful Awkward Pictures' in 2006. She co-owns an independent production company in Australia, and also continues her music career as a singer. Collette is currently residing with her husband in Sydney, Australia, and owns a second home in Ireland.
- Played the mother for both 'Haley Joel Osment' (qv) and 'Abigail Breslin' (qv) in their Oscar nominated roles (_The Sixth Sense (1999)_ (qv) and _Little Miss Sunshine (2006)_ (qv)).
- Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
- Starred as Sonya in the Sydney Theatre Company's 1992 Production of 'Anton Chekhov' (qv)'s "Uncle Vanya".
- Strenuously campaigned for the role of Mrs. Lovett in _Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)_ (qv) but ultimately lost it to 'Helena Bonham Carter' (qv).
- Has two brothers.
- Was romantically linked to actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers while the pair played a couple in Velvet Goldmine.
- Toni sings with her band called the Finish and her husband, David Galafassi, is the Drummer.
- Is only 11 years older than 'Paul Dano' (qv), who plays her son in _Little Miss Sunshine (2006)_ (qv).