Date of Birth
1 November 1972, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
5' 8" (1.73 m)
Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress best known for her roles in Al saselea simt (1999) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
She was born on November 1, 1972, 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's 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 Toni Collette came to Hollywood with a supporting role in Identitate furata (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 Al saselea simt (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 Toni 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. Toni Collette is currently residing with her husband in Sydney, Australia, and owns a second home in Ireland.
Dave Galafassi (11 January 2003 - present) 2 children
Nominated for a 2000 Tony Award for her performance as "Queenie" in Michael John LaChiusa's musical "The Wild Party" on Broadway.
Gained 40 pounds in 7 weeks for Muriel's Wedding (1994) with the help of a dietitian.
Born on the same day as actress/model Jenny McCarthy.
Starred as Sonya in the Sydney Theatre Company's 1992 Production of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya".
Has two brothers.
Though she vowed not to gain any more weight for movie roles, director Curtis Hanson convinced her to gain twenty-five pounds for her role in In Her Shoes (2005). She believed it was important to her character's personality.
Dropped out of Australia's NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) in order to make her first film Spotswood (1992).
Toni sings with her band called the Finish and her husband, David Galafassi, is the Drummer.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
Is only 11 years older than Paul Dano, who plays her son in Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Gave birth to her daughter, Sage Florence, by her husband David Galafassi, on 9 January 2008.
Played the mother for both Haley Joel Osment and Abigail Breslin in their Oscar nominated roles (Al saselea simt (1999) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006)).
Lives in Potts Point, Sydney, Australia.
Strenuously campaigned for the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) but ultimately lost it to Helena Bonham Carter.
She has shaved her head five times. Only once for a film though.8 ½ Women (1999).
Was romantically linked to actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers while the pair played a couple in Velvet Goldmine (1998).
Returned to work 9 months after giving birth to her daughter Sage in order to begin filming Mary and Max (2009).
Gave birth to her son Arlo Robert Galafassi, with husband Dave Galafassi, in Australia (22 April 2011).
Was 5 months pregnant with her son Arlo when she completed filming on the third series of "United States of Tara" (2009).
Returned to work 3 months after giving birth to her son Arlo to begin filming Mental (2012).
"I'm an actor not a movie star. I prefer it that way. I think when you watch big stars on screen; it's really difficult to look beyond that very familiar persona. As an actor, you can play different characters and not be recognized. I know I've got parts that other bigger, more famous actors wanted. I think in some cases their fame is a hindrance because they're too identifiable."
"I'm very happy with my lot. I like the variety I get. You don't want to spend your life repeating yourself. It's true of any kind of artist, you want to explore as wide and far as you can go, so that's what I've been trying to do."
"My family, my relationships with my friends, my home and my music are the most important things in my life. I like being married, but it was never something I felt I had to do. Women in the States seem to think 'I gotta meet a man, I gotta get married'. I don't get that, I was getting on with my life and having a great time. I really did not expect to meet my husband and it was probably the best surprise of my life. It is everything, it's fun, comforting, it makes me feel so safe and centered."
"I don't know that I want to do it forever. When it gets too much, I just walk the beaches of Sydney and get calm again. You just grab your surfboard, splash in those waves and feel happy to be alive. That's what really matters."
"I find it strange that actors are on the covers of magazines. When I watch a movie, someone's beauty isn't what engages me, it's what's going on internally. And I imagine it's what the audience thinks, too."
"The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world."
"Sometimes life hits you on the head with a saucepan. But I'm not here to talk about saucepans."
"Travelling's so much better when you know you've got a lovely home to go back to. I can just enjoy it for what it is, without depending on it too much."
"I've always been a working actor. Big difference. I'm not interested in promoting myself or being famous. Don't get me wrong, I like getting tables at restaurants that have been booked out for months. But I don't want people to identify with me instead of the character I'm playing."