Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She lived in the United
States until she was four, when her family moved to Australia. Her father, Tony
Kidman, was researching breast cancer in Washington, D.C. and at one stage, a
lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. She started taking ballet
lessons when she was three and studied at St. Martin’s Youth Theater,
Australian theater for Young People, and Philip Street Theater. Nicole’s father
had her and her younger sister do push ups and jumping jacks in the morning, to
keep them fit.
She started her acting career at 14, when she starred in Bush
Christmas. The movie is still often played at Christmas time. Nicole dropped
out of North Sydney High School when her mother got breast cancer. When her
mother recovered, Nicole continued with her acting career. Throughout the 1980s
she appeared in many Australian movies and TV series, notably including BMX
Bandits, and the miniseries Bangkok Hilton.
Nicole gained notice in the US with Dead Calm, which lead to her
American debut in Days of Thunder, a stock-car racing movie opposite Tom Cruise.
Although Cruise was married to actress Mimi Rogers at the time, he and Kidman
became an item. Cruise divorced Rogers and the couple married on Christmas Eve
of 1990 in Telluride, Colorado. The wedding was a secret at the time. She was
in Billy Bathgate with Bruce Willis and Dustin Hoffman and in 1992 she was in
Ron Howard’s Far and Away. She starred in Batman Forever, and then in The
Portrait of a Lady. They adopted two children, Isabella and Connor, and lived
in Los Angeles, California, Australia, Colorado, and New York. They starred in
Eyes Wide Shut in 1999 — the last film by Stanley Kubrick — and in 1998 Nicole
was one of the three witches in Practical Magic.
In February 2001, Cruise stunned Hollywood by filing for divorce;
the reasons are still murky. Cruise would only say that Nicole "knows
why", while Kidman let it be known that she was pregnant by Cruise when he
left her just before their 10th wedding anniversay, and had just miscarried the
child. Some speculated that Cruise left Kidman because he didn’t think he was
the father, while some questioned the timing, noting that, since the couple did
not have a prenuptial agreement, Cruise would have had to pay Kidman many
millions if they divorced past the 10 year mark. As it was, he reportedly paid
her $65 million. Industry insiders commented that the primary cause of the
divorce may have been Nicole’s refusal to allow Isabella and Connor to be
raised in Scientology, which Cruise is a devoted practitioner of; she wanted
them to be raised Catholic instead.
Kidman’s most professionally successful year was 2001, with her
Oscar-nominated performance in Moulin Rouge and well-received star turn in a
horror film, The Others. While in Australia filming Moulin Rouge, Kidman
injured her knee, so Jodie Foster had to replace her in Panic Room. She won the
2002 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Virginia Woolf in
As a singer, she began her career in 2001 by collaborating with
Ewan McGregor on the song Come What May, on the Moulin Rouge Soundtrack (the
song debuted and peaked at #27 on the UK Singles Chart). Then 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 (debuting and
peaking at #8 in the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart, and at #1 for three
weeks in the UK, also becoming the UK Christmas #1 Single for 2001).
In 2004, Kidman appeared in the remake of The Stepford Wives
alongside Glenn Close, Faith Hill and Bette Midler. In September of the same
year, Kidman was booed at the premiere of her movie Birth in which the 37
year-old actress’ character falls in love with a 10 year-old boy. Scores of
people walked out of the theater during a scene where the actress and boy
shared a bath together. Despite the poor reception, the film was nominated for
the prestigious Golden Lion Award.
Emma’s War, Alexander The Great, The Interpreter, The Producers
and Bewitched are future movies for Kidman.
Kidman’s sister Antonia is an entertainment reporter for an
Australian television program.
Kidman is also a well renowned fashion paradigm and a frequent
"Best Dressed" staple.
In August 2004, the Australian magazine BRW listed Kidman as the
richest Australian woman under the age of 40, with an estimated worth of 155
million A$ (Australian dollars), or $107 million in United States dollars.