Rachel Hannah Weisz (pronounced /ˈvaɪs/, like the word "vice";born 7 March 1970) is an English screen and theatre actress and fashion model. She gained wide public recognition after her portrayal of Evelyn "Evy" Carnahan-O'Connell in the films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. In 2002, she starred opposite Hugh Grant in the hit About a Boy and continued to garner leading roles in Hollywood productions. Her performance in The Constant Gardener (2005) won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, along with other major motion picture awards.
Weisz was born in Westminster, London, England, and grew up in the Hampstead Garden Suburb. Her mother, Edith Ruth (née Teich), is a teacher turned psychotherapist who was born in Vienna, Austria. Her father, George Weisz, is a Hungarian-born inventor and engineer. Her parents fled to England during the Second World War. Weisz' father is Jewish and her mother is of Jewish, Catholic Viennese and Italian descent. Weisz's maternal grandfather, Alexander Teich, was a secretary of the World Union of Jewish Students,and Weisz' maternal grandmother's mother was Italian. Weisz has a sister, Minnie, who is an artist.
Weisz was educated privately at independent schools for girls: North London Collegiate School, Benenden School, and St Paul's Girls' School. She then entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where she graduated with a 2:1 in English. During her university years, she appeared in various student productions, co-founding a student drama group called Cambridge Talking Tongues, which went on to win a Guardian Student Drama Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for an improvised piece called Slight Possession.