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Toni Collette Background, Career, Filmography, Album, Awards and Nominations

Toni Collette

Toni Collett known as Toni Collette was born in 1972. She is an Australian actress and musician, known for her acting work on stage, television and film as well as a secondary career as the lead singer of the band Toni Collette & the Finish. She received six AACTA Awards, one Emmy Award and one Golden Globe Award and has been nominated twice for a BAFTA Award and once for both an Academy Award and a Tony Award.

Toni Collette Background

Toni Collett was born in Blacktown, a suburb in Western Sydney, the daughter of Judith, a customer-service representative and Bob Collett, a truck driver. She has two younger brothers, Ben and Christopher.

She was born under the surname “Collett”, but added an “e” at the end for her stage name. Her biological paternal grandfather was an American serviceman whose name Toni does not know. From an early age, Collette showed a talent for acting. She faked an appendicitis when she was eleven. At that time, she was so convincing that doctors removed her appendix, although tests showed nothing wrong with it.

She attended Blacktown Girls’ High School until the age of 16 and later attended both the Australian Theatre for Young People and National Institute of Dramatic Art. Her first acting role was onstage in the musical Godspell in Sydney in her early teens.

Toni Collette Acting Career

Collette made her television debut in 1990, in a guest appearance on the Seven Network drama series A Country Practice. In 1992, she made her feature film debut as part of the ensemble comedy-drama Spotswood which starred Anthony Hopkins and which also featured Russell Crowe. Collette soon rocketed to international notice with her performance in the title role for Muriel’s Wedding in 1994, a role for which she gained 18 kg (40 lb) in seven weeks. She won the Australian award for Best Actress as Muriel, her first of five Australian Film Institute awards. In 1996, she was part of the ensemble cast of the comedy, Così and had a leading role in Emma as the naïve Harriet Smith.

In 2000, she was the voice of Meg Bluegum Bunyip’s mother in The Magic Pudding based on the iconic children’s book by Norman Lindsay.

In 2003, Collette played the lead role in Japanese Story as an Australian geologist traversing an arc of emotions in the course of an intense relationship with a visiting Japanese businessman. she then captured so powerfully that numerous reviewers made the point of welcoming her back to playing the lead for the first time since Muriel’s Wedding and generally scored her performance as riveting.Collette won the Australian Film Institute award for Best Actress for her performance.

In 2004, Collette starred with Nia Vardalos and David Duchovny in the musical comedy Connie and Carla, released by Universal Studios. Collette’s only film in 2005 was In Her Shoes, a comedy-drama about the relationship between two uncommon sisters and their estranged grandmother, co-starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine.

In 2006, Collette starred in Little Miss Sunshine, a comedy-drama-road movie about a family’s trip to a children’s beauty pageant. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 and its distribution rights were bought by Fox Searchlight Pictures for one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival.

Released in July 2006, the film received major critical acclaim, resulting in several accolades such as four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, whilst Collette herself earned her second BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of the family’s worn-out matriarch. A box office success, Little Miss Sunshine went on to gross US$100.5 million worldwide and became one of the most successful independent films of the mid-2000s.

Also in the same year, Collette played supporting roles in the thriller films Like Minds, The Night Listener and The Dead Girl.

In 2008, Collette accepted the leading role in the Showtime comedy-drama series, United States of Tara. Created by Steven Spielberg and Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, the show revolves around a wife and mother of two with dissociative identity disorder, coping with her seven alternate personalities. Originally planned for a twelve episode season, the series was picked up for a second and third season, broadcast in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Collette won both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and the Best Actress in a TV Comedy for her performance on the show.

In 2011 and 2012, she took on a slew of supporting roles in independent films as well as the 2011 remake of Fright Night. She also appeared in among others, Jesus Henry Christ and Mental which reunited her with Muriel’s Wedding director P. J. Hogan.

In 2013, Collette earned critical acclaim for her work in the acclaimed independent films The Way, Way Back as Pam, opposite Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, Enough Said as Sarah, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in one of his final film roles.

Toni Collette

Toni Collette

In 2014, Collette starred in the negatively received tragi-comedy A Long Way Down, with Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul, had a cameo in the poorly received Melissa McCarthy vehicle Tammy, appeared in Hector and the Search for Happiness opposite Simon Pegg.

In August 2015 she appeared in the SBS series Who Do You Think You Are? Her upcoming roles include the drama Miss You Already opposite Drew Barrymore and the drug drama Glassland with Will Poulter.

In September 2015, Collette joined the cast for the film adaption of Craig Silvey’s Australian novel Jasper Jones and performed the voice of the two emus Beryl and Cheryl in Blinky Bill the Movie.

Toni Collette Music Career

In October 2006, she began touring Australia to promote her first vocal album Beautiful Awkward Pictures, released on Hoola Hoop Records under the name Toni Collette & the Finish, a band for which her husband plays drums. Collette appeared on the Australian television show Cool Aid and performed the song “Look Up” from the album. In July 2007, Collette and the Finish were a headlining act at the Sydney show of Live Earth. She sang a cover of T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” with The Finish.

Toni Collette Filmography


  1. Spotswood
  2. The Thief and the Cobbler
  3. This Marching Girl Thing
  4. Muriel’s Wedding
  5. Clockers
  6. Così
  7. The Pallbearer
  8. Emma
  9. Lilian’s Story
  10. Clockwatchers
  11. The James Gang
  12. Diana & Me
  13. The Boys
  14. Velvet Goldmine
  15. 8½ Women
  16. The Sixth Sense
  17. Shaft
  18. An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster
  19. Hotel Splendide
  20. The Magic Pudding
  21. Changing Lanes
  22. About a Boy
  23. Dirty Deeds
  24. The Hours
  25. Japanese Story
  26. The Last Shot
  27. Connie and Carla
  28. In Her Shoes
  29. Little Miss Sunshine
  30. The Night Listener
  31. Like Minds
  32. The Dead Girl
  33. Evening
  34. Towelhead
  35. The Black Balloon
  36. Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger
  37. Mary and Max
  38. Jesus Henry Christ
  39. Fright Night
  40. Foster
  41. Hitchcock
  42. Mental
  43. The Way, Way Back
  44. Enough Said
  45. Lucky Them
  46. A Long Way Down
  47. Tammy
  48. Hector and the Search for Happiness
  49. The Boxtrolls
  50. Glassland
  51. Blinky Bill the Movie
  52. Miss You Already
  53. Krampus
  54. Jasper Jones
  55. Imperium
  56. XXX: Return of Xander Cage
  57. The Yellow Birds
  58. Fun Mom Dinner
  59. Madame


  • A Country Practice
  • Dinner with Friends
  • Tsunami: The Aftermath
  • United States of Tara
  • Rake
  • Hostages
  • Devil’s Playground

Toni Collette Awards and Nominations

  1. Australian Film Institute Awards
  2. Golden Globe Awards
  3. Australian Film Institute Awards
  4. Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards
  5. Academy Awards
  6. Satellite Awards
  7. Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
  8. Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
  9. Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards
  10. Seattle Film Critics Awards
  11. Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards
  12. Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
  13. Australian Film Institute AwardsStory
  14. BAFTA Awards
  15. Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards
  16. Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
  17. Satellite Awards
  18. Screen Actors Guild Awards
  19. Satellite Awards
  20. Australian Film Institute Awards
  21. Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
  22. Gotham Awards
  23. Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
  24. Satellite Awards
  25. Australian Film Institute Awards
  26. BAFTA Awards
  27. Golden Globe Awards
  28. Monte-Carlo Television Festival
  29. Primetime Emmy Awards
  30. Screen Actors Guild Awards
  31. Australian Film Institute Awards
  32. Film Critics Circle of Australia
  33. Primetime Emmy Awards
  34. Satellite Awards
  35. Australian Film Institute Awards
  36. Golden Globe Awards
  37. Primetime Emmy Awards
  38. Satellite Awards
  39. Screen Actors Guild Awards
  40. Golden Globe Awards
  41. Australian Film Institute Awards

Toni Collette Album

Beautiful Awkward Pictures (2006) – Toni Collette & The Finish