Toni Collette is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated Australian actress and musician. She is perhaps best known for her roles in the films Muriel's Wedding (1994), The Sixth Sense (1999), and Little Miss Sunshine (2006). She is currently working on her next project in which she will play the title character in the upcoming Showtime series, The United States of Tara.
Collette was born Antonia Collette in Blacktown, New South Wales, the daughter of Judy, a customer-service representative, and Bob Collette, a truck driver. She has two younger brothers, Ben and Christopher. She attended Blacktown Girls High School until the age of 16, and then later attended both the Australian Theatre for Young People and NIDA.
Collette has won four Australian Film Institute awards, including the Australian Best Actress in a Lead Role for Muriel's Wedding in 1994, a role for which she gained 18kg (40lb) in seven weeks. In 1996, she was part of the ensemble cast of the comedy, Cosi. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role as the mother of a troubled boy in the U.S. film The Sixth Sense, which also starred Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment.
She has also received broad acclaim on Broadway, starring as Queenie in Michael John LaChiusa's musical work, The Wild Party. For this role, Collette received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.
In 2006, she played Sheryl in Little Miss Sunshine, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy. 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 drums.
Collette has previously dated Jonathan Rhys Meyers. She has been married to Dave Galafassi since 11 January 2003 and owns homes in both Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Collette is a supporter of animal rights and PETA.