NET WORTH: $90 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Actress
FUNDING AREAS: Autism, Other
OVERVIEW: Kate Winslet cofounded the Golden Hat Foundation, whose mission is to "draw attention to the plight of nonverbal people with autism." The foundation doesn't fund research, and so far, does its work through partnerships and fundraising to raise awareness about the disorder. Winslet has supported other causes, as well.
BACKGROUND: Born in 1975 in Reading, England, Kate Winslet is the daughter of two actors and the granddaughter of two theater managers. She began acting as a child, making her first appearance on British television at age seven. In 1988, she appeared in the TV series Shrinks. Winslet appeared on the British stage in productions such as Peter Pan and had a recurring role on the British sitcom Get Back before landing her debut film role in Heavenly Creatures, directed by Peter Jackson. In 1997, she landed the lead in the blockbuster Titanic, which propelled her to international stardom. Winslet won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 2008 film The Reader.
AUTISM: Winslet narrated the documentary, A Mother's Courage, directed by Icelandic filmmaker Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, and based on the story of Margret Ericsdottir, a mother in Iceland who sought treatment for her severely autistic son. Ericsdottir met Winslet in a studio in London in 2009 when Winslet was recording the narration for the film, and the two began exchanging emails. Winslet was so inspired by the documentary that she asked if there was anything else she could do. In 2010, Winslet and Ericsdottir co-founded the Golden Hat Foundation.
Golden Hat doesn't fund research, but instead raises awareness about those living with the disorder. The foundation has co-hosted World Autism Awareness Day in conjunction with the United Nations. Additionally, the documentary A Mother's Courage was adapted into a book that features self-portraits of celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah, Julia Roberts, and Ellen DeGeneres, who have joined as advocates. The outfit hosts the Golden Hat Walk for Autism, which raised around $50,000 in 2013.
Golden Hat has also presented a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall to share the message that individuals with autism are capable and their differences should be welcomed and their abilities recognized. For the 2013 benefit, the foundation partnered with local organizations in the greater NYC area to invite families and individuals affected by autism to attend the concert at no cost.
Looking down the line, Golden Hat states that its goal is to build "living campuses, establishing a supportive and respectful environment where those with autism receive help with communication, academics, career training, and recreational opportunities."
AUSTIN COMMUNITY: The Golden Hat Foundation has worked with Amplify Austin, an online giving festival, to raise funds for Austin-based charities. In 2017, the organization raised some $9.8 million for more than 700 Austin nonprofits in 24 hours.
OTHER: Winslet supports charities such as Afghanistan Relief Organization, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and PETA, among others. It's worth noting that Winslet has narrated a PETA video about force-fed ducks and geese.
LOOKING FORWARD: It's unclear if we'll see a shift from a fundraising operation to a grantmaking operation, but the Golden Hat Foundation's long-term goal of "living campuses" should be watched closely by those working in this space.