Kate Winslet is having a great year. In August, the British actress was deemed an instant hero when she saved Richard Branson's mother from a burning house while vacationing with the Virgin tycoon and his family in the Caribbean.

In September, Winslet received a Primetime Emmy Award for her role of the title character in the HBO miniseries, Mildred Pierce. In the same month, she appeared alongside a star-studded cast in the Steven Soderbergh virus thriller, Contagion.

On Wednesday, Winslet celebrates her 36th birthday.

From Sense and Sensibility (1995) to Titanic (1997), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) to Revolutionary Road (2008), Winslet remains one of the hardest working and most respected actresses in Hollywood.

Her illustrious career has also earned her six Academy Award nominations. In 2008, Winslet won the coveted golden man for her role in The Reader.

Winslet, who separated from director Sam Mendes in 2010 after a seven-year marriage, recently spoke about her new lease on life.

I do truly feel that I'm back . . . I feel that I'm just at the beginning of a new narrative, and it's incredibly exciting. It's complicated, I know, and uncertain - but it's where life happens, between the cracks. It can be a painful process, but I truly hope that never stops for me, she told Harper's Bazaar.

Winslet next appears with Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly in Carnage, based on the Yasmina Reza play God of Carnage. The film comes out Dec. 16.

Here's a photo tribute to Kate Winslet, birthday girl.