Favorite UK actors/actresses

by amazingshrimp | created - 29 Jan 2013 | updated - 29 Jan 2013 | Public

1. Kate Winslet

Actress | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut...

2. Ewan McGregor

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...

3. Martin Freeman

Actor | Black Panther

Martin Freeman is an English actor, known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office (2001), Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock (2010) and Lester Nygaard in the dark ...

4. Ricky Gervais

Writer | The Office

Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and ...

5. Rachel Weisz

Actress | The Constant Gardener

Rachel Hannah Weisz was born on 7 March, 1970, in London, U.K., to Edith Ruth (Teich), a psychoanalyst, and George Weisz, an inventor. Her parents both came to England around 1938. Her father is a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and her mother, from Vienna, was of Italian and Austrian Jewish heritage. ...

6. Kelly Macdonald

Actress | No Country for Old Men

Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was born and raised in Glasgow. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, a sales executive in the garment industry. She has one brother, David. As a hobby, she acted in an amateur theatrical club, which she enjoyed a great deal. ...

7. John Simm

Actor | Life on Mars

John Simm was born on 10 July 1970 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and grew up in Nelson, Lancashire. He attended Edge End High School, Nelson, Lancashire, followed by Blackpool Drama College at 16 and the Drama Centre, London, at 19. He lives with his wife, actress Kate Magowan, and their children Ryan ...

8. Emily Blunt

Actress | Edge of Tomorrow

Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Young Victoria (2009), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and The Girl on the Train (2016), among many others.

Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of ...

9. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...

10. Helena Bonham Carter

Actress | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful.

Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant ...

11. Emily Mortimer

Actress | Mary Poppins Returns

English actress Emily Kathleen Anne Mortimer was born in Hammersmith, London, England, to writer and barrister Sir John Mortimer and his second wife, Penelope (née Gollop). She was educated at St Paul's Girls' School in West London, and it was whilst there she began acting. Mortimer moved on from ...

12. Thandie Newton

Actress | Crash

Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and Nick Newton, a British father who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK. She then lived in ...

13. Miranda Richardson

Actress | The Crying Game

Miranda Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, England on March 3, 1958, to Marian Georgina (Townsend) and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive. She has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age she performed...

14. Jo Hartley

Actress | Eddie the Eagle

Jo Hartley was born in Oldham, Lancashire. Attended North Chadderton Comprehensive School. At the age of 11 years old, performed in 'The Sound Of Music' as Gretel. Jo got her first taste for acting.

Later, she went on to join Oldham Theatre Workshop where she stayed for several years. At the age of ...

15. Delroy Lindo

Actor | Get Shorty

On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's ...

16. Jennifer Saunders

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders was born July 6, 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to Jane, a biology teacher, and Robert Thomas Saunders, an RAF pilot. She attended Central School of Speech and Drama where she met her comedy partner Dawn French. Like many of the early 80s groundbreaking "alternative" comedians ...

17. Stephen Graham

Actor | This Is England

Stephen Graham was born August 3, 1973, in the small town of Kirkby, Lancashire, to a pediatric nurse mother and a social worker father. His paternal grandfather was Jamaican, and one of his grandmothers was Swedish. After years of small parts, he finally got his big break in an unexpected way, ...

18. Ashley Jensen

Actress | Arthur Christmas

Ashley Jensen (born on 11 August 1969) is a Scottish actress and narrator. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on the television series Extras (2005), on which she appeared from 2005-2007. She was also a cast member on the ABC show Ugly Betty (2006) and the brief-lived CBS sitcom ...

19. Chris O'Dowd

Actor | Bridesmaids

Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd (born 9 October, 1979) is an Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. O'Dowd created and is starring in the Sky 1 television series Moone Boy. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in ...

20. Judi Dench

Actress | Skyfall

Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with the ...

21. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

22. Helen Mirren

Actress | RED

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...

23. Christopher Lee

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...

24. John Cleese

Actor | A Fish Called Wanda

John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939, in Weston-Super-Mare, England, to Muriel Evelyn (Cross) and Reginald Francis Cleese. He was born into a family of modest means, his father being an insurance salesman; but he was nonetheless sent off to private schools to obtain a good education. Here he ...

25. Richard Griffiths

Actor | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

British character actor Richard Griffiths came from radio and the classical stage where he built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown, with larger-than-life portrayals of Henry VIII, Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Royal ...

26. Jemima Kirke

Actress | Tiny Furniture

Jemima Kirke is the daughter of drummer Simon Kirke and vintage boutique owner, Lorraine Kirke. Although born in London, Kirke was raised in New York City. She was educated at Saint Ann's School in New York, before moving on to Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied art and graduated as a...

27. Chiwetel Ejiofor

Actor | 12 Years a Slave

English actor, writer and director Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things...

28. Jonathan Linsley

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Jonathan was born in Yorkshire and went to school in Skipton "the Gateway to the Dales." His first loves in life were, Rugby Union (he played for Upper Wharfedale) Football (life long Leeds United supporter) and the Theatre. Thanks to Mr Thomas a dedicated English teacher who nurtured in him a love...

29. Ned Dennehy

Actor | Good Omens

Ned Dennehy (born 8 December, 1965) is an Irish actor in British, Irish, and American films and television. His most notable film role to date is Tommy in Tyrannosaur. He has also appeared in the television series Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog. Other movies include Blitz, he played Alderton in Harry...

30. Olivia Colman

Actress | The Favourite

Olivia Colman was born on January 30, 1974 in Norwich, Norfolk, England as Sarah Caroline Olivia Colman. She is an actress, known for The Favourite (2018), Tyrannosaur (2011) and The Lobster (2015). She has been married to Ed Sinclair since August 2001. They have three children.

31. Sean Bean

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Sean Bean's career since the eighties spans theatre, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and appeared in a ...

32. Joanna Lumley

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Joanna Lumley was born on 1 May, 1946 in Kashmir, India, to British parents, Thya Beatrice Rose (Weir) and James Rutherford Lumley. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted.

An aspiring actress, she first came ...

33. Katherine Kelly

Actress | Coronation Street

Katherine Kelly was born on November 19, 1979 in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England. She is an actress, known for Coronation Street (1960), Mr Selfridge (2013) and Life on Mars (2006). She has been married to Ryan Clark since August 20, 2013. They have two children.

34. Orlando Bloom

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England on January 13, 1977. His mother, Sonia Constance Josephine (Copeland), was born in Kolkata, India, to an English family then-resident there. The man he first knew as his father, Harry Bloom, was a legendary political activist ...

35. Ricky Whittle

Actor | Austenland

Ricky was born in Oldham, Lancashire. His father was in the Royal Air Force which meant travelling the world to different bases. Ricky was scouted to play as a professional footballer for Arsenal and Celtic football clubs but this was thwarted by injury and instead he went to Southampton University...



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