The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning British monarch in history. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the media criticism of the royal family, she continued to be a popular figure in the UK.
English actress, model, and activist, Emma Watson first gained prominence as a child artiste in the Harry Potter film series. The daughter of lawyers, she was determined to go to college despite her busy acting career and graduated from Brown University. A staunch feminist, she is actively involved with organizations that work for the betterment of women.
English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is also often called England's national poet. Many of his works have been translated into other languages and his plays continue to be produced till day. Popular during his lifetime, he acquired an iconic status after his death.
Argentine-British actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, first gained international fame with her role in the period horror film, The Witch. She is trained in ballet dancing and began her career as a model when she was just 16. Her modelling career paved the way for acting and soon she was playing significant roles in TV series and films.
Cinema lovers around the world hold Charlie Chaplin in high esteem. One of the biggest stars of the silent film era and an icon, he left the audience in splits with his comedic performances. Even today, his performances in movies like Modern Times and The Gold Rush are considered classic. The legendary actor was also a writer, director and producer.
One of the most celebrated British actresses, Emma Thompson has received plaudits for her work in films, television and stage. Her film credits include Howards End, The Remains of the Day as well as Sense and Sensibility which she also wrote. Her television appearances include miniseries Angels in America. The award winning actress is also an author, activist and comedian.
English actress, Lily James, was born into a family of prominent actors and developed an early interest in performing. She studied acting and made her debut as a TV actress in the early 2010s. Since then, she has become a popular face in Hollywood as well, having appeared in many hit films. She is the recipient of many awards.
A celebrated son of Scotland, David Tennant is best known for his lead role in the BBC series, Doctor Who, from 2005-10. The show made him a household name and a sex symbol. His career continues to flourish with lead roles in films and television. He’s also a prolific theater actor having played Shakespearean characters like Hamlet and Richard II.
Jeremy Clarkson has come a long way from being a local journalist to becoming a recognized public personality, thanks to his appearance as a presenter in the popular TV show Top Gear. He is credited with making Top Gear one of the most successful shows in the UK. His tongue-in-cheek presenting style and writing often provoke a public reaction.
Charles Hunnam is an English actor. Some of his well-known works on television are the drama Queer as Folk, comedy series Undeclared and drama series Sons of Anarchy. His notable films are Nicholas Nickleby, Green Street, Pacific Rim, The Lost City of Z, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Crimson Peak and The Gentlemen. He is also a screenplay writer.
Known as Rey from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Daisy Ridley began her career with Lifesaver, a BAFTA-nominated short film. She has also played significant roles in Ophelia and Murder on the Orient Express. She has shared her struggle with endometriosis and her support for anti-gun campaigns, on social media.
Jane Goodall is an English anthropologist and primatologist. Goodall's research proved that chimpanzees could use tools like stalks of grass to fish out termites from termite holes; this also challenged the long-held belief that chimpanzees were vegetarians. Goodall also discovered that chimpanzees are capable of emotions like sorrow and joy. Goodall is also credited with founding the Jane Goodall Institute.
Luke Evans is one of the most successful and popular actors from Wales. Also a decent singer, he released his debut studio album, At Last, in 2019; he studied music under the tutelage of an established singing coach named Louise Ryan. Since he is openly gay, Luke Evans serves as an inspiration to the gay community around the world.
English actress Maisie Williams shot to international fame with her debut role as Arya Stark in HBO’s medieval fantasy epic series Game of Thrones. She continued to entertain audience in the successive seasons of the series. Simultaneously, she has appeared in other projects like the movies, The Falling, The New Mutants , and the TV series, Doctor Who.
Asa Butterfield is best known for his BIFA-nominated role of Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which he performed at age 11. He also amazed audiences with his performance as Hugo Cabret in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. He makes music and has also participated in Nintendo world championships.
Tim Curry, who idolized the Rolling Stones and the Beatles as a teenager, went on to become an actor and singer. He serves as an inspiration to many as he continues to contribute to the film and TV industry even after suffering a major stroke, which has left him wheelchair-bound since 2012.
Guy Fawkes was a member of an infamous group which unsuccessfully plotted the murder of King James I. The plot, which came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot, became popular and Guy Fawkes became synonymous with the plot. The failure of the plot has been commemorated as Guy Fawkes Night, during which Fawkes' effigy is burned on a bonfire.
Sean Bean is an English actor known for his Yorkshire accent. Often described as surprisingly shy and a man of few words, Sean Bean is a down to earth person. Since he often portrays villainous characters that are killed violently, Sean has gained notoriety on the internet and is a subject of many internet memes.
Jenna Coleman is an English actress who played Queen Victoria in the historical TV drama series Victoria. Also known for her charity work, Jenna Coleman serves as an ambassador for a charity organization called Place2Be, which provides therapeutic and emotional services in schools. She also serves as an ambassador for One To One Children's Fund, which raises awareness of HIV.
British national of Indian descent, Dev Patel is best known for playing the lead in the 2008 British film Slumdog Millionaire. The film bagged the Best Film Oscar. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Man Who Knew Infinity and Hotel Mumbai are some of his other notable films. He received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for 2016 film, Lion.
English poet William Wordsworth, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, released Lyrical Ballads in 1798, which set the tone for the Romantic Age of English Literature. Wordsworth was known for his poems I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, The Prelude, and The Solitary Reaper. He also served as the Poet Laureate.
English actress, Vanessa Kirby, catapulted to fame as Princess Margaret in the Netflix historical drama series The Crown. The success brought her big films like Mission: Impossible –Fallout. However, Venessa has been a known stage and screen actress for quite some time. Her profile include A Streetcar Named Desire (play), The Frankenstein Chronicles (television series) and Great Expectations (BBC miniseries).
British actor Andrew Serkis, a critically acclaimed motion capture artist, first gained widespread recognition for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He provided motion capture movements and voice for the computer-generated imagery character Gollum. Planet of the Apes trilogy and The Adventures of Tintin are some of the other notable films for which he has done motion capture work.
Alec Guinness went from being an ad copywriter, to a Shakespearean stage actor, to delivering an Academy Award-winning performance as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai. He was part of the Royal Naval Reserve during World War II and received the knighthood for his contribution to arts.
Retired English actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, is widely regarded as one of the best cinema actors. Known for his dedication to method acting, he has entertained audience with both positive and negative roles. His work in movies like My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Lincoln and Gangs of New York have won him fame, critical acclaim and numerous prestigious awards.
Hugo Weaving is a British actor best known for playing the roles of suave villains, such as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy. Apart from being an actor, Weaving is also an animal rights activist; he serves as an ambassador for a non-profit animal protection charity called Voiceless. Over the years, he has played an important role in popularizing Voiceless.
Matthew Goode is an English actor who played an important role in the success of the TV show A Discovery of Witches, which is an adaptation of Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy. During its initial run, the series performed consistently as Sky One network's most-watched show, thanks to Goode's portrayal of a molecular biologist and vampire named Matthew Clairmont.
Christopher Hitchens was an advocate for New Atheism and a harsh critic of religion and of famous personalities such as Bill Clinton and Mother Teresa. He authored and edited many books on socio-political issues. As a journalist, he wrote for well-known publications such as New Statesman and The Weekly Standard.
John Lennon’s son Julian Lennon, who spent his childhood in oblivion, inspired Beatles tracks such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. He has dabbled in photography, won a Grammy for his album Valotte, written a best-selling trilogy, produced documentaries, and founded a charity for environmental and humanitarian causes.
English civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history." Considered a major figure of the Industrial Revolution, he built docks, a series of steamships, and many important bridges and tunnels. He was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons" in 2002.
An internationally recognized fashion designer and style icon, Victoria Beckham is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the UK. She was appointed an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the 2017 New Year Honours. Also a popular singer, she was part of the best-selling female group of all time, Spice Girls.
English singer-songwriter and musician Robert Smith gained fame as a co-founder and member of the rock band, The Cure. He was also the lead guitarist for the band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, for a few years. He became an influential figure in the goth subculture in the 1980s and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Emmy-nominated and BAFTA-winning Australian actor Robert Carlyle is best known for his performances in films such as Trainspotting and The Full Monty. Raised singlehandedly by his father after his mother left them, he had initially quit school to become a painter like his father. He deviated to drama at age 21.
Jill Ireland was an English singer and actress. She is best known for working with her husband Charles Bronson in 15 films. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ireland started writing books chronicling her fight with cancer. She also started working with the American Cancer Society. Her fight with cancer inspired the movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story.
Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher. Widely regarded as the co-founder of modern political philosophy, Hobbes is best known for his influential book Leviathan. Apart from political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes also contributed immensely to various other fields, such as ethics, theology, geometry, history, and jurisprudence.
Two-time BAFTA-winning naturalist and explorer Steve Backshall soared to fame with the BBC program Deadly 60. He has also worked with the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel. He has written The Falcon Chronicles, a series of children’s novels, among other books, and loves mountaineering and martial arts.
The King of England for several years from 1461 until his death in 1483, Edward IV of England was a central figure in the Wars of the Roses. He was a brave warrior and his contemporaries described him as handsome, affable, and energetic. He died at the relatively young age of 40. The cause of his death remains unknown.