Famous British Film & Theater Personalities

One of the oldest of its kind the British film industry and theatre has been charming the audiences with great movies and plays for over a decade. Though the industry harbors a complex feeling for its American counterpart, and the film production industry in the nation had to face a lot of hardships in the post-world war era till the late 90s, it nonetheless is gifted with some of the most talented artists, producers and film makers. The likes of famous film makers Karel Reisz, Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson were the pioneers of the ‘British New Wave’ film making which became prevalent after the World War II and dealt with subjects of social realism. The 1960s saw the rise of spy films in the British film industry with the Bond movies starring Sean Connery. Other eminent personalities of the decade who left an impression on the film arena were director Joseph Losey, Nobel Prize winner playwright Harold Pinter and actor Dirk Bogarde. In recent times British actors such as Christian Bale, Jude Law, and Daniel Day-Lewis have wooed the audiences with their charming and varied performances. Not far behind are the leading ladies, like Kate Winslet, Judi Dench and Emma Watson, hailing from Britain who is giving their American counterparts a run for their money. Take a look at the biographies of some of the most famous British Film & Theatre Personalities. Find out everything about their life stories, timelines and also a few interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown
57
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 19, 2004
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Millie Bobby Brown, the English actress and model, rose to prominence after acting in the TV series Stranger Things and then in the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in 2019. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in April 2018, making her the youngest person ever to be so.

 2 Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

Emilia Clarke rose to fame with the television series Game of Thrones, which garnered her international recognition and won her several awards. She has also starred in many films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. Emilia also supports several charitable organisations. 

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 3 Emma Watson

Emma Watson
13
Famous As: British actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 4 Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson
13
Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson has entertained audience globally with his brilliant performance as the eponymous character in the Mr. Bean series and its film adaptations. Earlier, he established himself as a fine comedy actor with Blackadder and then went on to work in movies like Never Say Never Again, The Witches and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

 5 Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British, American
Often featured among the ‘Sexiest’ and ‘Most Desirable’ women in the world, this British-born actress is a Hollywood A-lister and sex-symbol who first captured everyone’s attention with her scene-stealing appearance in the Meryl Streep starrer The Devil Wears Prada. Emily Blunt has since tasted both commercial and critical success, and is married with kids to The Office actor, John Krasinski.

 6 Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

Actress Kate Winslet’s most enduring character remains that of the protagonist in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, which made her an international star. She’s also known for doing period roles in films like Sense and Sensibility, Jude and Hamlet. Some of her other notable films are Iris, Little Children, Steve Jobs and The Reader. She won an Oscar for her performance in The Reader

 7 Jason Statham

Jason Statham
2
Famous As: Actor, Producer, Martial Artist
Birthdate: July 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

One of Hollywood's most important action heroes, Jason Statham debuted with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and later starred in more action film series like The Transporter, The Expendables and The Fast and the Furious. The martial artist, known for performing most of his own stunts himself, was once a world class diver, fashion model and black-market salesman.

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 8 Sean Connery

Sean Connery
29
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: October 31, 2020

The first person to play James Bond on screen, Scottish actor Sean Connery went on to star in seven films of the franchise. The role catapulted him to international fame, but this charismatic actor was not restricted to his iconic role. He also tasted critical and commercial success in other productions including Murder on the Orient Express and The Untouchables

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 9 Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 5, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

An English actor known for his role as Superman in the DC Extended Universe superhero films, Henry Cavill has been active in the film industry for around two decades. As a teenager, he met actor Russell Crowe who inspired him to take up acting. He is known for his sex appeal and is considered a male sex symbol.

 10 Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Kate Beckinsale is an English actress and model and has worked in films such as Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, The Aviator, Contraband and Total Recall and received critical acclaim for her performance in the film Love and Friendship. She has also worked in various stage and radio productions. The British Heart Foundation is one of the charities that she promotes.

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 11 Idris Elba

Idris Elba
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Idris Elba is a successful actor both on the small and the big screen and is mainly known for the television series The Wire and Luther and also for films, such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation. He has also acted in blockbuster films of Marvel Comics universe like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

 12 Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most popular English actors of the current generation. Apart from his acting skills, he is also known for his charity work. In 2014, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world. In 2015, he was appointed a CBE for services to charity and performing arts.

 13 Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
7
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: May 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: January 20, 1993

British actress Audrey Hepburn is counted among the greatest female screen legends in Golden Age Hollywood. Rising to prominence in the 1950s, she became one of the few people to win Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards. She devoted much of her time in her later life to UNICEF and was actively involved in humanitarian work.

 14 Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress who is known for her performances in independent films and huge blockbusters. Some of her notable films are The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech, Hamlet, Howards End, Fight Club, Les Misérables . She was also part of the Harry Potter series. She was bestowed with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

 15 Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

British actress Keira Knightley’s career took a huge turn, when she appeared in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and Bend It Like Beckham, while she was still in her teens. Since then, she has displayed her talent in numerous period and big budget movie including Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Pride and Prejudice and Imitation Game.

 16 Lily James

Lily James
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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. 

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 17 Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

One of the most popular and decorated British-American actresses, Rachel Weisz is the recipient of many awards, such as the Academy Award. One of the most beautiful actresses, she has been featured on several magazine covers. In 2010, Rachel Weisz was named the global ambassador for L'Oréal. She has also served as fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez's muse.

 18 Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Best known for playing the menacing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, English actor Tom Hiddleston is far from being menacing in real life. In fact, he is often described as the nicest person on earth, an image which he lives up to by supporting several charities and donating items for auction. He is also a UK ambassador of UNICEF.

 19 Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

Though Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first major film for actor Robert Pattinson, he became an international star with the Twilight movie series. Since then, he has gained immense accolades for working in independent films like The Lost City of Z, Good Time and The Lighthouse. The talented actor is also known for his philanthropic activities.

 20 Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

An English actor who achieved international fame when he began starring as the title character in the James Bond film series, Daniel Craig is known for his rugged good looks and raw sex appeal. Beginning his career in the early 1990s as a theater actor, he soon ventured into cinema as well. He has been nominated for many awards.

 21 Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 28, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Karen Gillan is one of the most popular and successful actresses from Scotland. She is best known for playing Nebula and Ruby Roundhouse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and Jumanji film series respectively. Also a filmmaker, she wrote and directed The Party's Just Beginning, apart from acting in the film. She is also a philanthropist.

 22 Lena Headey

Lena Headey
0
Famous As: Actor, Voice actor
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Bermudian, British

 23 Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Helen Mirren is one of the most respected and decorated actresses from England. She has won several prestigious awards, including the Triple Crown of Acting. Before achieving greatness, Mirren fought drug addiction during her 20s. She has also said that she is a naturist at heart and was named by British Naturism as Naturist of the Year in 2004.

 24 Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Eminent British actor, Patrick Stewart, is best known for his work in television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and four films associated with it. Another project that brought him immense recognition was the X-Men film series. A passionate stage artist, he has devoted considerable time to stage and delivered strong performances in Anthony and Cleopatra and A Christmas Carol

 25 Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

A Tony Award recipient, Ralph Fiennes is one of the most respected English actors of the current generation. He is known for playing important roles in notable films, such as the Harry Potter and James Bond film series. A Stanislavsky Award recipient, he is also known for his work behind the camera.

 26 Kit Harington

Kit Harington
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

English actor, Kit Harington, became a widely acclaimed and recognized celebrity after playing Jon Snow in one of the most popular TV shows of all time - Game of Thrones. Also known for his charity work, Kit Harington has been an ambassador for a charity organization called The Royal Mencap Society since 2016.

 27 Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

One of the most beautiful actresses of her generation, Naomi Watts has been featured in the world's most beautiful women lists by magazines like Maxim and People. Also a well-known philanthropist, Watts is associated with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) as its goodwill ambassador. She uses her fame to help people suffering from AIDS.

 28 Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British, Scottish

Gerard Butler is one of the most popular and successful actors from Scotland. He came into prominence with the portrayal of King Leonidas in the fantasy war film 300. Apart from acting, he participates in fundraising events and charity programs. Interestingly, Butler tried his hand at acting only after being fired a week before becoming a qualified lawyer!

 29 Michael Sheen

Michael Sheen
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Michael Sheen is a Welsh actor and started his career as a theatre artist. He rose to fame in the 2000s as a screen actor after working in various biographical films. He starred in television films like The Deal, The Queen and The Special Relationship. Some of his notable films are The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Midnight in Paris.

 30 Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Considered a British cultural icon, Ian McKellen is one of the most respected and decorated actors of all time. An openly gay actor, his work as an LGBT activist has been as impressive as his illustrious acting career. At the 1991 New Year Honours, he was knighted for services to performing arts.

 31 Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 32 Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Popular English actress, Rosamund Pike, is best known for her performances in the movies Gone Girl, Hostiles, An Education and A Private War. A talented stage actress, she shot to international fame with her debut film Die Another Day. Since then, she has appeared in diverse roles and has achieved both critical and commercial success as well as prestigious award nominations.

 33 Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 34 Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish, British, American

Angela Lansbury played a key role in shaping the Golden Age of Hollywood. Recognized as one of the few stars still alive from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, Angela Lansbury has received accolades, such as an Honorary Oscar. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 35 Christian Bale

Christian Bale
4
Birthdate: January 30, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

After bagging his first starring role when he was just 13, actor Christian Bale proceeded to become one of the finest actors of his generation in the ensuing years. Known for his commitment to his craft, he is considered one of the most versatile and talented actors today. He is also popularly regarded as a male sex symbol.

 36 Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

British heartthrob Orlando Bloom shot to fame fir playing elf warrior Legolas in the fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings and later achieved success with more high profile films like The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Hobbit film trilogy, Troy and Elizabethtown. In between, he made his Broadway debut with Romeo Juliet and was also named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

 37 Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 30, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 38 Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: French, British, American
Died: July 26, 2020

The veteran actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Olivia de Havilland shot to fame with Gone With the Wind and later established her cinematic career with movies like To Each His Own and The Heiress. Her rivalry with her sister and the court battle against a powerful studio also made headlines.

 39 Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

A Guinness record holder for the most-watched leading man on TV, three-time Golden Globe-winner and two-time SAG Award-winner Hugh Laurie has also dabbled in blues music and written a novel. From starting his career with sketch comedy, to winning the OBE and CBE, the actor/comedian has come a long way.

 40 Judi Dench

Judi Dench
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Judi Dench is one of the most respected and decorated English actresses of all time. Counted among the most influential people in the United Kingdom, Dame Judi Dench is a patron of more than 180 charities, such as York Against Cancer. Since 1985, she has been serving as the president of Questors Theatre.

 41 Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: January 14, 2016

One of the most admired British actors, Alan Rickman gained global recognition for his work on stage and screen. The late actor excelled at portraying villainous characters especially in movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. Other notable works of the versatile actor include Harry Potter film series and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

 42 Cary Grant

Cary Grant
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 18, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 29, 1986

Considered one of the greatest actors ever, Cary Grant’s good looks, popular appeal and a knack for romantic comedy made him an enduring Hollywood star from the 1930s to the 1960s. Penny Serenade, An Affair to Remember, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest and Charade are some of his classic films. He was bestowed an honorary Oscar in 1970.

 43 Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson
15
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 44 Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Gary Oldman is an English actor who can be best described as a chameleon, for his remarkable ability to imbibe the traits and mannerisms of the character he portrays. Whether playing a Cold War spy or a Sci-fi villain or Winston Churchill, this acting genius has earned the praise of millions of fans around the world.

 45 Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 46 Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Veteran English actress, Maggie Smith, has an extensive career spanning almost seven decades. One of Britain's most recognizable actresses, she has appeared in more than 60 films and over 70 plays. Making her debut as a stage actress in the 1950s, she quickly moved on to TV and cinema. She has been honored with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award.

 47 Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant
5
Birthdate: September 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

The quintessential lover boy of British and American cinema, Hugh Grant is widely regarded as a meticulous performer who works hard on his acting and comic skills. One of the few celebrities to express disdain for celebrity culture, Grant's personal life has overshadowed his on-screen achievements. Also known for his charity work, Grant is a patron of Pancreatic Cancer Action.

 48 Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

One of the most popular Scottish actresses of her generation, Tilda Swinton is known for portraying negative roles in both blockbusters and independent arthouse films. An Academy Award-winning actress, Tilda is also known for her impressive fashion sense; she was named by The Guardian as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 in 2013.

 49 Lily Collins

Lily Collins
33
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British, American

Born to a famous musician Phil Collins, Lily Collins first faced the camera at the age of two. As an adult, she gained recognition with Mirror Mirror and then followed it up with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Rules Don't Apply. The British-American actress, who has become extremely successful, is also a model and a published author.

 50 Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

English actress Felicity Jones started her career as a child and went on to take up more mature roles as a teenager. One of her uncles is an actor, and he influenced her to take up the profession herself. She appeared in many TV shows in the initial years of her career before venturing into films as well.