Famous Scottish Actors

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Scotland has given the world a pool of talented Scotsmen who have been known the world over for their extraordinary feats and achievements. They are celebrated and noteworthy and have through their deeds extensively contributed to the world at large. Be it as inventors or leaders, philosophers or artisans, sports stars or scientists, Scottish men and women have made their worth count. Of all the fields, Scottish people have shone in the sphere of acting as well. Blessed with a creative bent of aptitude, Scottish actors are known for their applaud-worthy performance both in stage and in motion pictures. They are master story-tellers who get into the flesh of a character and bring to life a largely real/unreal character or subject through their facial expression, body language, body movement and gestures. Scottish film industry has been home to some of the most talented actors who have earned a reputation for themselves not just in the country but in Hollywood as well. Alan Cumming, Gerard Butler, Richard Madden, Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor and James McAvoy are some of the most famous and influential actors from Scotland who have an affluent filmography to boast of. Check this segment to discover interesting facts about Scottish actors, their life, films, career and filmography.
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 1 
Sean Connery
(The First Actor to Portray Fictional British Secret Agent James Bond on Film)
Sean Connery
38
Birthdate: August 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
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

 2 
Ewan McGregor
23
Birthdate: March 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Perth, Scotland

A critically acclaimed actor, known for working in many small independent films, Ewan McGregor’s first notable film was Shallow Grave, followed by Trainspotting which propelled him to stardom. Films like Emma, A Life Less Ordinary and Moulin Rouge and the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the three Star Wars prequels, plus the television series Fargo are his other notable works.

 3 
James McAvoy
(Scottish Actor)
James McAvoy
8
Birthdate: April 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

A frequent performer in West End productions, James McAvoy has also showcased his acting skills in popular Hollywood movies, such as the X-Men series and Split. Although not an adventurer, he did a BASE jump to help raise money for a charity named Retrak, which helps Ugandan children.

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 4 
Gerard Butler
(Scottish Actor and Film Producer)
Gerard Butler
11
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

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!

 5 
Richard Madden
11
Birthdate: June 18, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Scottish actor Richard Madden is famous worldwide as Robb Stark from the hugely successful HBO series, Game of Thrones. The series has a cult following and Madden starred in it from 2011 to 2013. He also received critical acclaim for his acting in the series Bodyguard. He has also acted in films like Cinderella, Bastille Day and 1917.

 6 
David Tennant
9
Birthdate: April 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bathgate, Scotland

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.

 7 
Sam Heughan
(Actor and Producer Best Known for His Role as ‘Jamie Fraser’ in the TV Series ‘Outlander’)
Sam Heughan
7
Birthdate: April 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Balmaclellan, Scotland

Best known to audiences as James Fraser from the historical drama series Outlander, Sam Heughan was born to hippie parents from the Gandalf's Garden community in London. He supports Scottish independence and has been associated with cancer charity. He has also been the face of the British luxury brand Barbour.

 8 
Billy Connolly
(Stand-up Comedian)
Billy Connolly
5
Birthdate: November 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Billy Connolly is a retired stand-up comedian, actor, and musician. Known for his observational and idiosyncratic comedy, Connolly is widely considered one of the most influential and greatest stand-up comedians of all time. He has also worked with the British charity, Comic Relief and has appeared in a documentary and a live stage show for the charity.

 9 
David McCallum
5
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

David McCallum is a Scottish musician and actor who gained recognition for portraying Illya Kuryakin in the popular spy fiction TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He gained international recognition for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the action police procedural TV series NCIS. David McCallum has also contributed as a writer, publishing a novel titled Once a Crooked Man.

 10 
Alan Cumming
(Scottish Actor, Writer and Singer Known for His TV Series ‘The Good Wife’)
Alan Cumming
5
Birthdate: January 27, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

Alan Cumming is a Scottish-American actor, filmmaker, comedian, and singer. A Tony Award winner, Cumming has contributed immensely to the development of the Scottish Youth Theatre, of which he is a patron. An openly bisexual actor, Cumming's work as an LGBT rights activist has earned him several awards, including the Vito Russo Award and HRC's Humanitarian Award.

 11 
Robbie Coltrane
5
Birthdate: March 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rutherglen, Scotland

Robbie Coltrane is a Scottish actor, writer, and comedian best known for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the popular Harry Potter movie series. Coltrane has also played important roles in other popular movies like GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough. Over the years, Robbie Coltrane has won several prestigious awards, such as the British Academy Television Awards.

 12 
Peter Capaldi
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow

Peter Capaldi is a Scottish filmmaker and actor. He is best known for playing Malcolm Tucker in the British comedy TV series The Thick of It. Also known for his charity work, Capaldi joined hands with other celebrities to help raise awareness about the ill-effects of the global refugee crisis. He is also a patron of the Aberlour Child Care Trust.

 13 
Robert Carlyle
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Maryhill

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.

 14 
Iain Glen
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Dr. Alexander Isaacs’ in ‘Resident Evil’ Film Series)
Iain Glen
5
Birthdate: June 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the British theatre's preeminent men, Iain Glen is best-known for featuring in Resident Evil film series and Game of Thrones. Though he has a catalogue of splendid work but his works flew under the radar. He bagged in a Silver Bear for Best Actor for his phenomenal performance in Silent Screen at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.
 15 
Ian McDiarmid
(Best Known for His Villainous Role of 'Emperor Palpatine' from the 'Star Wars' Film Series)
Ian McDiarmid
4
Birthdate: August 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland

Best known to fans as Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious in the Star Wars movie series, Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid also had a successful career in British theater. His performance as Teddy in the play Faith Healer won him a Tony Award, while he earned an Olivier Award for the play Insignificance.

 16 
Thomas Doherty
3
Birthdate: April 21, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scotland
Scottish actor Thomas Doherty is best known as Sean Matthews from the Disney series The Lodge and as Harry Hook from the Descendants movie franchise. He will appear in the upcoming the HBO Max remake of Gossip Girl. Vogue named him one of the world’s 50 fittest boys in 2017.
 17 
Dougray Scott
3
Birthdate: November 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glenrothes

Dougray Scott is a Scottish actor known for playing important roles in popular American films, such as Mission: Impossible 2, Hitman, and Ever After. Scott was hand-picked by Tom Cruise to portray the antagonist in Mission: Impossible 2, which says a lot about his acting skills. He was also the original choice to play Wolverine in X-Men, a role he missed due to an injury.

 18 
Rory McCann
(Scottish Actor Best Known for Portraying 'Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane' on the HBO Series 'Game of Thrones')
Rory McCann
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Best known for his role of The Hound in Game of Thrones and his Scottish BAFTA-winning performance as Kenny McLeod in The Book Group, Rory McCann often puts his towering 6’6” frame to good use in his acting projects. He is also a talented musician and once worked as a carpenter and gardener.

 19 
Graham McTavish
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 20 
James Cosmo
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Clydebank, Dumbartonshire, Scotland

James Cosmo is a Scottish actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as Game of Thrones. He has also appeared in several epic historical films like Braveheart, Troy, and Ben-Hur. Apart from being an actor, James Cosmo has also been serving as a patron of a charity named Chance for Childhood.

 21 
Kevin McKidd
(Actor Best Known for His Role in the Film 'Trainspotting' and TV Series 'Grey's Anatomy')
Kevin McKidd
5
Birthdate: August 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elgin, Moray, Scotland

Kevin McKidd is a Scottish-born American actor, singer, and television director. He is best known for portraying Owen Hunt in the popular medical drama TV series Grey's Anatomy. He is also known for playing important roles in popular films like Danny Boyle's 1996 black comedy-drama Trainspotting and Chris Columbus' 2010 action fantasy Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

 22 
Henry Ian Cusick
(Peruvian-Scottish Actor and Television Director)
Henry Ian Cusick
3
Birthdate: April 17, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Trujillo, Peru

Henry Ian Cusick is a Peruvian-Scottish actor and television director. He is best known for playing Desmond David Hume in the popular ABC television series Lost. Henry Ian Cusick received a nomination at the Primetime Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Desmond Hume.

 23 
Billy Boyd
(Actor)
Billy Boyd
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 24 
Martin Compston
(Actor Best Known for Playing Detective Inspector 'Steve Arnott' in the BBC Drama 'Line of Duty')
Martin Compston
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland

Martin Compston began his career as a footballer, playing as a defender for youth teams such as Aberdeen and then for senior teams such as Greenock Morton. However, an audition in high school led him to the lead role in the movie Sweet Sixteen, and he ended up becoming an actor.

 25 
Douglas Henshall
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow
While he gained fame with films such as Angels and Insects and stage productions such as Death of a Salesman, Douglas Henshall’s real claim to fame was his BAFTA-winning role of Jimmy Perez in the crime series Shetland. A football fan, he initially wished to be a sports journalist.
 26 
Ncuti Gatwa
2
Birthdate: October 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nyarugenge, Kigali, Rwanda
 27 
Jack Lowden
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chelmsford, Essex, England, UK
 28 
Iain De Caestecker
3
Birthdate: December 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 29 
Angus Macfadyen
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 30 
Sebastian Roché
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
 31 
Denis Lawson
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, UK
 32 
Ewen Bremner
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
 33 
Tony Curran
(Scottish Actor)
Tony Curran
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Tony Curran is a Scottish actor best known for his work in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films, such as Thor: The Dark World. He has also played important roles in popular TV series like Daredevil and Doctor Who. In 2006, Tony Curran won the Best Actor Award at the British Independent Film Awards for playing Clyde Henderson in Red Road. 

 34 
Neil Connery
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 9, 2021
Neil Connery, younger brother of legendary actor Sean Connery, made his movie debut with the film O.K. Connery, also known as Operation Kid Brother, which was modeled on James Bond films. He was also part of the Hong Kong film Aces Go Places 3, a secret agent comedy.
 35 
Ken Stott
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Balin’ in ‘The Hobbit’ Film Series)
Ken Stott
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

Ken Stott is a Scottish actor best known for his performance in the play Broken Glass, for which he received the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in 1995. He has also won a couple of BAFTA Scotland Awards for his performance in Hancock and Joan and The Missing. Ken Stott achieved international recognition after portraying Balin in the Hobbit film series.

 36 
Marti Pellow
(Lead Singer of the Scottish Pop Group 'Wet Wet Wet')
Marti Pellow
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clydebank, Scotland
Although discouraged by his father from choosing music as a career option, Mark McLachlan decided to try his luck with a band he formed with three friends. While the band grew to become the internationally renowned Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet, Mark became Marti Pellow, its lead singer.
 37 
Gary Lewis
(Actor)
Gary Lewis
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Easterhouse, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
 38 
Bill Paterson
2
Birthdate: June 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 39 
Ross McCall
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 40 
Joe McFadden
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 41 
Derek William Dick
(Singer-songwriter, Actor, Singer, Composer, Poet)
Derek William Dick
2
Birthdate: April 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

Better known by his pseudonym, Fish, Scottish rock singer Derek William Dick first gained fame as part of the British band Marillion. Known for hits such as Kayleigh, he later also had a successful solo career. He once revealed how he almost died twice, from skin-infection-induced blood poisoning.

 42 
Kenneth Cranham
(Scottish Actor Known for His Role as 'James Reaper' in the 2007 Film 'Hot Fuzz')
Kenneth Cranham
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Scottish actor Kenneth Cranham, a RADA alumnus, was equally skilled on the big screen and on stage, especially West End, in his heyday. Known for his Olivier Award-winning role in the play The Father, he also played major roles in films such as Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Layer Cake.

 43 
Alastair Sim
2
Birthdate: October 9, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Died: August 19, 1976
 44 
Gordon Jackson
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: January 15, 1990
 45 
Sean Biggerstaff
(Actor, Musician)
Sean Biggerstaff
2
Birthdate: March 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow
 46 
Tom Conti
(Actor)
Tom Conti
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paisley, Scotland

Surprisingly, the antireligious actor Tom Conti was raised as a staunch Roman Catholic. He is said to be genetically linked to Napoléon Bonaparte. The theater, TV, and film actor has also written a novel and is known for his minor but impactful roles such Ross’s father-in-law in Friends.

 47 
Ian Richardson
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: February 9, 2007
 48 
Ian Charleson
(Scottish actor)
Ian Charleson
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: January 6, 1990
 49 
Emun Elliott
2
Birthdate: November 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

Born to a Persian father and a Scottish mother, actor Emun Mohammedi, better known as Emun Elliott, had dropped out of a literature degree course to join the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He later soared to fame with series such as Paradox and movies such as Prometheus.

 50 
John Laurie
2
Birthdate: March 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, UK
Died: June 23, 1980