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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.