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Also Known As: Colin Andrew Firth Died:
Born: September 10, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Nigeria Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

British actor Colin Firth achieved international renown in 1995 with his arguably definitive screen portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." He began his career in West End dramas and on the big screen in period, often literary adaptations, before a number of successful romantic comedies including "Bridget Jones' Diary" (2001) and broader historic dramas like "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" (2003) turned him into "the thinking woman's heartthrob." While the moniker stuck throughout his career, Firth continued to showcase untapped facets of his talent in independent films, family-friendly hits, and gutsy cable movies. With noted turns in "Love, Actually" (2003), "Nanny McPhee" (2006) and "Mamma Mia!" (2008), Firth displayed both serious acting chops and an easygoing screen presence that continually pleased audiences. But the actor took his career to a new level with "A Single Man" (2009) and "The King's Speech" (2010). The roles were tour-de-force performances that earned Firth several award nominations and wins and elevated his career to new heights.

British actor Colin Firth achieved international renown in 1995 with his arguably definitive screen portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." He began his career in West End dramas and on the big screen in period, often literary adaptations, before a number of successful romantic comedies including "Bridget Jones' Diary" (2001) and broader historic dramas like "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" (2003) turned him into "the thinking woman's heartthrob." While the moniker stuck throughout his career, Firth continued to showcase untapped facets of his talent in independent films, family-friendly hits, and gutsy cable movies. With noted turns in "Love, Actually" (2003), "Nanny McPhee" (2006) and "Mamma Mia!" (2008), Firth displayed both serious acting chops and an easygoing screen presence that continually pleased audiences. But the actor took his career to a new level with "A Single Man" (2009) and "The King's Speech" (2010). The roles were tour-de-force performances that earned Firth several award nominations and wins and elevated his career to new heights.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Devil's Knot (2014)
4.
5.
 Railway Man, The (2014)
6.
 Arthur Newman (2013)
7.
 Man Under (2013)
8.
 Stars In Shorts (2012)
9.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Lived in Nigeria with parents until the age of four
:
Family briefly moved to St Louis, MO when he was in his early teens
:
Joined the National Theater doing odd jobs for the wardrobe department
:
Trained at the Drama Centre in North London, where he performed his first amateur "Hamlet"
1983:
London stage debut, "Another Country"; replaced Rupert Everett in the role of Guy Bennett
1984:
Film debut, "Another Country"; played Tommy Judd opposite Rupert Everett's Guy Bennett
1984:
American TV-movie debut, "Camille" (CBS)
1986:
Cast as an aspiring artist in the British miniseries "Lost Empires" (aired on PBS in 1987)
1987:
Won critical acclaim for "A Month in the Country"
1988:
Played a film buff who takes in a mysterious boarder in "Apartment Zero"
1989:
First starring role, playing the lead in Milos Forman's "Valmont"
1989:
Offered a harrowing portrayal of real-life Scottish soldier Robert Lawrence who had been left paralyzed in "Tumbledown"
1993:
Co-starred in the HBO TV drama "Hostages"
1995:
Played pivotal role of Simon Westward in "Circle of Friends"
1995:
Breakthrough role as Mr. Darcy in the BBC miniseries adaptation of Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice"
1996:
Landed featured role as Kristin Scott Thomas' husband in Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient"
1997:
Portrayed a foul-mouthed soccer player in "Fever Pitch"
1998:
Played Wessex, the intended groom of Gwyneth Paltrow's Viola, in "Shakespeare in Love"
1999:
Received raves for his stage performance in the London premiere of "Three Days of Rain" by Richard Greenberg
2000:
First published work "The Department of Nothing," a short story that appeared in <i>Speaking with the Angel</i>
2000:
Had featured role in "Relative Values" a film adaptation of a Noel Coward play
2001:
Played Mark Darcy opposite Renee Zellwegger's title character in "Bridget Jones' Diary"
2001:
Portrayed the Nazi secretary of state who took part in the Wannsee Conference in the historical drama "Conspiracy" (HBO); received an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2002:
Played Jack Worthing in the remake of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
2003:
Joined the Richard Curtis ensemble, "Love Actually"
2003:
Co-Starred with Scarlett Johansson as painter Johannes Vermeer in "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
2004:
Reprised his role as Mark Darcy in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
2005:
Co-starred with Kevin Bacon as a showbiz duo whose career was ended abruptly amid scandal in "Where the Truth Lies"
2006:
Co-starred with Emma Thompson and Angela Lansbury in "Nanny McPhee"; scripted by Thompson
2007:
Portrayed general Aurelius in "The Last Legion"
2008:
Featured in Helen Hunt's directorial debut, "Then She Found Me"
2008:
Cast as Uma Thurman's fiancée in the romantic comedy "The Accidental Husband"
2008:
Cast as one of the potential fathers in the the film version of the ABBA-inspired musical "Mamma Mia!"
2009:
Co-starred in an adaptation of the play by Noël Coward, "Easy Virtue"
2009:
Starred as a college professor grappling with solitude after his longtime partner dies in Tom Ford's directorial debut "A Single Man"; earned Independent Spirit, Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actor
2009:
Voiced Scrooge's nephew in Robert Zemeckis' animated adaptation of <i>A Christmas Carol</i>
2010:
Earned critical acclaim for playing King George VI in "The King's Speech"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture ¿ Drama ("The King¿s Speech")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role ("The King¿s Speech")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture ¿ Drama
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
2011:
Co-starred with Orlando Bloom and Patricia Clarkson in the small-town drama "Main Street" (lensed 2010)
2011:
Co-starred with Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy in the thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School: -
Barton Peveril College: -
The Drama Centre: - 1980 - 1982

Notes

"Pride & Prejudice" attracted 10 million viewers per week in Britain when it aired, far higher than the average program.

"If you're under the spell of something, you can't cast a spell."---Colin Firth on acting to the The New York Times, January 15, 1996.

"I don't think a great many things are achieved by crudely exerting yourself upon them. Still, I'd love to do cartwheels and the fireworks and the pyrotechnics. I would love to dazzle. I just don't have a great capacity for it."---Firth in Harper's Bazaar, May 1996.

"There is a part of me that does have to pay for not belonging, but I consider my upbringing to have been hugely enriching and I certainly wasn't a victim. People with a predisposition to act come from all sorts of different places, but I do think it sometimes helps to be a bit fractured in terms of your identity. Acting with honesty doesn't come out of nowhere. I do think sometimes you have to upset your own equilibrium a little bit."---Firth quoted in The Daily Telegraph, February 26, 1999.

"I think it's quite extraordinary that people cast me as if I'm Warren Beatty. Until I met my present wife, at the age of 35, you could name two girlfriends. Yet there's this extraordinary image of the man who goes off with his leading lady all the time, when any 35-year-old man who can claim to have had two past lovers is hardly a philanderer."---Firth on his perceived status as a lothario to the The Daily Telegraph, March 22, 2000.

"I'm not in Michael Caine's position so I can't judge, but I agree there's a stark contrast between England and Los Angeles. Americans make no distinction between English actors; they can't tell the difference between Michael Caine and Prince Charles. We're all Prince Charles to them."---Firth quoted in London's Evening Standard, June 12, 2000.

"Beyond that famous English reserve lies incredible loyalty, and I cherish the English capacity for friendship. Other places have more apparent accessibility, but after five years you've got no further than you did on the first exchange."---Colin Firth to London's Evening Standard, June 12, 2000.

"There's this other person called Mr. Darcy who I have very little to do with. He's like a bizarre doppelganger that I've spawned who walks around doing things without me. I've not really allowed myself to get hung up about it. Life has gone on perfectly satisfactorily. It hasn't held me back. It dominates what gets written about me, but it doesn't affect me any closer than that."---Firth to The Daily Telegraph, April 3, 2001.

"It's utterly bizarre to hear people discussing me in sexual terms. It's not something I'm used to. As an actor, I'm far more used to experiencing failure, rejection and failed expectations. I'm just glad that I didn't achieve my so-called hunk status until I was 35. I know it would have been very difficult to deal with if it had happened in my first film."---Firth quoted to Jan Janssen in handbag.com, 2003.

"He embodies a particular kind of Englishman, chivalruos, polite, articulate, clever, and that is a fantasy."--- director Beeban Kidron on Firth to EW, November 26, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Meg Tilly. Actor. Met during filming of "Valmont"; together c. 1989-94; mother of Firth's son Will.
companion:
Jennifer Ehle. Actor. Born in December 1969; met during filming of "Pride and Prejudice"; no longer together.
wife:
Livia Giuggioli. Documentarian. Italian; born c. 1970; met in 1996 during the filming of "Nostromo"; married on June 21, 1997.

Family close complete family listing

father:
David Firth. History teacher. Born c. 1934; travelled to various locations to teach; became history lecturer at King Alfred's College in Winchester.
mother:
Shirley Firth. Teacher. Born c. 1936; lecturer on comparative literature at Open University.
sister:
Kate Firth. Voice coach, actor. Born c. 1961.
brother:
Jonathan Firth. Actor. Born on April 6, 1967.
son:
William Firth. Born in 1990 in British Columbia, Canada; mother, Meg Tilly.
son:
Luca Firth. Born in April 2001; mother Livia Giuggioli.
son:
Mateo Firth. Born August 2003; mother Livia Giuggioli.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Speaking with the Angel"

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