My favourite British Actors

by nigel49 | created - 15 May 2018 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

These guys have proven they have the talent!

1. Greg Wise

Actor | Sense and Sensibility

He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is the son of distinguished architect Professor Douglass Wise. It was assumed that he would be an architect, so he studied architecture in Edinburgh. He dropped out, though, after a while, and went to Glasgow to study drama.

He did his first professional job ...

2. Tom Courtenay

Actor | 45 Years

Acting chameleon Sir Tom Courtenay, along with Sirs Alan Bates and Albert Finney, became a front-runner in an up-and-coming company of rebel upstarts who created quite a stir in British "kitchen sink" cinema during the early '60s. An undying love for the theatre, however, had Courtenay channeling a...

3. Alec Guinness

Actor | Star Wars

Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence...

4. Noël Coward

Writer | In Which We Serve

Noel Coward virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath - dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit -- he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of "cool...

5. Trevor Howard

Actor | The Third Man

The son of an insurance underwriter, who represented Lloyd's of London in Ceylon, Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith was born in Margate, Kent. He spent his early childhood globetrotting with his mother, frequently left in the care of strangers. After attending private school, he subsequently trained at ...

6. Timothy Dalton

Actor | The Living Daylights

At a consistently lean 6' 2", green-eyed Timothy Dalton may very well be one of the last of the dying breed of swashbuckling, classically trained Shakespearean actors who have forged simultaneous successful careers in theater, television and film. He has been comparison-shopped roundly for stepping...

7. Daniel Craig

Actor | Casino Royale

One of the British theatre's most famous faces, Daniel Craig, who waited tables as a struggling teenage actor with the National Youth Theatre, has gone on to star as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2020).

He was born ...

8. Terence Stamp

Actor | The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Terence Henry Stamp was born and lived in Canal Road, Bow, until German bombers forced his family to move to Plaistow. An icon of the 1960s, he dated the likes of Julie Christie, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Shrimpton. After an extremely successful early career, starring in Modesty Blaise (1966), Poor ...

9. Bernard Lee

Actor | Diamonds Are Forever

Best remembered as 'M' in the James Bond films, Bernard Lee was a popular character player in British films throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Born into a theatrical family, he made his stage debut at age six and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He first appeared on the West End stage...

10. Wilfrid Hyde-White

Actor | My Fair Lady

British character actor of wry charm, equally at home in amused or strait-laced characters. A native of Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, he attended Marlborough College and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage debut came in 1922, and by 1925 he was a busy London actor. He married ...

11. Rex Harrison

Actor | My Fair Lady

Rex Harrison was born Reginald Carey Harrison in Huyton, Lancashire, England, to Edith Mary (Carey) and William Reginald Harrison, a cotton broker. He changed his name to Rex as a young boy, knowing it was the Latin word for "King". Starting out on his theater career at age 18, his first job at the ...

12. Robert Morley

Actor | Marie Antoinette

English character actor Robert Morley was educated in England, Germany, France and Italy. His family planned for him to go into the diplomatic service but he liked the idea of acting more. After studying at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London he appeared on the London stage in 1929 ...

13. Christian Bale

Actor | The Dark Knight

Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries ...

14. Richard Burton

Actor | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Probably best-remembered for his turbulent personal life with Elizabeth Taylor (whom he married twice), Richard Burton was nonetheless also regarded as an often brilliant British actor of the post-WWII period.

Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in 1925 into a Welsh (Cymraeg)-speaking family in ...

15. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...

16. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (pseudonym Nicholas Blake), Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and ...

17. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

18. Christopher Lee

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...

19. Ewan McGregor

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...

20. Clive Owen

Actor | Closer

British actor Clive Owen is one of a handful of stars who, though he is best known for his art house films, can handle more mainstream films with equal measures of grace and skill. Owen is typically cast as characters whose primary traits are a balance of physical strength, intellect, conflicting ...

21. John Gielgud

Actor | Arthur

Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...

22. Rupert Everett

Actor | My Best Friend's Wedding

Rupert James Hector Everett was born in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk, to Sara (Maclean) and Anthony Michael Everett, a Major in the British Army, who later worked in business. He is of mostly English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry.

Everett grew up in privileged circumstances, but the wry, sometimes ...

23. Peter Ustinov

Actor | Spartacus

Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.

He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, ...

24. Joseph Fiennes

Actor | Shakespeare in Love

Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is one of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Ralph Fiennes, an actor; Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes, a...

25. Mackenzie Crook

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Mackenzie Crook, one of British comedy's best-known faces, who collected Star Wars figurines as a child, is now immortalized in plastic as a six-inch-high pirate action figure. He was born Paul Mackenzie Crook on September 29, 1971, in Maidstone, Kent, England, UK. His father worked for British ...

26. Hugh Griffith

Actor | Ben-Hur

Enjoyably larger-than-life character actor Hugh Emrys Griffith was born in Marianglas, Anglesey, North Wales, to Mary (Williams) and William Griffith. Griffith left the world of banking (having been employed as a teller) after winning a scholarship to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic ...

27. Kenneth More

Actor | The Longest Day

Affable, bright and breezy Kenneth More epitomised the traditional English virtues of fortitude and fun. At the height of his fame in the 1950s he was Britain's most popular film star and had appeared in a string of box office hits including Genevieve (1953), Doctor in the House (1954), Reach for ...

28. Robert Powell

Actor | The Italian Job

Robert Powell was born on Thursday, June 1st, 1944, five days before D-Day, on Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, in Salford, Manchester, England. In 1964, he started his acting career while attending Manchester University. In 1967, he made his film debut, and later landed his first starring role in The ...

29. Stephen Boyd

Actor | Ben-Hur

Stephen Boyd was born William Millar on July 4, 1931, at Glengormley, Northern Ireland, one of nine children of Martha Boyd and Canadian truck driver James Alexander Millar, who worked for Fleming's on Tomb Street in Belfast. He attended Glengormley & Ballyrobert primary school and then moved on to...

30. Leigh Lawson

Actor | Casanova

Leigh Lawson was born on July 21, 1945 in Atherston, Warwickshire, England as Allan Leigh Lawson. He is an actor, known for Casanova (2005), Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984) and Tess (1979). He has been married to Twiggy since September 23, 1988.

31. Tom Bell

Actor | The L-Shaped Room

Tom Bell was one of the UK's finest actors but he never achieved the star billing or recognition he so richly deserved. His career spanned some 50 years. Time and time again, Bell gave memorable performances. From the able seaman ordered to be flogged by a sadistic officer, played by Dirk Bogarde, ...

32. Murray Melvin

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Murray Melvin was born on August 10, 1932 in St. Pancras, London, England. He is an actor, known for The Phantom of the Opera (2004), A Taste of Honey (1961) and Barry Lyndon (1975).

33. Stephen Billington

Actor | Braveheart

Stephen Billington was born on December 10, 1969 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He is an actor, known for Braveheart (1995), Resident Evil (2002) and Coronation Street (1960).



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