Actors of note who have appeared in Austen-related films and TV series. If you feel I've made any important omissions, please leave a comment! I have not included actors from modern retellings of Austen's novels (e.g. Clueless, Bridget Jones). One must draw the line somewhere!
To avoid confusion, I will refer to the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma as "Emma 1996 (ITV)" and the Gwyneth Paltrow version as "Emma 1996 (Miramax)".
Gemma Christina Arterton was born in Gravesend, Kent, England, where she was raised. She is the daughter of Sally-Anne (Heap), a cleaner, and Barry J. Arterton, a welder. Her mother's cousin is singer-songwriter Eric Goulden
. Her parents divorced when she was age five, and Gemma subsequently lived with her younger sister and her mother...
“ Elizabeth Bennet, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Weston, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
Roger Barclay initially trained for the Army at Sandhurst Military Academy before winning an acting scholarship to the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London and it was whilst he was a student there that he gained his first acting role in the 1995 television adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice'...
“ Captain Carter, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed talents in British theatre. He spent his early years abroad as his father was Surgeon General to the British Army (his mother is also a doctor), but aged 8 was relocated to England and became a pupil at St Paul's Cathedral School...
“ Charles Musgrove, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
Claudie, born Claudia, Blakley is the sister of Kirsten Blakley, the lead singer with indie band Little Spitfire. Their mother is actress Lin Blakley
and their father was Alan Blakley
, bassist with Brian Poole's Tremeloes, who had several pop hits in the 1960s. Sadly Alan died of cancer in 1996 and missed seeing his daughters' success...
“ Charlotte Lucas, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
After twenty years of hard work on stage and both television and film, there are not many other actresses who deserved the success, recognition and stardom which Brenda Blethyn has now achieved. Born in 1946 in Ramsgate, Kent, England, she started her career at British Rail in the 1960s. Saving money during her time there...
“ Mrs. Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
“ Maria Bertram, Mansfield Park 1983; Mrs. Weston, Emma 1996 (ITV). ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Bingley, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Rushworth, Mansfield Park 1999; Mr. Bennet, Lost in Austen; Rev. Brook Bridges, Miss Austen Regrets. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Price, Mansfield Park 1983. ” - Basilesque
“ Colonel Fitzwilliam, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
John Carson is a hugely prolific actor who appeared constantly on UK screens throughout the mid-50s until the mid-80s. He has appeared alongside many of the UK's stars and became hugely popular as a villain or hero. The secret of John's success has been his versatility and his wonderful silky voice...
“ Mr. Knightley, Emma 1972. ” - Basilesque
“ Miss Bingley, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
Morven Christie is a Scottish actress. She was born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland in 1981, and grew up in Glasgow and Aviemore. She trained as an actor at Drama Centre London under Reuven Adiv, a colleague of Lee Strasberg, graduating in 2003. Christie lives in the UK and works across film, television and theatre.
“ Jane Bennet, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Caroline Bingley, Lost in Austen; Mrs. Elton, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress, best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense
and Little Miss Sunshine
. Collette was born Toni Collett (she later added an "e") on November 1, 1972, in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three children of Judith (Cook)...
“ Harriet Smith, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
Dominic Edward Cooper was born and raised in Greenwich, London, England. His mother, Julie (Heron), is a nursery school teacher and a keen theater-goer. His father, Brian Cooper, is an auctioneer. They divorced when Dominic was age 5. His maternal great-grandfather was film enthusiast E.T. Heron, who published The Kinematograph Weekly...
“ John Willoughby, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Darcy, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Musgrove, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Weston, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
Alan Cumming was born on January 27, 1965, in Aberfeldy, Scotland, to Mary (Darling), an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming. His family lived nearby in Dunkeld, where his father was a forester for Atholl Estate. The family (including his brother, Tom) moved to Fassfern near Fort William, before moving to the east coast of Scotland in 1969...
“ Mr. Elton, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
Irish actor Liam Cunningham was an electrician in the mid 80's. He saw an ad for an acting school and he decided to give acting a try. His first film role was as a policeman in "Into the West." Since then, he has been involved in many films and theater productions on both sides of the Atlantic.
“ General Tilney, Northanger Abbey 2007. ” - Basilesque
“ Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility 1971; Mrs. Gardiner, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
Embeth Davidtz was born on August 11, 1965 in Lafayette, Indiana. She is known for her role as Miss Honey in the film Matilda
. Her parents, Jean and John Davidtz, were South Africans, with Dutch, English, and French ancestry. The family moved to Trenton, New Jersey, before returning to her parents' native country...
“ Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
“ Maria Lucas, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Lady Bertram, Mansfield Park 1999; Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Charlotte Lucas, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Harriet Smith, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
Having graduated from Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, Rupert Evans started his career working mainly in television. Notably in British costume dramas such as 'Sons & Lovers' starring Sarah Lancashire
and Hugo Speer
, North and South, 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Fingersmith' with Imelda Staunton
and Charles Dance
“ Frank Churchill, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park 1983; Mr. Musgrove, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester...
“ Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ John Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Lady Russell, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Georgiana Darcy, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ John Knightley, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier
, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn
“ Mr. Woodhouse, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
Born in Hong Kong to father Adrian (banker) and mother Janet (journalist), Romola Garai's unusual name is the female version of Romolo, an Italian name for boys (from Latin Romulus, the founder of Rome). She grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong until she was eight when her family returned to lay roots in Wiltshire...
“ Emma Woodhouse, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson was born on September 29, 1904 in London, England, to Nancy Sophia (Greer) and George Garson, a commercial clerk. She was of Scottish and Ulster-Scots descent. Her childhood was a normal if not non-descript life. Greer showed no early signs of interest in becoming an actress...
“ Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice 1940. ” - Basilesque
Originally from Sedgefield, Mark Gatiss is an accomplished author, actor and playwright. Having graduated from Bretton Hall Drama College with a BA (honors) in Theatre Arts, he is one-quarter of the award-winning comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and is heavily involved in the post-television "Doctor Who" scene...
“ John Dashwood, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
Robert Glenister (born 11 March 1960) is a popular British actor probably best known, amongst other roles, as con-man Ash "Three Socks" Morgan in the hit British TV series Hustle
. His impressive career has spanned nearly three decades, and he has starred in several hit British television shows and film...
“ Captain Harville, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Miss Bates, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Henrietta Musgrove, Persuasion 1995; Mrs. Forster, Pride and Prejudice 1995; Maria Bertram, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
One of England's most enduringly successful character actors, Robert Hardy is noted for his versatility and depth. Born in Cheltenham in 1925, he studied at Oxford University and, in 1949, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Television viewers most fondly remember him...
“ General Tilney, Northanger Abbey 1987; Sir John Middleton, Sense and Sensibility 1995. ” - Basilesque
Sally Hawkins was born in 1976 in Lewisham hospital, London, England, to Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, authors and illustrators of children's books. She is of English and Irish descent. Hawkins was brought up in Greenwich, in southeast London. She attended James Allen's Girls' School in Dulwich. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1998...
“ Anne Elliot, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
“ Mary Musgrove, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
Anthony Stewart Head was born on February 20, 1954 in Camden Town, north London, England. He grew up in Hampton, near Richmond upon Thames in London. He's the youngest son of his parents, Seafield Head
(a documentary filmmaker) and Helen Shingler
(an actress). He is the younger brother of musical...
“ Sir Walter Elliot, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
“ Sir Thomas Bertram, Mansfield Park 1983; Mr. Woodhouse, Emma 1996 (ITV). ” - Basilesque
Ciaran Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9, 1953. He was one of five children and the only son. His father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his decision to become an actor...
“ Captain Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Kitty Bennet, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility 1995. ” - Basilesque
Felicity Jones is an English actress. She started her professional acting career as a child, appearing at age 12 in The Treasure Seekers
. She went on to play Ethel Hallow for one series in the television show The Worst Witch and its sequel Weirdsister College. She took time off from acting to attend school during her formative years...
“ Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey 2007. ” - Basilesque
Born in Bridgend, South Wales. Attended Porthcawl Comprehensive School. Trained at Warwick University (BA in Drama and Theatre Studies) then actor training at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Television includes Fat Friends
series I, II,III,IV, Tales from Pleasure Beach
for BBC1, Human Remains
“ Bates' Maid, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
“ Dr. Grant, Mansfield Park 1983. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Bennet, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley
and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald
. An older brother, Caleb Knightley
, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born mother is of Scottish and Welsh origin...
“ Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
Alice Maud Krige was born on June 28, 1954 in Upington, South Africa where her father, Dr. Louis Krige, worked as a young physician. The Kriges later moved to Port Elizabeth where Alice grew up in what she describes as a "very happy family", a family that also included two brothers (both of whom became physicians) and her mother...
“ Lady Russell, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Bates, Emma 1996 (Miramax); Mrs. Austen, Miss Austen Regrets. ” - Basilesque
Sylvestra Le Touzel
Sylvestra was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands and raised in West London. She showed an interest in acting at an early age, enrolling at a Stage School. Subsequent television roles followed, including as Fanny Price in a 1983 adaptation of Mansfield Park
, though, in cult television terms, this was eclipsed by a commercial...
“ Fanny Price, Mansfield Park 1983; Mrs. Allen, Northanger Abbey 2007. ” - Basilesque
Barbara trained for the theatre at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school then joined the Old Vic Company in London. After working in provincial repertory theatres she returned to the Bristol Old Vic to play Rosemary in 'The Severed Head' and transferred with the play to the west end. She returned again...
“ Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Mr. Wickham, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Kitty Bennet, Pride and Prejudice 1995. ” - Basilesque
David Matthew Macfadyen was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to Meinir (Owen), a drama teacher and actress, and Martin Macfadyen, an oil executive. He is of Scottish and Welsh descent. Because of his father's career, he spent at least part of his childhood in Indonesia, before finishing his education back in England and winning a place at RADA in 1992...
“ Mr. Darcy, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
“ Lucy Steele, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
Jena Malone was born in Sparks, Nevada, to Deborah Malone and Edward Berge. Her grandfather owned a casino, Karl's Silver Club, in Sparks. She was raised by her mother and her mother's partner. Beginning as a child actress, and then stepping up to roles as a young adult, Malone's career path has been compared to that of Jodie Foster
“ Lydia Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Norris, Mansfield Park 1983. ” - Basilesque
Jodhi was born in 1975. She was born and brought up in London, England, UK. She went to Wadham College, Oxford University 1994-1997. She studied and received a Masters in English. During her time at Wadham she read a lot of literature. She has been acting since she was twelve.
“ Mrs. Weston, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Captain Harville, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
Gugu, short for Gugulethu which is Zulu for "Our Pride", was born in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse, and her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney...
“ Pirhana, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
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 encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...
“ Frank Churchill, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
Janet McTeer was born on August 5, 1961 in Newcastle, England, UK to parents Jean and Allan McTeer. She was raised in York from the age of 6. She attended Queen Anne Grammar School for Girls, where there was not much opportunity for drama. She became interested in acting at age 16, when she saw "She Stoops to Conquer" at the York Theater...
“ Mrs. Dashwood, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
Tobias was born in London. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1998 and began his acting career in popular UK series such as Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, and Casualty. He also appeared in the controversial drama A Very Social Secretary. He is best known to international audiences as Marcus Junius Brutus in the television series Rome...
“ Mr. Elliot, Persuasion 2007. ” - Basilesque
Jonny Lee Miller
Jonny Lee Miller (sometimes credited with an H) was born on November 15, 1972, in Kingston, England, UK, to actors Anna Lee and Alan Miller
, and the grandson of actor Bernard Lee
. After appearing in many high school plays at his selective state grammar school, Johnny dropped out at 17, to pursue acting full time...
“ Charles Price, Mansfield Park 1983; Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park 1999; Mr. Knightley, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
English actor Tom Mison has established himself in the world of theater through his roles in Andrew Bovell's When the Rain Stops Falling at the Almeida Theatre, and Posh by Laura Wade at the Royal Court Theatre. Mison trained at the Webber-Douglas Academy and is also a writer who has penned for productions like Wood...
“ Mr. Bingley, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
Hattie Morahan was born in London in 1978. Her father, Christopher Morahan
, is a television and stage director, who is perhaps best known for his television adaptation of The Jewel in the Crown
. Her mother, Anna Carteret
, is an actress whose most high profile role was that of Inspector Kate Longton, whom she played in the BBC police drama series Juliet Bravo
between 1983 and 1985...
“ Elinor Dashwood, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
David Morrissey started acting at Everyman's Youth Theatre in Liverpool, where he was born and raised. He made an auspicious debut in One Summer
, a series about two Liverpool runaways. Following a degree at RADA, he worked with the theatre company Cheek By Jowl. He has also worked at theatre such as the Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre...
“ Colonel Brandon, Sense & Sensibility 2008. ” - Basilesque
Carey Mulligan is a British actress, born May 28, 1985, in Westminster, London, England, to Nano (Booth), a university lecturer, and Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager. Her father is of Irish descent and her mother is Welsh, originally from Llandeilo. Her first major appearance was playing Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice
alongside Keira Knightley
“ Kitty Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005; Isabella Thorpe, Northanger Abbey 2007. ” - Basilesque
Sophia Myles, was born March 18, 1980 in England. A few years later, her brother, Oliver, was born. Her parents are Jane and Peter Myles, who is a vicar, a priest in the Anglican Church who is in charge of a parish and receives a salary but not the tithes of the church. Her mother works in publishing...
“ Susan Price, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
“ Elizabeth Elliot, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Henry Crawford, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
Jeremy Philip Northam was born in Cambridge, England to parents John and Rachel, both university professors. John Northam is best known for his translations of Henrik Ibsen
. The family moved to Bristol, in 1972, where Jeremy attended Bristol Grammar School. Jeremy graduated from Bedford College, University of London...
“ Mr. Knightley, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
“ Fanny Price, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare
's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett
, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a great-great-grandfather who was of French Huguenot origin...
“ Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice 1940. ” - Basilesque
A tall, wafer thin, delicate beauty, Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of noted producer and director Bruce Paltrow
and Tony award-winning actress Blythe Danner
. Her father was from a Jewish family, while her mother has German, and some English and Irish, ancestry. When Gwyneth was eleven...
“ Emma Woodhouse, Emma 1996 (Miramax). ” - Basilesque
Born on January 27, 1979 in London, England, actress Rosamund Mary Elizabeth Pike is the only child of a classical violinist mother, Caroline (Friend), and an opera singer father, Julian Pike. Due to her parents' work, she spent her early childhood traveling around Europe. Pike attended Badminton School in Bristol...
“ Jane Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Laureate for Literature, was born October 10, 1930, in London's working-class Hackney district to Hyman and Frances Pinter, Eastern European Jews who had immigrated to the United Kingdom from Portugal. Hyman (known as "Jack") was a tailor specializing in women's clothing and Frances was a homemaker...
“ Sir Thomas Bertram, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
Billie Piper studied at the prestigious Sylvia Young
Theatre School. She caught the eyes of record producers who were interested in signing a young vocalist when she was the poster girl for the ad campaign of a British pop music magazine, "Smash Hits". She released her first single, "Because We Want To"...
“ Fanny Price, Mansfield Park 2007. ” - Basilesque
Angela Pleasence was born in Chapeltown, South Yorkshire. She is the daughter of actor Donald Pleasence
and his first wife, Miriam Raymond
. The surname for both daughter and father has occasionally been credited as "Pleasance". She remains best known for her performance as Catherine Howard in the 1970 BBC mini-series The Six Wives of Henry VIII
“ Lady Bertram, Mansfield Park 1983. ” - Basilesque
“ Betsey, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
James Brian Mark Purefoy was born and brought up in Taunton, Somerset, England, the son of Shirley (Taylor), who ran an employment agency, and Anthony Chetwynd Purefoy. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he took a succession of different jobs, including working on a pig farm and as a porter at Yeovil District Hospital...
“ Tom Bertram, Mansfield Park 1999. ” - Basilesque
“ Jane Fairfax, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
Corin Redgrave, a towering, award-winning force on the British stage but a lesser universally recognized third-generation scion of the acting dynasty, was the reddish-haired middle brother of his more internationally famous sisters, Vanessa Redgrave
and Lynn Redgrave
who achieved widespread celebrity during their course of work on the American stage, film and TV...
“ Sir Walter Elliot, Persuasion 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Caroline Bingley, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
“ Colonel Brandon, Sense and Sensibility 1995. ” - Basilesque
“ Mary Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 2005. ” - Basilesque
Tom Riley born 5 April 1981 is an English actor and producer. Riley was born in Maidstone, Kent. He became involved in drama in his hometown at the age of four, and spent his school years writing and directing plays. He attended Maidstone Grammar School. He studied English literature and drama at the University of Birmingham...
“ Mr. Wickham, Lost in Austen. ” - Basilesque
Blake Ritson won a scholarship to St. Paul's School in London before attending Cambridge University and was soon appearing in the West End in the Tom Stoppard play 'Arcadia', for which he received excellent notices. In addition to acting - notable television roles have included 'Emma', 'Upstairs Downstairs' and 'Mansfield Park' with Billie Piper...
“ Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park 2007; Mr. Elton, Emma 2009. ” - Basilesque
“ Mrs. Hurst, Pride and Prejudice 1995; Mrs. Elton, Emma 1996 (ITV). ” - Basilesque