British / Irish Actors

by sbrvv | created - 07 Jan 2013 | updated - 31 May 2013 | Public

1. Gary Oldman

Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman is a talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his "big" acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), Drexl in ...

2. Colin Firth

Actor | A Single Man

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...

3. 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 Charles Howard 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 ...

4. Tom Hardy

Actor | Inception

With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception (2010), English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. However, the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his ...

5. Hugh Grant

Actor | Love Actually

Hugh Grant, one of Britain's best known faces, has been equally entertaining on-screen as well as in real life, and has had enough sense of humor to survive a media frenzy. He is known for his roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), with Andie MacDowell, Notting Hill (1999), opposite Julia ...

6. James McAvoy

Actor | Atonement

McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary), after his parents divorced when James was 7. He ...

7. Michael Fassbender

Actor | Shame

Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. ...

8. Jim Sturgess

Actor | 21

Jim was born in London, the son of Jane O. (Martin) and Peter J. S. Sturgess. He was raised in Surrey. First and foremost his interest was music. However, he began to develop a secret passion for acting, at age 8, when he auditioned for local theatre to get out of class. Whilst music appeared cool,...

9. Jude Law

Actor | The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jude Law is an English actor. Law has been nominated for two Academy Awards and continues to build a prolific body of work that spans from early successes such as Gattaca (1997) and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) to more recent turns as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes:...

10. Benedict Cumberbatch

Actor | The Imitation Game

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold ...

11. Ben Whishaw

Actor | Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (...

12. 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, went on to star as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

He was born Daniel Wroughton Craig on ...

13. Liam Neeson

Actor | Schindler's List

Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by ...

Irish

14. 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 ...

15. Andrew Garfield

Actor | The Social Network

Andrew Russell Garfield was born in Los Angeles, California, to a British-born mother, Lynn (Hillman), and an American-born father, Richard Garfield. When he was three, he moved to Surrey, U.K., with his parents and older brother. He is of English and Polish-Jewish heritage. Andrew was raised in a ...

British mother. Seems legit

16. Colin Farrell

Actor | The Lobster

Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's best rising stars in Hollywood and abroad today. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history.

Farrell ...

Irish

17. Guy Pearce

Actor | Memento

Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Margaret Anne and Stuart Graham Pearce. His father was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to English and Scottish parents, while Guy's mother is English. Pearce and his family initially traveled to Australia for two years, ...

18. Gerard Butler

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Gerard James Butler was born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. His family is of Irish origin. Gerard spent some of his very early childhood in Montreal, Quebec, but was mostly raised, along with his older brother and sister, in his hometown of Paisley. His parents ...

19. Henry Cavill

Actor | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands. His mother, Marianne (Dalgliesh), a housewife, was also born on Jersey, and is of Irish, Scottish and English ancestry. Henry's father, Colin Richard Cavill, a stockbroker, is of ...

20. Matthew Macfadyen

Actor | Pride & Prejudice

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 ...

21. Sean Bean

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

Sean Bean's career since the eighties spans theater, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and ...

22. Tom Hiddleston

Actor | The Avengers

Thomas William Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London, to English-born Diana Patricia (Servaes) and Scottish-born James Norman Hiddleston. His mother is a former stage manager, and his father, a scientist, was the managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He started off at the preparatory ...

23. Ed Westwick

Actor | Gossip Girl

Ed Westwick was born on June 27, 1987 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England as Edward Westwick. He is an actor, known for Gossip Girl (2007), Children of Men (2006) and Chalet Girl (2011).

24. Jamie Dornan

Actor | Fifty Shades of Grey

Jamie Dornan was born on May 1, 1982 in Belfast, Northern Ireland as James Dornan. He is an actor, known for Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), The Fall (2013) and Anthropoid (2016). He has been married to Amelia Warner since April 27, 2013. They have two children.

25. Joseph Morgan

Actor | The Originals

Actor Joseph Morgan was born in London, England but grew up in Swansea, Wales. He was educated at Morriston Comprehensive School. After school he attained a BTEC in Performing Arts at Gorseinon College, Swansea and followed this by moving back to London to study at the Central School of Speech and ...

26. Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Actor | Kick-Ass

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English stage, television, and film actor.

He was born Aaron Perry Johnson in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to Sarah and Robert Johnson, a civil engineer. He has a sister, Gemma Johnson, who had a small role in his movie Tom & Thomas (2002). Aaron is of ...

27. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of 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 head of the famous Ealing ...

28. Eddie Redmayne

Actor | Les Misérables

British actor Eddie Redmayne is the first, and thus far only, millennial male to have won an acting Oscar (for The Theory of Everything (2014)).

Edward John David Redmayne was born and raised in London, England, the son of Patricia (Burke) and Richard Charles Tunstall Redmayne, a businessman. His ...

29. Ben Barnes

Actor | The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

British actor Benjamin Thomas Barnes was born in London, England, to Patricia (Becker), a relationship therapist, and Thomas Barnes, a professor of psychiatry. He has a brother, Jack. His mother is from South Africa while his father is English.

Barnes studied at Homefield Preparatory and King's ...

30. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

31. Matthew Goode

Actor | Stoker

Matthew William Goode (born 3 April 1978) is an English actor. His films include Chasing Liberty (2004), Match Point (2005), Imagine Me and You (2006), Brideshead Revisited (2008), Watchmen (2009), A Single Man (2009), Leap Year (2010), Stoker (2013) and The Imitation Game (2014). Goode also ...

32. Harry Lloyd

Actor | The Theory of Everything

Harry Lloyd was born on November 17, 1983 in London, England. He is an actor and writer, known for The Theory of Everything (2014), The Iron Lady (2011) and Jane Eyre (2011).

33. Orlando Bloom

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

Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England on January 13, 1977. His mother, Sonia Constance Josephine (Copeland), was born in Kolkata, India, to an English family then-resident there. The man he briefly knew as his father, Harry Bloom, was a legendary political activist ...

34. Douglas Booth

Actor | Jupiter Ascending

Douglas John Booth is an English actor. Booth was born in London, England, the son of Vivien (De Cala), an artist, and Simon Booth, who works in shipping for Citigroup. He has appeared on English television as (Christopher and His Kind (2011), Great Expectations (2011)), starred in the film Romeo &...

35. Bradley James

Actor | Underworld: Blood Wars

British-American actor, Bradley James, won his first role on the BBC pilot Dis/Connected. Show creators were so impressed with his work that they would go on to cast him as the young King Arthur in the hit show Merlin (2008) which aired on BBC & NBC. Of the eventual cast, James was the only cast ...

36. Jack O'Connell

Actor | Unbroken

Jack O'Connell was born in Alvaston, Derby, England, to Alison J. (Gutteridge) and John Patrick O'Connell. His mother is English, and worked at British Midland, and his father was Irish (from County Kerry), and worked on the railways for Bombardier. Jack went to Saint Benedict Catholic School, and ...

37. Jeremy Irvine

Actor | War Horse

Jeremy Irvine is an English stage and screen actor. He was born Jeremy William Fredric Smith in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, England, to Bridget (Glockling), a local politician, and Christopher Fredric Smith, an engineer. His stage surname, "Irvine", was his grandfather's first name. He attended one ...

38. Jamie Bell

Actor | Billy Elliot

Jamie Bell was born in 1986 in Billingham, England, UK, to Eileen (Matfin) and John Bell, a toolmaker. He comes from a family of dancers including his grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister. It was at his sister's dance practices that he would stand outside the door and imitate the movements of the ...

39. Craig Roberts

Actor | Submarine

CRAIG ROBERTS is one of the most interesting, diverse and exciting young British actors working today. He is best known for his breakout role in Submarine, for which he won the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actor, the London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year, in ...

40. Michael Caine

Actor | The Dark Knight

Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London, to Ellen Frances Marie (Burchell), a charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish-market porter. He left school at age 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean ...

41. Alan Rickman

Actor | Die Hard

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 ...

42. Daniel Radcliffe

Actor | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23, 1989 in Fulham, London, England, to casting agent Marcia Gresham (née Jacobson) and literary agent Alan Radcliffe. His father is from a Northern Irish Protestant background, while his mother was born in South Africa, to a Jewish family (from Lithuania, ...

43. Rupert Grint

Actor | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint was born in Harlow, Essex, England, the elder son of Joanne (Parsons) and Nigel Grint, who dealt in memorabilia. The first of 5 children, Rupert has one brother and 3 sisters. His brother James was born when Rupert was a year old, Georgina and Samantha were born in 1993...

44. Tom Felton

Actor | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Tom Felton was born in Epsom, Surrey, to Sharon and Peter Felton. He has been acting since he was 8 years old at the suggestion of an actress friend of his family who recognized Felton's theatrical qualities. Felton met with an agent, and two weeks later, after auditioning with over 400 other ...

45. Michael Gambon

Actor | Gosford Park

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...

46. Ralph Fiennes

Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus ...

47. John Hurt

Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four

This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and ...

48. Mark Strong

Actor | The Imitation Game

British actor Mark Strong, who played Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), is often cast as cold, calculating villains. But before he became a famous actor, he intended to pursue a career in law.

Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in London, England, to an ...

49. Brendan Gleeson

Actor | The Guard

Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high ...

50. 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 ...

51. Jim Broadbent

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a ...

52. Cillian Murphy

Actor | 28 Days Later...

Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law ...

53. Jason Isaacs

Actor | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Jason Isaacs was born in Liverpool, the third of four children of Sheila (née Nathan) and Eric Isaacs. His parents were both from Jewish families (from Eastern Europe). He studied law at Bristol University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in law but decided to study acting. While at Bristol ...

54. Matthew Rhys

Actor | The Americans

Matthew Rhys was born on November 8, 1974 in Cardiff, Wales as Matthew Rhys Evans. He is an actor and director, known for The Americans (2013), Burnt (2015) and The Edge of Love (2008).

55. David Thewlis

Actor | Naked

David Thewlis was born David Wheeler in 1963 in Blackpool, Lancashire, to Maureen (Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler, and lived with his parents above their combination wallpaper and toy shop during his childhood. Originally, he came to London with his band Door 66, however he changed his plans and...

56. Timothy Spall

Actor | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Timothy Leonard Spall was born in Battersea, London, to Sylvia R. (Leonard), a hairdresser, and Joseph L. Spall, a postal worker. He was raised in London. Spall auditioned and earned a spot with the National Youth Theatre and later showed great promise at RADA where he portrayed the title roles in ...

57. Charlie Cox

Actor | Daredevil

Charlie Thomas Cox was born in London, England, to Patricia C. A. (Harley) and Andrew Frederick Seaforth Cox, a publisher. He has English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and descends from several prominent forebears (Baronets of Agnew and Carnegie, an Earl of Findlater, and a Colonial Governor of ...

58. Martin Freeman

Actor | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Martin Freeman is an English actor, best known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office (2001), Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock (2010) and Lester Nygaard in the dark ...

59. Ben Kingsley

Actor | Gandhi

Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji on December 31, 1943 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born medical doctor, of Gujarati Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary (Goodman), was an English actress. Ben began to act in stage plays during ...

60. Tom Sturridge

Actor | On the Road

Tom Sturridge was born in London, England. He is the son of actress Phoebe Nicholls and sometime-actor and full-time director Charles Sturridge, and the grandson of actors Anthony Nicholls and Faith Kent. His maternal great-grandfather, Horace Nicholls, was a prominent photographer.

Tom started his ...

61. Nicholas Hoult

Actor | Mad Max: Fury Road

Nicholas Caradoc Hoult was born in Wokingham, Berkshire, England to parents Glenis and Roger Hoult. His great-aunt was one of the most popular actresses of her time, Dame Anna Neagle. He attended Sylvia Young Theatre School, a school for performing arts, to start acting as a career.

Hoult has been ...

62. Christopher Eccleston

Actor | Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in Let Him Have It (1991). However, it was a regular role in the television series Cracker (1993) that made him a recognizable figure in the United Kingdom. He appeared in the ...

63. David Tennant

Actor | Doctor Who

One of Scotland's greatest ever actors, David Tennant has won almost universal acclaim from audiences, critics and fellow professionals for his outstanding and award-winning performances on stage and screen. He was born David John McDonald in West Lothian, Scotland, to Essdale Helen (McLeod) and ...

64. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

65. Robert Carlyle

Actor | The Full Monty

Robert Carlyle was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth, a bus company employee, and Joseph Carlyle, a painter and decorator. He was raised by his father after his mother left him when he was four. At the age of 21, after reading Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," he enrolled in acting ...

66. Nico Mirallegro

Actor | Hollyoaks

Nico Mirallegro was born in Manchester, England, to an Italian father and Anglo-Irish mother. He attended The Manchester school of Acting for 3 years. He is best known for his roles in The Village, My Mad Fat Diary, Common and the recent British film Spike Island. Nico was selected in the 2012 ...

67. Colin O'Donoghue

Actor | The Rite

O'Donoghue was born and raised in Drogheda, County Louth, in a Roman Catholic family. He initially attended Dundalk Grammar School, and then The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. At age 16, O'Donoghue went to Paris, France, for a month to learn the French language. Colin's early career was mainly ...

68. Iain Glen

Actor | Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Iain Glen is a Scottish actor, who was born on June 24, 1961 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, an independent school for boys (now co-educational), followed by the University of Aberdeen. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he was the winner of...

69. Kit Harington

Actor | Game of Thrones

Kit Harington was born Christopher Catesby Harington in Acton, London, to Deborah Jane (Catesby), a former playwright, and David Richard Harington, a businessman. His mother named him after 16th century British playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe, whose first name was shortened to Kit, a name ...

70. Alfie Allen

Actor | John Wick

Alfie Allen was born on September 12, 1986 in Hammersmith, London, England as Alfie Evan Allen. He is an actor, known for John Wick (2014), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and Game of Thrones (2011).

71. Jack Gleeson

Actor | Game of Thrones

Jack Gleeson was born on May 20, 1992 in Cork, Ireland. He is an actor, known for Game of Thrones (2011), Batman Begins (2005) and A Shine of Rainbows (2009).

72. Richard Madden

Actor | Game of Thrones

Richard Madden born 18 June 1986 is a Scottish stage, film, and television actor best known for portraying Robb Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones and Prince Kit in Disney's Cinderella. Madden was born in Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland, where he was brought up, with older and younger ...

73. Joe Dempsie

Actor | Skins

Joe Dempsie was born on June 22, 1987 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England as Joseph Maxwell Dempsie. He is an actor, known for Skins (2007), Game of Thrones (2011) and Blitz (2011).

74. Aidan Gillen

Actor | Game of Thrones

Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011), CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (2000), John Boy in the RTÉ Television series ...

75. Isaac Hempstead Wright

Actor | The Boxtrolls

Isaac has been acting since he was age 11. Currently, he is still studying at school and balancing acting jobs.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright is an English actor. Beginning his professional acting career at the age of eleven, Hempstead-Wright is best known for his role as Bran Stark on the HBO series Game ...