Colin Firth (1960-) b. Grayshott, Hampshire, England.
Born in Grayshott, Hampshire, Colin Firth comes from an academic background; he spent his early childhood in Nigeria before returning to England at the age of five. He made his West End stage debut as Guy Bennet in Julian Mitchell’s Another Country. Due to that performance, he went on to make his film debut as Tommy Judd in the film version of Another Country (1984). Despite such a promising start to his career, he spent much of the next 10 years working on obscure film projects, or in television, notably as the darkly brooding Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s costume drama Pride and Prejudice (1995).
Firth played key roles in subsequent features without establishing himself as a leading actor, appearing as the caddish Simon Westward alongside Minnie Driver in Circle of Friends (1995). He next appeared as Kristin Scott Thomas’ cuckolded husband in The English Patient (1996) and earned critical kudos and a host of new fans. He broke away from period drama shortly to appear in the film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s Arsenal homage Fever Pitch (1997). Firth also offered a comic turn as the impoverished Lord Wessex in Shakespeare in Love (1999). More recently he appeared alongside Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger in the blockbuster adaptation of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), and later reprised his role as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). Firth has continued to appear frequently in romantic comedies despite the threat of being typecast.
Firth later appeared in the global smash hit ABBA musical Mamma Mia! (2008). The cast included Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard and Amanda Seyfried. Mamma Mia! grossed over half a billion dollars around the world and has become the highest grossing film of all time in the UK. The same year, Firth was seen in Stephan Elliott’s Easy Virtue (2008), a remake of Hitchcock’s Easy Virtue (1927) and based on the Noel Coward play. He won the BAFTA Award for his performance in Tom Ford’s A Single Man (2009), which also earned him nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Firth received international critical acclaim for his starring role as George Falconer, based on Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel.
Firth received international acclaim for his role as the stammering Prince Albert in The King’s Speech (2010), based on the true story of the future King’s friendship with his unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. His acclaimed portrayal of the reluctant wartime King won Firth an Academy Award for Best Actor.