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Colin Firth: Snapshot

Name
Colin Firth
Date of Birth
September 10, 1960
Birth Place
Hampshire, England
Millions of Jane Austen devotees swooned over a dripping wet Colin Firth in 1995's Pride and Prejudice, making the brooding Brit a national treasure. But it wasn't until Firth went against type as a closeted professor mourning the death of his lover in 2009's A Single Man that Oscar finally took notice.

Firth, who studied at London's prestigious Drama Centre, may have gotten his start in heavy dramas (Another Country, Tumbledown), but it was his heartwarming turns in Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually and Mamma Mia! that solidified his standing as one of Hollywood's go-to romantic leads.

The BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning actor, who splits his time between London and Italy with his wife Livia Giuggioli and their two sons, finally earned the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of stuttering monarch King George VI in The King's Speech.

Colin Firth:From the PEOPLE TV Archive

Colin Firth: Five Fun Facts

  1. Bridget Jones's Diary author Helen Fielding modeled the character of the aloof Mark Darcy on Colin Firth's portrayal of the Jane Austen character in the 1995 BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice.
  2. Who's Colin Firth's celeb crush? "I seriously suffered at the age of 10 over Doris Day," he told PEOPLE. "I loved her in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. She looked so completely in love and had that wholesome quality."
  3. Colin Firth cries while watching Dumbo: "The scene where he visits his mom where she's locked in the cage and holds him in her trunk through the bars, I choke up and I'm a real mess!"
  4. A Single Man director Tom Ford urged Colin Firth to lose weight for his Oscar-nominated role in the 2009 drama. "He told me I looked good, but I'd look better if I had a personal trainer," the actor said, with Ford adding, "I told him he was fat."
  5. Colin Firth has played a version of Jane Austen's Darcy in three films – but what separates Mr. Firth from Mr. Darcy? "I'm not so disciplined as Darcy, and he is mortified at emotional demonstrations," he said. "I'm not that quiet."

Colin Firth: Biography

1960s

Colin Firth

Out of Africa

As a baby, Firth lives in Nigeria with his parents, David and Shirley Firth, who both teach in the African country. At age 3, Firth returns to his birthplace of Hampshire, England, with his family (including two younger siblings), where the acting bug bites. "I did a pantomime when I was 5, and everyone loved it," says Firth, who joins a drama workshop at 10 and decides to pursue acting professionally by 14.

1983

Colin Firth

All About Drama

While studying at London's prestigious Drama Centre, Firth replaces Rupert Everett in the Queen's Theatre award-winning production of Another Country, which leads to his film debut in the 1984 movie adaptation. He follows up his screen introduction with supporting turns in 1987's A Month in the Country and 1988's Tumbledown.

1989

Colin Firth

Love On Set

In the period drama Valmont, Firth falls for costar Meg Tilly. "I was probably in love with Meg from the moment I met her, but it took her a while to be convinced," Firth says of their romance. Soon after, the struggling actor moves to Tilly's native Canada, where they live in a log cabin for four years with their son William, whom they welcomed in 1990. After five years together, they split, with Firth moving back to London to restart his career.

Read More on Colin Firth's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Todd Williamson/WireImage

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Ron Galella/WireImage; Everett; Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Colin Firth

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