Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
Birthday: Apr 15, 1959
Place of Birth: Paddington, London, England, UK
Bio:

One of the first ladies of contemporary British stage and cinema, Emma Thompson has won equal acclaim for her work as an actress and a screenwriter. For a long time known as Kenneth Branagh's other half, Thompson was able to demonstrate her considerable talent to an international audience with Oscar-winning mid-1990s work in such films as Howards End and Sense and Sensibility. />


Born April 15, 1959 in Paddington, West London, Thompson grew up in a household well-suited for creative expression. Both of her parents were actors, her father, Eric Thompson, the creator of the popular TV series The Magic Roundabout, and her actress mother, Phyllida Law, a cast member of This Poisoned Earth (1961), Otley (1968) and several other films. Thompson and her sister, Sophie (who also became an actress), enjoyed a fairly colorful upbringing; as Emma later said, "I was brought up by people who tended to giggle at funerals." She excelled at school, was well liked, and went on to enroll at Cambridge University in 1978. It was at Cambridge that Thompson started performing as part of the legendary Footlights Group, once home to various members of Monty Python, who provided a huge inspiration to the fledgling comedienne. Unfortunately, Thompson's studies and her work with fellow Footlights members Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were interrupted when her father had a debilitating stroke. Thompson went home for a few months, where she taught him how to speak again. After her return to Cambridge, she graduated in 1980 with a degree in English, and she got her first break working for a short-lived BBC radio show.



Personal tragedy struck for Thompson in 1982 when her father died of a heart attack. Ironically, it was in the wake of this turmoil that her professional life began to move forward: she got a job touring with the popular satire Not the Nine O'Clock News and worked with co-conspirators Fry and Laurie on the popular BBC comedy sketch show Alfresco. This led to Thompson's biggest break to date when she was picked for the lead in a revised version of the musical Me and My Girl. Coincidentally featuring a script by Fry, the show proved popular and established Thompson as a respected performer. She stayed with the show for over a year, after which she got her next big break when she was cast as one of the leads in the miniseries Fortunes of War (1988). The other lead happened to be Kenneth Branagh, and the two were soon collaborating off-screen as well as on. Following Thompson's BAFTA Award for her work on the series (as well as a BAFTA for her role on the TV series Tutti Frutti), she helped Branagh form his own production company, Renaissance Films. In 1989, the same year that she starred in the nutty satire The Tall Guy (which teamed her with Black Adder stalwarts Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis and Mel Smith)

and in a televised version of Look Back in Anger with Branagh, she appeared as the French queen in Branagh's acclaimed adaptation of Henry V.



Following the success of Henry V, Thompson had a droll turn as a frivolous aristocrat in Impromptu (1990) and then collaborated with Branagh on the noirish suspense thriller Dead Again in 1991. The film proved a relative hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and it further established the now-married Branagh and Thompson as the First Darlings of contemporary British theatre. The following year, Thompson came into her own with her starring role in Merchant Ivory's Howards End. She won a number of awards, including an Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel, and she found herself an international success almost overnight.



After a turn in the ensemble comedy Peter's Friends that same year, Thompson starred as Beatrice opposite Branagh's Benedict in his adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in 1993. That year proved an unqualified success for the actress, who was nominated for both Best Actress and B

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Filmography

Movies TV
Year Title Credit
2014 Effie Gray Screenwriter
2014 Annie Screenwriter
2014 The Love Punch Kate
2014 Men, Women & Children Narrator
2013 Saving Mr. Banks P.L. Travers
2013 Beautiful Creatures Mrs. Lincoln/Sarafine
2012 Brave Queen Elinor
2012 Men in Black III Agent O
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Professor Sybil Trelawney
2010 Nanny McPhee Returns Producer
2010 The Song of Lunch Actor
2009 An Education Headmistress
2009 Fatal Promises Actor
2009 The Journey Narrator
2009 Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked) Charlotte
2009 Last Chance Harvey Kate Walker
2008 Alfresco Actor
2008 Brideshead Revisited Lady Marchmain
2007 I Am Legend Dr. Krippen -- uncredited
2007 Stephen Fry: 50 Not Out Actor
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Sybil Trelawney
2006 Nanny McPhee Nanny McPhee
2006 Stranger Than Fiction Kay Eiffel
2006 Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner Actor
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Sybil Trelawney
2004 Imagining Argentina Cecilia Rueda
2003 Love Actually Karen
2002 Treasure Planet Capt. Amelia
2002 Treasure Planet - Read-Along Actor
2001 Wit Dr. Vivian Bearing
2001 We Know Where You Live Actor
2000 Maybe Baby Druscilla
1998 Judas Kiss Agent Hawkins
1998 Primary Colors Susan Stanton
1997 The Winter Guest Frances
1995 Sense and Sensibility Elinor Dashwood
1995 Carrington Dora Carrington
1994 Fortunes of War Actor
1994 My Father, the Hero Isabelle (uncredited)
1994 Junior Dr. Diana Reddin
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
1993 In the Name of the Father Gareth Pierce
1993 The Remains of the Day Miss Kenton
1992 Peter's Friends Maggie
1992 Howards End Margaret Schlegel
1991 Impromptu Duchess D'Antan
1991 Dead Again Grace/Margaret Strauss
1990 The Tall Guy Kate
1989 Look Back in Anger Alison Porter
1989 Henry V Princess Katherine
1987 Fortunes of War Actor