EMMA THOMPSON Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Emma Thompson                                                                   
Born: 15 April 1959 London, England                                                   
Emma Thompson (born April 15, 1959) is an Emmy-, BAFTA-, Golden Globe- and two         
time Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. She is         
also a patron of the Refugee Council.                                                 
Thompson was born in Paddington, London, England. Her father, Eric Thompson, was       
an actor known for narrating the English version of the French children's TV           
series The Magic Roundabout. Her mother, Phyllida Law, is a Scottish actress.         
Thompson's younger sister is actress Sophie Thompson. Thompson has spent part of       
her life in Scotland and has stated that she "feel[s] Scottish".                       
Thompson went to Camden School for Girls and then studied English at Newnham           
College, Cambridge, where she was a member (along with fellow actor Hugh Laurie)       
and vice-president of the University's theatrical club, the Footlights. Her           
acting talent was so impressive that agent Richard Armitage signed her to a           
contract while she was still 2 years away from graduation. In 1982, Emma               
completed her education at Cambridge with her degree. Soon after that, she came       
to fame with a leading role in the West End revival of the musical Me and My           
Girl, opposite Robert Lindsay, followed by the BBC serial drama, Fortunes of War.     
Thompson's first major film role was in a romantic comedy, The Tall Guy. Her           
career took a more serious turn with a series of critically acclaimed                 
performances and films, beginning with 1992's Howards End (for which she               
received an Oscar for Best Actress), the part of Gareth Peirce, the lawyer for         
the Guildford Four, in In the Name of the Father, The Remains of the Day               
opposite Anthony Hopkins, and as the British painter Dora Carrington in the film       
Carrington. She won her next Oscar in 1996, for Best Adapted Screenplay for her       
screenplay adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, a film in which         
she also played the Oscar-nominated lead actress role. She has said that she           
keeps both of her award statues in her downstairs bathroom, citing embarrassment       
at placing them in a more prominent place.                                             
One of Thompson's earliest television appearances was in 1984 alongside Stephen       
Fry and Hugh Laurie as guest stars on the sitcom The Young Ones. In 1988, she         
starred in and wrote the eponymous Thompson comedy sketch series for BBC1; the         
series was not successful with audiences or critics. Described in Time Out             
magazine as "very clever-little-me-ish",  it has never been                           
repeated in Britain despite her Oscar successes, and Thompson has not returned         
to the sketch comedy field.                                                           
Thompson's recent television work has included a starring role in the 2001 HBO         
drama Wit, in which she played a dying cancer victim, and 2003's Angels in             
America, playing multiple roles, including one of the titular angels. Her Emmy         
Award was as a guest star in a 1997 episode of the show Ellen; in the episode,         
she played a fictionalised parody of herself: a closeted lesbian more concerned       
with the media finding out she's actually American. She also appeared in an           
episode of Cheers in 1992 titled "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't". Her character,         
Nanette Gooseman, aka "Nanny Gee", was a children's entertainer and Frasier           
Crane's first wife.                                                                   
Thompson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban                                   
Most recently, Thompson appeared in supporting roles in films of a lighter             
nature, including her role as Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner       
of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She has also appeared       
in the comedy Love Actually.                                                           
The film Nanny McPhee, written by Thompson, was first released in October 2005.       
Thompson worked on the project for nine years, having written the screenplay and       
starred, alongside her mother (who has a cameo appearance). In her most recent         
film, Stranger Than Fiction, she plays an author planning on killing her main         
character, Harold Crick, who turns out to be a real person. Most recently, Emma       
Thompson made a short uncredited cameo as a doctor introducing the cure for           
cancer in the form of measles in the latest film adaptation for I Am Legend.