COLIN FIRTH Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Colin Firth was born on 10th September 1960 in Grayshott, a small town in the region of Hampshire, in the south of England. His grandparents were English missionaries working in India and his parents are academic teachers: father David is a lecturer in American studies; mother Shirley is a doctor of comparative religion. Colin spent part of his childhood abroad, in Africa and USA, where his parents worked. On return to Hampshire, Colin was not very happy at school and rebelled against learning things which he considered of no interest to him. He failed his school exams and did not continue beyond his compulsory education. He had his first taste of acting as a child when he appeared in a school play. He soon discovered that he enjoyed acting, which seemed to be the only thing for which he was praised - according to his own recollection. As a result, from the age of 14 he was determined to become an actor. Colin Firth made his London stage debut in Julian Mitchell’s "Another Country", replacing Rupert Everett in the leading role of upper class spy-in-the-making Guy Bennett and went on to make his screen debut in the 1984 film version of the play as Tommy Judd, the Communist schoolmate of Guy who also appears to be the only student with no gay inclinations.


Firth has been heralded as one of the best actors of his generation in Britain, but has rarely been able to prove himself able to carry a film as the unequivocal lead. In "A Month in the Country (1987), he gave a strong portrayal of a haunted World War I veteran who romances a vicar’s wife. Milos Forman’s "Valmont" (1989) saw Firth in the title role of the rich and too clever count, but the film was overshadowed by Stephen Frears’ lavish "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). Nonetheless, the handsome actor acquitted himself ably. Firth has played key roles in subsequent features, notably as the lonely and sheltered film lover whose life is changed when he takes in a mysterious American boarder (Hart Bochner) in "Apartment Zero" (1988) and as Simon Westward, the cold Protestant land baron whose dalliance with a college girl almost leads Minnie Driver to lose Chris O’Donnell in "Circle of Friends" (1995). He next appeared as Kristin Scott Thomas’ husband in "The English Patient" (1996) and earned critical kudos and a host of new fans as the darkly brooding Mr. Darcy in the BBC/A&E adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" (also 1996). Firth also offered a deftly comic turn as the impoverished Earl of Wessex seeking a wealthy wife in "Shakespeare in Love".