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Kate Beckinsale (born July 26, 1973 in London, England) is an English actress.

 

Early life

She is the daughter of Judy Loe (a stage actress) and the late Richard Beckinsale, a well-known television actor who died in 1979, at the age of 31. Kate’s paternal great-grandfather was Burmese.

Beckinsale she won first prizes in several young writing competitions. After finishing school in London, she followed in the footsteps of her parents and began her acting career. Her first role was in One Against the Wind, a television film about World War II that was first aired in 1991. Beckinsale then began studying German, French and Russian at New College, Oxford University, though she did not complete her studies. She felt that a general university background would be better for her than attending a school of performing arts.

 

Film career

During her first year at Oxford, Beckinsale was offered a part in Kenneth Branagh’’s big-screen film, Much Ado About Nothing, adapted from the Shakespeare play. She spent her last year of studies in Paris, after which she decided to quit university and concentrate on her acting career. She subsequently appeared in a few notable but low-profile films, including Cold Comfort Farm (1995) and The Last Days of Disco (1998). She also appeared in television films and in stage roles.

Her first major American film, Brokedown Palace (1999), was a not a commercial success. Soon after, Beckinsale was cast in the 2001 film Pearl Habor, which was one of the highest grossing films of its year. In the years following, she appeared in a series of American films that were high-profile but were given a poor critical reception, including Serendipity (2001), Underworld (2003) and Van Helsing (2004).

Beckinsale was selected by Hello Magazine as England’’s #1 Beauty of 2002.

 

Private life

Beckinsale and Welsh actor Michael Sheen have a daughter, Lily, but they are no longer together. In June 2003, she became engaged to the director of Underworld, Len Wiseman, and the two were wed in May 2004 in Bel-Air, California.

Beckinsale speaks Russian.

 

Selected Filmography

Beckinsale in UnderworldClick (2006)
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
The Aviator (2004)
Van Helsing (2004)
Underworld (2003)
Laurel Canyon (2003)
Serendipity (2001)
Pearl Harbor (2001)
The Golden Bowl (2001)
Brokedown Palace (1999)
The Last Days of Disco (1998)
Shooting Fish (1998)
Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

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