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Colin Firth is an actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2011 for the film The King's Speech.
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Born in England in 1960, Colin Firth made his film debut in Another Country in 1984, later taking several roles on television miniseries and movies. In 1996, Firth appeared in Shakespeare in Love, which went on to great acclaim. He starred in several box office successes, including Bridget Jones’ Diary and Love Actually before finding more acclaim in 2009’s A Single Man and winning an Oscar for his role in The King’s Speech.
Colin Andrew Firth was born on September 10, 1960, in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. One of three siblings born to parents David and Shirley Firth—who were working as academic lecturers in Nigeria, Africa, at the time of Colin's birth—Colin and his family lived in Nigeria until he was 4 years old, and then settled in England.
Firth's family, loving but poor, tried to instill an intellectual curiousity in their children. That academic interest all but disappeared when Colin began attending King's School in a tough area near his Hampshire, England, home. To avoid beatings and bullying from the kids at school, Firth adopted the rough, local accent of his fellow classmates and began feigning disinterest in school. Firth later told reporters that he read The Odyssey at home, but refused to complete his homework. Frequently absent, he performed so badly on his final exams that he had to retake English.
Having declared at the age of 14 that he wanted to become an actor, Firth decided to forgo college in pursuit of his dreams of the theatre. At the age of 18, he took off to London, where he joined the National Youth Theatre. Though he wasn't an instant success, Firth came in contact with many movers and shakers in the acting world. His contacts at NYT helped him land a job in the wardrobe department of the National Theatre in 1979, and his backstage work inspired him to go to acting school at the London Drama Centre in order to improve his acting craft. Studying six days a week for three years, Firth cut his teeth in a variety of plays, including King Lear, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Hamlet.
After a talent scout spotted his performance as Hamlet, Firth was offered his first West End stage role, as Guy Bennett in the 1981 production of Another Country. Chosen to replace Daniel Day-Lewis, who had in turn taken the role over from Rupert Everett, Firth shined at the Queen's Theatre. After seeing Firth perform the role, Everett decided Firth would be well-suited to the film adaptation of the play. Everett had already signed on to play the role of Guy Bennett in the big-screen version, and helped Firth land a co-starring role as Tommy Judd. In 1984, Firth made his film debut in Another Country, which was well-received by critics and earned several BAFTA nominations.
In 1984, Colin Firth landed his first starring television role opposite Greta Scacchi in Camille, a CBS remake of the George Cukor story.
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