• Biography

Colin Andrew Firth CBE is an actor from England. He has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two European Film Awards, two BAFTA Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, among other awards. Firth won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2010 for his depiction of King George VI in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech.


Colin Andrew Firth was born in the Hampshire village of Grayshott to parents who were teachers. Shirley Jean, his mother, was a comparative religion lecturer at King Alfred's College (now the University of Winchester), and David Norman Lewis Firth, his father, was a history lecturer at King Alfred's and a Nigerian government education officer. Firth is the oldest of three siblings, including a sister, Kate, an actress and voice teacher, and a brother, Jonathan, an actor. His maternal grandparents were Congregationalist ministers, while his paternal grandfather was an Anglican clergyman; both of his parents were born in India and spent a portion of their youth there.

Firth's parents' jobs required him to travel frequently as a child, and he spent several years in Nigeria.

When he was 11, he also lived in St. Louis, Missouri, which he describes as "a trying time." When he returned to England, he enrolled in the Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School (now Kings' School), a state comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire, at the time. He was still an outsider, and he was being bullied. To combat this, he acquired a working-class Hampshire accent and imitated his classmates' disinterest in studying.

Firth had already determined to be a professional actor by 14, having attended theatre workshops since he was ten years old. He was not academically inclined until higher education, later remarking in an interview, "School was a chore for me. I just found it dull and average, and nothing they taught me seemed to pique my attention in the least." However, he was instilled with a love of English literature by an enthusiastic teacher, Penny Edwards, at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College in Eastleigh. He has stated that his two years there were among the happiest of his life.

Firth moved to London after finishing the sixth form and joined the National Youth Theatre. He developed many contacts in the performing scene there, and one of them led to a job with the National Theatre's costume department. He then went on to study at the Drama Centre in London.

Personal Life

Firth started dating Meg Tilly, his co-star in Valmont, in 1989. William Joseph Firth, their son, was born in 1990.

William is now an actor, having starred opposite his father in the 2016 film Bridget Jones's Baby. The family relocated to British Columbia's Lower Mainland. Firth's acting career stagnated after the couple split up in 1994, and he returned to the United Kingdom.

Firth and co-star Jennifer Ehle developed a loving involvement during the making of Pride and Prejudice, which only came to light after the pair split up.

Firth married Livia Giuggioli, an Italian producer's assistant who later became a producer in 1997. Luca and Matteo are their two sons.

The family split their time between London's Wandsworth and Umbria, Italy, and announced their split in 2019. They had already had a private break several years ago but had reunited since then.

Firth, an outspoken opponent of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union (Brexit), sought for "dual citizenship (British and Italian)" in 2017 to "have the same passports as his wife and children" following the referendum outcome and consequent uncertainty over non-EU citizens' rights.

On September 22, 2017, the Italian interior minister, Marco Minniti, stated that his application had been approved. "I will always be tremendously British (you only have to look at or listen to me," Firth said.

In a CNN interview with Piers Morgan in 2011, after winning an Academy Award for his depiction of King George VI in The King's Speech, Firth declared himself a republican (anti-monarchist), adding that voting is "one of his favorite things" and unelected institutions are "a issue for him."

Career & Awards

After years of acting, Colin Firth didn't get his significant achievement until he appeared as Fitzwilliam Darcy in the TV miniseries Pride and Prejudice (1995). His depiction of a subdued wealthy person whose haughtiness shrouds his developing love for Elizabeth Bennet earned Firth a dedicated fan base. A series of acclaimed films followed, including The English Patient (1996) and Shakespeare in Love (1998), the two of which earned an Academy Award for best picture. In 2001 Firth gathered further consideration and fame as Mark Darcy in the rom-com Bridget Jones' Diary, an adaptation of Helen Fielding's famous novel. That character, an anxious legal counselor who experiences passionate feelings for the title character played by Renée Zellweger, was based on Austen's Mr Darcy. Firth repeated the role in Bridget Jones's sequels: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones' Baby (2016).

In Tom Ford's 2009 adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's epic A Single Man, Firth depicted a gay professor who, following the demise of his sweetheart, shows an unemotional front while considering suicide. The role earned Firth his first Oscar nomination, and he won his first BAFTA Award.

In January 2020, it was announced that the film 1917 was added to the Oscar nominations list for the Best Picture category. Firth has a leading role in the film as General Erinmore.

Date modified: Sep 1, 2021
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