14 UK actors you will always remember

December 19, 2013

1. Peter O’Toole


Peter O’Toole, burst onto our screens as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which moved Noel Coward to remark: “If he were any prettier he would be Florence of Arabia.”

2. Julie Andrews


How can we forget about Mary Poppins, the woman who flies with an umbrella? How can we forget about the nun assigned to take care of a man’s seven children in “The Sound of Music” who marries the man and converts the family into singers? Julie Andrews plays both roles. Surprisingly, she won a Best Actress Oscar for “Mary Poppins,” but not “The Sound of Music.”

3. Elizabeth Taylor


Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for Butterfield 8 (1960), because at the time she was ill and members of the Academy thought she was dying. A disappointed nominee remarked, “I lost the Oscar to a virus.”

4. Glenda Jackson


A DJ once referred to Glenda Jackson MP as a loser, which is curious because she’s been in Parliament since 1992. This is apart from Glenda Jackson the actor winning 2 Oscars: for Women in Love (1970) and A Touch of Class (1973).

5. Helen Mirren

at the 27th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Jerry Bruckheimer, Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA 12-12-13

Many held their breaths when it was announced that Helen Mirren would play Queen Elizabeth II, because from the moment she appeared in Age of Consent (1969), she has never been shy about disrobing on screen. Needless to say, she didn’t disrobe and duly won an Oscar.

6. Vivien Leigh


From the moment Vivien Leigh was given the part of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) for which she won a Best Actress Oscar, she was destined for stardom. Many believed her talents were such she would probably have become a star regardless.

7. Richard Burton


Mention the name Richard Burton and images an alcohol fueled existence is difficult to avoid. The truth of such is perhaps more legend than reality, yet most critics agree, his promise was not entirely fulfilled.

8. Anthony Hopkins

at the "Thor: The Dark World" Los Angeles Premiere, El Capitan Theater, Hollywood, CA 11-04-13

The current preeminent British actor is probably Sir Anthony Hopkins, who as well as wining one Oscar has received numerous nominations.

9. Ian McKellen


Although he has had a long and illustrious career Sir Ian McKellen will probably always be remembered as the wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-3).

10. Julie Walters

Women in Film and Television Awards

Julie Walters has only had one film role that has had international acclaim Educating Rita (1983), yet she has recently won a television poll as the best British actress ever. This is mainly as a recognition of her television work.

11. Michael Caine


Turtles can be more memorable than rabbits. The quiet Caine and Jack Nicholson are the only two actors with Oscar nominations in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Caine is zero for four in Best Actor Oscar nominations, but two for two in Best Supporting nominations, winning for “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) and “The Cider House Rules” (1999).

12. Dirk Bogarde


The most recognizable British film actor of the 50’s and 60’s Dirk Bogarde, will best be remembered for The Servant (1963), and Death in Venice (1971).

13. Judi Dench

BFI London Film Festival - Philomena Photocall

Dame Judi Dench has received great acclaim as a stage actress but will probably be remembered for film roles such as  Shakespeare in Love (1998), receiving the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress,  Iris (2001 and Notes on a Scandal (2006).

14. Vanessa Redgrave


Vanessa Redgravewill be remembered for a dynasty of actor children and her Oscar wining role in Julia (1977).

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