There have been many famous British actors to come to Hollywood and make a name for themselves, so here's a comprehensive list of the 10 best famous British actors. With movie franchises like “James Bond” and “Harry Potter,” many of these British actors have taken their place as Hollywood stars.
- Daniel Day-Lewis. British actor Daniel Day-Lewis has earned four Oscar nominations while remaining one of the most critically acclaimed method actors working today. He won Best Actor awards for his performances in “There Will be Blood” and “My Left Foot.” He also earned BAFTA Awards for both of those films as well as “Gangs of New York.”
- Ian McKellen. Ian McKellen remains best known for both his roles as Magneto in the popular “X-Men” movie franchise and Gandalf from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He also received an Oscar nomination for “Gods and Monsters” and BAFTA nomination for “Richard III.”
- Michael Caine. Michael Caine has received six Oscar nominations. He won two for performances in “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “The Cider House Rules.” The British actor also co-starred as Alfred in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.”
- Gary Oldman. Gary Oldman began his career with an inspired performance as the Sex Pistols’ British bassist Sid Vicious. Since that breakout, he has played Dracula, Lee Harvey Oswald and Beethoven. He has also been involved in two of the most profitable franchises of the last decade with "Batman" and "Harry Potter."
- Alan Rickman. Actor Alan Rickman immediately gained cult status when he portrayed the evil Hans Gruber in the first “Die Hard” movie. Despite all the memorable roles he played after that, people know him best as Severus Snape from the “Harry Potter” movies, a franchise full of the best of British talent.
- Colin Firth. A certain female demographic will always know Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. The British actor made quite the impression as the male lead in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” but received his first Oscar nomination for his role in the 2010 indie film “A Single Man.”
- Daniel Craig. Daniel Craig helped revitalize the “James Bond” franchise when he took over the role of 007 in “Casino Royale.” The British actor is also playing Mikael Blomkvist in the adaptation of the popular novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
- Ralph Fiennes. Ralph Fiennes is one of two Fiennes brothers who have made a name for himself in Hollywood. Ralph is the more successful brother, earning two Oscar nominations, including one for his portrayal of Amon Goeth in “Schindler’s List.” He also joins the large British cast in the “Harry Potter” movies, starring as the evil Lord Voldemort.
- Simon Pegg. Simon Pegg made a name for himself starring in quirky comedies directed by British director Edgar Wright. When not fighting zombies in “Shaun of the Dead” and battling Timothy Dalton in “Hot Fuzz,” Pegg co-starred in “Mission Impossible III” and “Star Trek.”
- Hugh Grant. In the mid-nineties, High Grant could have topped every list of Best British Actors. While he has slightly fallen in prominence over the years, he still has a solid body of work including “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “About a Boy.”
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