Date of Birth: April 15, 1959
Emma Thompson was born in Paddington, England. Acting was in her blood as her father was a stage director and her mother was an actress. Emma started acting while she was still a child and later, when she was taking an English Literature degree at Cambridge, she wrote, directed, and produced the college's first all-female comedy revue.
After graduation, Emma took that comedic sensibility to various comedy clubs around London with her own stand-up act that led to a comedy series on British television. She met her (now ex) husband, actor-director Kenneth Branagh, when she joined his Renaissance Theatre Company. They married a year later but it ended in divorce in 1995 after Emma discovered he was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter.
And yes, she says it's true that she keeps the Academy Award she won for her role in the Merchant Ivory production Howards End (1992) in the bathroom of her London house. But at least now it has company as she also won a second Oscar, this time for Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995). Her take on whether she's an anomaly or not in the Hollywood food chain is this: "There are a lot of highly intelligent women who can act. There are not too many roles to fill — that's the problem."
Emma has enjoyed a successful career in acting, starring in such popular films as Love Actually (2003), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Nanny McPhee (2005) — for which she also wrote the screenplay, Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011), Men in Black 3 (2012) and the voice of Elinor in the Disney/Pixar feature Brave (2012).
In 2013, Emma was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of crusty Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks (2013) opposite Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. She played the mother of the title character in The Legend of Barney Thomson (2016), despite being only two years older than the actor playing her son, Robert Carlyle. She has since appeared as the hapless lead character's doctor in Bridget Jones's Baby (2016), which she also co-wrote with Dan Mazur and the author of the Bridget Jones' books, Helen Fielding. Since then, Emma played Mrs. Potts alongside Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (2017).
Emma played a very serious role as a a high court judge who must preside over a difficult case involving a sick teenage boy in the drama The Children Act (2018). However, she hasn't lost her touch for comedy, playing alongside Rowan Atkinson in the satirical comedy film Johnny English Strikes Again (2018), followed by starring as an aging talk show host in Late Night (2019) and reprising role as Agent 0 from Men in Black 3 (2012) in the updated sequel, Men in Black: International (2019). In 2021, Emma starred as the Baroness in Cruella (2021) opposite Emma Stone.
Emma married her second husband, actor Greg Wise, on July 29, 2003. Together they have daughter Gaia Romilly Wise and an adopted son, Tindyebwa Agaba Wise.