87 Facts About Emma Thompson


Dame Emma Thompson was born on 15 April 1959 and is a British actress and screenwriter.


Emma Thompson portrayed Mrs Lovett in a Lincoln Center production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2014.


Emma Thompson's godfather was the director and writer Ronald Eyre.


Emma Thompson has a younger sister, Sophie, who is an actress.


The family lived in the West Hampstead district of London, and Emma Thompson was educated at Camden School for Girls.


Emma Thompson spent much time in Scotland during her childhood and often visited Ardentinny, where her grandparents and uncle lived.


Emma Thompson believes that it was inevitable she would become an actor, remarking that she was "surrounded by creative people and I don't think it would ever have gone any other way, really".


At Cambridge, Emma Thompson was invited into the Cambridge Footlights, the university's prestigious sketch comedy troupe, by its president, Martin Bergman, becoming its first female member.


Emma Thompson has stated that this "tore [the family] to pieces", and "I can't begin to tell you how much I regret his not being around".


Emma Thompson had her first professional role in 1982, touring in a stage version of Not the Nine O'Clock News.


Emma Thompson then turned to television, where much of her early work came with her Footlights co-stars Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.


Emma Thompson later collaborated again with Fry and Laurie on the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series Saturday Night Fry.


In 1985, Emma Thompson was cast in the West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl, co-starring Robert Lindsay.


Emma Thompson achieved another breakthrough in 1987, when she had leading roles in two television miniseries: Fortunes of War, a World War II drama costarring Kenneth Branagh, and Tutti Frutti, a dark comedy about a Scottish rock band with Robbie Coltrane.


The film was not widely seen, but Emma Thompson's performance was praised in The New York Times, where Caryn James called her "an exceptionally versatile comic actress".


Emma Thompson continued to experiment with Shakespeare in the new decade, appearing with Branagh in his stage productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear.


Emma Thompson returned to cinema in 1991, playing a "frivolous aristocrat" in Impromptu with Judy Davis and Hugh Grant.


Emma Thompson played a woman who has forgotten her identity.


Early in 1992, Emma Thompson had a guest role in an episode of Cheers as Frasier Crane's first wife.


The film explored the social class system in Edwardian England, with Emma Thompson playing an idealistic, intellectual, forward-looking woman who comes into association with a privileged and deeply conservative family.


Emma Thompson actively pursued the role by writing to director James Ivory, who agreed to an audition and then gave her the part.


Emma Thompson was widely praised for the on-screen chemistry with Branagh and the natural ease with which she played the role, marking another critical success for Emma Thompson.


Emma Thompson's performance earned a nomination for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.


Emma Thompson has named the film as one of the greatest experiences of her career, considering it to be a "masterpiece of withheld emotion".


In 1994, Emma Thompson made her Hollywood debut playing a goofy doctor alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in the blockbuster Junior.


Emma Thompson returned to independent cinema for a lead role in Carrington, which studied the platonic relationship between artist Dora Carrington and writer Lytton Strachey.


Emma Thompson spent five years developing the screenplay, and took the role of the spinster sister Elinor Dashwood despite, aged 35, being 16 years older than the literary character.


Emma Thompson received a third nomination for Best Actress and won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, making her the only person in history to win an Oscar for both acting and screenwriting.


Emma Thompson earned a second BAFTA Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.


Emma Thompson was absent from screens in 1996, but returned the following year with Alan Rickman's directorial debut, The Winter Guest.


Emma Thompson then returned to America to appear in an episode of Ellen, and her self-parodying performance received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.


Emma Thompson rejected many of the offers, expressing concerns about living in Los Angeles behind walls with bodyguards, and stated "LA is lovely as long as you know you can leave".


Emma Thompson admitted to feeling tired and jaded with the industry at this point, which influenced her decision to leave film for a year.


Emma Thompson followed Primary Colors by playing an FBI agent opposite Rickman in the poorly received thriller Judas Kiss.


When she became a mother in 1999, Emma Thompson made a conscious decision to reduce her workload, and in the following years many of her appearances were supporting roles.


Emma Thompson was not seen on screen again until 2000, with only a small part in the British comedy Maybe Baby, which she appeared in as a favour to its director, her friend Ben Elton.


Emma Thompson was instrumental in bringing Mike Nichols to direct the project, and the pair spent months in rehearsal to get the complex character right.


Emma Thompson was greatly drawn to the "daredevil" role, for which she had no qualms about shaving her head.


Emma Thompson's only credit of 2002 was a voice role in Disney's Treasure Planet, an adaptation of Treasure Island, where she voiced Captain Amelia.


The scene in which her stalwart character breaks down was described by one critic as "the best crying on screen ever", and in 2013, Emma Thompson mentioned that she gets commended for this role more than any other.


Emma Thompson continued with supporting roles in the 2003 drama Imagining Argentina, where she played a dissident-journalist abducted by the country's 1970s dictatorial regime.


Emma Thompson had greater success that year when she worked with HBO for a second time in the acclaimed miniseries Angels in America.


The year 2005 saw the release of a project Emma Thompson had been working on for nine years.


Emma Thompson took the lead role, alongside Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury, in what was a highly personal project.


Emma Thompson received further acclaim for her work in the London-based romance Last Chance Harvey, where she and Dustin Hoffman played a lonely, middle-aged pair who cautiously begin a relationship.


Five years after the original, Emma Thompson reprised the role of Nanny McPhee with 2010's Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.


Emma Thompson's screenplay transported the story to Britain during World War II.


Also in 2012, Emma Thompson played Queen Elizabeth II in an episode of Playhouse Presents, which dramatised an incident in 1982 when an intruder broke into the Queen's bedroom.


Emma Thompson considered it the most challenging of her career because she had "never really played anyone quite so contradictory or difficult before", but found the inconsistent and complicated character "a blissful joy to embody".


The film was well-received, grossed $112million worldwide, and Emma Thompson's performance garnered critical acclaim.


Emma Thompson was nominated for Best Actress at the BAFTAs, SAGs and Golden Globes, and was awarded the Lead Actress trophy from the National Board of Review.


Emma Thompson appeared in the musical for five nights, and her "playful" performance of Mrs Lovett was highly praised; the critic Kayla Epstein wrote that she "not only held her own against more experienced vocalists, but wound up running off with the show".


Emma Thompson received her sixth Primetime Emmy Award nomination, specifically for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for the televised performance.


The period drama Effie Gray, a project that she had been working on for many years, based on the true-life story of John Ruskin's disastrous marriage, was written by Emma Thompson but became the subject of a copyright suit before being cleared for cinemas.


In March 2013, District Court Judge Thomas P Griesa, after allowing Thompson to submit a second revised screenplay into evidence from which Murphy claimed "some of the most troubling material" had been removed, ruled that while there were similarities, the screenplays were "quite dissimilar in their two approaches to fictionalising the same historical events".


In December 2013, Emma Thompson said of the still unreleased Effie Gray that its "time has probably passed," comparing it to another project of hers that "didn't happen either".


Emma Thompson plays Elizabeth Eastlake and Greg Wise plays John Ruskin.


Emma Thompson's first film of 2015 was A Walk in the Woods, a comedy adapted from the book by Bill Bryson of which she co-starred with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.


Emma Thompson next starred in The Legend of Barney Thomson.


Emma Thompson's role was a 77-year-old foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, Glaswegian former prostitute, the mother of the title character.


Emma Thompson co-wrote the screenplay for Bridget Jones's Baby and appeared in the film as a doctor.


Emma Thompson had a supporting role as a hippy in the Noah Baumbach-directed dramedy The Meyerowitz Stories, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim.


Emma Thompson followed it with a starring role in the film The Children Act, a drama about a family who refuse cancer treatment for their son based on religious beliefs.


Emma Thompson had a cameo role as Queen Elizabeth I in the 2017 Christmas special of the BBC sitcom Upstart Crow.


Emma Thompson starred in the comedy-drama Late Night, which was written by Mindy Kaling and featured her as a popular television host who hires a new writer to keep the show from getting replaced.


Emma Thompson plays the authoritarian headmistress Miss Trunchbull in the film adaptation of Matilda the Musical, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl.


Emma Thompson is regarded to be among the best actresses of her generation and one of Britain's most recognisable actresses, held in high regard within Hollywood.


Emma Thompson is particularly known for playing reticent women, and Sands describes her as "the best actress of our times on suffering borne with poignant dignity".


Emma Thompson plays many haughty characters, with a "bracing, nanny-like demeanour", but she is noted for her ability to win the empathy of audiences.


Emma Thompson belongs to a group of highly decorated British actresses including Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter who are known for appearing in "heritage films" and typically showing "restraint, rendering emotions through intellect rather than feelings, and a sense of irony, which demonstrates the heroine's superior understanding".


Emma Thompson often brings her real personality to her roles, and Kellaway believes that her lack of conventional beauty contributes to her likeability as an actress.


In 2012, Emma Thompson wrote The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit as an addition to the Peter Rabbit series by Beatrix Potter to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.


Emma Thompson was approached by the publishers to write it, the first authorised Peter story since 1930 and the only one not written by Potter.


In 2013, Emma Thompson wrote a second book in the series titled The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit.


In 2018, Emma Thompson said she would like to write about "what it's like being human now".


Emma Thompson has stated that she feels Scottish, saying: "not only because I am half Scottish but because I've spent half my life [in Scotland]".


Emma Thompson owns a home nearby, on the shore of Loch Eck.


Emma Thompson was living alone as her relationship with Branagh deteriorated, and she became depressed.


Emma Thompson picked up the pieces and put them together again.


Emma Thompson is politically liberal and a supporter of the Labour Party; she told the BBC Andrew Marr Show in 2010 that she had been a member of the party "all my life".


Emma Thompson endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in both the 2015 and 2016 Labour Party leadership elections.


Emma Thompson has expressed support for the Women's Equality Party.


Emma Thompson is chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, a patron of the Refugee Council, and has a therapy room in her office for traumatised refugees.


Emma Thompson is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and in 2009 Time magazine named her a "European Hero" in recognition of "her work to highlight the plight of AIDS sufferers in Africa".


Emma Thompson is a supporter of Greenpeace, and in January 2009, as part of her campaign against climate change, she and three other members of the organisation bought land near the village of Sipson to deter the building of a third runway for Heathrow Airport.


Emma Thompson narrated The Real News Network's The Doubt Machine: Inside the Koch Brothers' War on Climate Science, a documentary short about Koch Industries and its efforts to discredit climate research.


Emma Thompson is an ambassador for the Galapagos Conservation Trust.