1. Colin Andrew Firth CBE was born on 10 September 1960.
2. He is an English actor.
3. His films have grossed more than $3 billion from 42 releases worldwide.
4. He has received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two British Academy Film Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as the Volpi Cup.
5. His most notable and acclaimed role to date has been his 2010 portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech, a performance that earned him an Oscar and multiple worldwide best actor awards.
6. Identified in the late 1980s with the “Brit Pack” of rising, young British actors, it was not until Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that he received more widespread attention.
7. This led to roles in films such as The English Patient, Bridget Jones’s Diary (for which he was nominated for a BAFTA), Shakespeare in Love and Love Actually. In 2009 he received widespread critical acclaim for his leading role in A Single Man, for which Firth gained his first Academy Award nomination, and won a BAFTA Award.
8. He starred in the action spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014, which was a commercial success and received generally positive reviews.
9. In 2011, Firth received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was also selected as one of the Time 100.
10. He was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Winchester in 2007, and was made a Freeman of the City of London in 2012.
11. Firth has campaigned for the rights of indigenous tribal peoples and is a member of Survival International.
12. He has also campaigned on issues of asylum seekers and refugees’ rights and the environment.
13. Firth commissioned and is credited as a co-author on a scientific paper on a study into the differences in brain structure between people of differing political orientations.
14. Firth was born in the village of Grayshott, on the border of Surrey and Hampshire, to parents who were both academics and teachers.
15. His mother, Shirley Jean (née Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at King Alfred’s College, Winchester (now the University of Winchester), and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, was a history lecturer (also at King Alfred’s) and education officer for the Nigerian Government.
16. Firth is the eldest of three children; he has a sister, Kate, a stage actress and voice coach, and a brother, Jonathan, who is also an actor.
17. Firth’s parents were brought up in India, because his maternal grandparents, Congregationalist ministers, and his paternal grandfather, an Anglican priest, performed overseas missionary work.
18. As a child, Firth travelled a lot due to his parents’ work, spending some years in Nigeria.
19. He also lived in St. Louis, Missouri when he was 11, which he has described as “a difficult time”.
20. On returning to the UK he attended the Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School (now Kings’ School), which at the time was a state comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire. He was still an outsider and was the target of bullying.
21. To counter this he adopted the local working class Hampshire accent, and affected a lack of interest in schoolwork.
22. By the time he was fourteen, Firth had already decided he wanted to be a professional actor, having attended drama workshops from the age of ten.
23. Until further education, he was not academically inclined, later saying in an interview “I didn’t like school. I just thought it was boring and mediocre and nothing they taught me seemed to be of any interest at all.”
24. However, at Barton Peveril Sixth form college in Eastleigh he became instilled with a love of English literature thanks to an enthusiastic teacher, Penny Edwards, and has said that “My two years at Barton Peveril were among the two happiest years of my life”.
25. However, at Barton Peveril Sixth form college in Eastleigh he became instilled with a love of English literature thanks to an enthusiastic teacher, Penny Edwards, and has said that “My two years at Barton Peveril were among the two happiest years of my life”.
26. In 1989, he began a relationship with Meg Tilly, his co-star in Valmont and, in 1990, they had a son, William “Will” Joseph Firth.
27. The family moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada.
28. Firth’s acting career slowed down until they broke up in 1994, and his return to the UK.
29. Firth remains in contact with Will and with Tilly’s two other children.
30. In 1997, Firth married Italian film producer and director Livia Firth (née Giuggioli).
31. They have two sons, Luca (born March 2001) and Matteo (born August 2003).
32. The family now live in both Chiswick, London and Umbria, Italy.
33. Firth started to learn Italian when he and Giuggioli began to date and is now fluent in the language. Firth is a supporter of Arsenal F.C.
34. Firth was awarded an honorary degree on 19 October 2007 from the University of Winchester.
35. On 13 January 2011, he was presented with the 2,429th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
36. In April 2011, Time magazine included Firth in its list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People.
37. Firth was appointed Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to drama, and made a Freeman of the City of London on 8 March 2012.
38. Firth has been a long-standing supporter of Survival International, a non-governmental organisation that defends the rights of tribal peoples.
39. In 2003, during the promotion of the film Love Actually, he spoke in defence of the tribal people of Botswana, condemning the Botswana government’s eviction of the Gana and Gwi people (San) from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
40. He has also backed a Survival International campaign to press the Brazilian government to take more decisive action in defence of the Awá-Guajá people, whose land and livelihood is critically threatened by the actions of loggers.
41. As a supporter of the Refugee Council, Firth was involved in a campaign to stop the deportation of a group of 42 Congolese asylum seekers, expressing concerns in open letters to The Independent and The Guardian that they faced being murdered on their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
42. Firth along with other celebrities has been involved in the Oxfam global campaign Make Trade Fair, focusing on trade practices seen as especially unfair to third world producers including dumping, high import tariffs, and labour rights.
43. He has further contributed to this cause by opening (with a few collaborators) an eco-friendly shop in West London, Eco. The shop offers fair trade and eco-friendly goods, as well as expert advice on making spaces more energy efficient.
44. In October 2009 at the London Film Festival, Firth launched a film and political activism website, Brightwide, along with his wife Livia.
45. During the 2010 General Election, Firth announced his support for the Liberal Democrats, having previously been a Labour supporter, citing asylum and refugees’ rights as a key reason for his change in affiliation.
46. In December 2010, Firth publicly dropped his support of the Liberal Democrats, citing their U-turn on tuition fees as one of the key reasons for his disillusionment. He also said that while he no longer supports the Liberal Democrats, he is currently without an affiliation.
47. Firth appeared in literature to support changing the British electoral system from first-past-the-post to alternative vote for electing members of parliament to the House of Commons in the unsuccessful Alternative Vote referendum in 2011. In 2011, he stated despite playing King George VI in the King’s Speech, he is a republican.
48. In 2009 Firth joined the 10:10 project, supporting the movement calling for people to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2010 Colin endorsed the “Roots & Shoots” education programme in the UK run by the Jane Goodall Institute (UK).
49. He named Spencer Tracy, Paul Scofield and Peter O’Toole as some of his acting idols.
50. Fluent in Italian.
51. Brother of Katie Firth (a vocal coach) and Jonathan Firth.
52. Lived in the US for a year when he was 12.