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Born: July 26, 1973 London, England, UK
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Kathryn Bailey “Kate” Beckinsale was born on July 26th, 1973 in London, England. Her mother was actress Judy Loe and her father was actor Richard Beckinsale, who died at the age of 31 in 1979. With acting in her blood, Kate seemed destined to head in the same direction. After attending the Godolphin & Latymer School, she headed off to Oxford University, where she studied French and Russian literature.
Beckinsale had some TV roles during her student years, like One Against the Wind, but her big break came in 1993 when she landed the role of Hero in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing with Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington. In 1994, she appeared in Uncovered and Prince of Jutland, which starred Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren and Christian Bale. The following year, Kate played the title role in Marie-Louise ou la permission and starred in Haunted with Aidan Quinn.
In 1996, Beckinsale played the title role in the TV movie Emma. She worked with Stuart Townsend on 1997’s Shooting Fish and with Chloe Sevigny in 1998’s The Last Days of Disco. She followed that working with Claire Danes in Brokedown Palace in 1999.
Kate started off the 2000’s working opposite Nick Nolte in The Golden Bowl. She was the love interest of both Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in 2001’s Pearl Harbor and the love interest of John Cusack in Serendipity. She worked with Frances McDormand and Christian Bale in 2002’s Laurel Canyon before sliding into a skintight pair of leathers for 2003’s Underworld, a vampire action thriller with Scott Speedman and directed by Len Wiseman. The actress and director would marry a year later. She killed vampires (and wore tight clothes) again in 2004’s Van Helsing opposite Hugh Jackman and played Ava Gardner opposite Leonardo Dicaprio’s Howard Hughes in The Aviator.
In 2006, Beckinsale played Adam Sandler’s wife in Click and revisited her vampire world in the sequel Underworld: Evolution. In 2007, she starred opposite Sam Rockwell in Snow Angels and with Luke Wilson in Vacancy. She appeared in the ensemble drama Fragments (a.k.a. Winged Creatures) in 2008, a year that also saw her work with Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga and Alan Alda in Nothing But the Truth, which was based on the Valerie Plame story.
Beckinsale has a daughter, Lily Mo Sheen, with her former partner, actor Michael Sheen.
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