Born in Paddington, London, on 15 April 1959, Cambridge educated and a member of the university's famous Footlights comedy group along with the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson seemed on a road to stardom from an early age. She launched her career in UK TV comedy shows like Alfresco and the eponymous Thompson, but quickly moved on to acting. Her first success was on stage in friend Stephen Fry's adaptation of Me And My Girl, which led to her casting in the BBC miniseries Fortunes Of War, where she met her future husband of 5 years, actor-director Kenneth Branagh. It won her a BAFTA and a string of other roles, including many collaborations with Branagh such as Henry V and Dead Again.
Emma has continued to roll out the box office successes, taking leading roles in movies like Saving Mr. Banks, Nanny McPhee, The Remains Of The Day, The Tall Guy and In The Name Of The Father. Recently she has appeared as Professor Trelawny in the Harry Potter movies, a part she accepted to impress her daughter. One little-known fact about Emma Thompson is that she was initially cast to play the no panties murderess immortalised by Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They didn't do that stuff in Jane Austen novels!