Dame Emma Thompson is a British actress and screenwriter. Described as one of the best actresses of her generation, she has received various accolades throughout her career spanning four decades, including two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Television Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. Born in London to English actor Eric Thompson and Scottish actress Phyllida Law, Thompson was educated at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, where she became a member of the Footlights troupe, and appeared in the comedy sketch series Alfresco (1983–84) alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Robbie Coltrane. In 1985 she starred in the West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl, which was a breakthrough in her career. In 1987, she came to prominence for her performances in two BBC TV series, Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War, winning the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work in both series. In the early 1990s, she often collaborated with then-husband, actor and director Kenneth Branagh, in films such as Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Peter's Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993). In 1992, Thompson won an Academy Award and a British Academy Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the Merchant-Ivory period drama Howards End. In 1993, she received dual Academy Award nominations for her roles in The Remains of the Day as the housekeeper of a grand household and In the Name of the Father as a lawyer, becoming the eighth performer in history to be nominated for two acting Oscars in the same year. In 1995, Thompson scripted and starred in Sense and Sensibility, for which she earned numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay—which makes her the only person in history to win Academy Awards for both acting and writing—and a second BAFTA Award for Best Actress. In 2013, she received acclaim and several award nominations for her portrayal of author P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks. Other notable film credits include the Harry Potter film series (2004–2011), Primary Colors (1998), Wit (2001), Love Actually (2003), Angels in America (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), Last Chance Harvey (2008), An Education (2009), Men in Black 3 (2012) and the spin-off Men in Black: International (2019), Brave (2012), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Late Night (2019), and Cruella (2021). She has also starred in the BBC/HBO series Years and Years (2019).
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