Birth Name: Keira Christina Knightley
Age: 28, born 26 March 1985
Born and residing in: United Kingdom
Height: 5' 7"
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Relationship Status: Married
Partner: James Righton
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About: Birthplace: Teddington, Middlesex, England, UK Current Residence: London, England, UK Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Brought up immersed in the acting profession from both sides - writing and performing - it is little wonder that the young Keira asked for her own agent Birthplace: Teddington, Middlesex, England, UK
Current Residence: London, England, UK
Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Brought up immersed in the acting profession from both sides - writing and performing - it is little wonder that the young Keira asked for her own agent at the age of three. She was granted one at the age of six and performed in her first TV role as "Little Girl" in "Screen One: Royal Celebration (#5.4)" (1993), aged seven. It was discovered at an early age that Keira had severe difficulties in reading and writing. She was not officially dyslexic as she never sat the formal tests required of the British Dyslexia Association. Instead, she worked incredibly hard, encouraged by her family, until the problem had been overcome by her early teens.
Her first multi-scene performance came in A Village Affair (1995) (TV), an adaptation of the lesbian love story by Joanna Trollope. This was followed by small parts in the British crime series "The Bill" (1984), an exiled German princess in The Treasure Seekers (1996) (TV) and a much more substantial role as the young "Judith Dunbar" in Giles Foster's adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher's novel Coming Home (1998) (TV), alongside Peter O'Toole, Penelope Keith and Joanna Lumley. The first time Keira's name was mentioned around the world was when it was revealed (in a plot twist kept secret by director George Lucas) that she played Natalie Portman's decoy "Padme" to Portman's "Amidala" in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
It was several years before agreement was reached over which scenes featured Keira as the queen and which featured Natalie! Keira had no formal training as an actress and did it out of pure enjoyment. She went to an ordinary council-run school in nearby Teddington and had no idea what she wanted to do when she left. By now, she was beginning to receive far more substantial roles and was starting to turn work down as one project and her schoolwork was enough to contend with. She reappeared on British television in 1999 as "Rose Fleming" in Alan Bleasdale's faithful reworking of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1999), and travelled to Romania to film her first title role in Walt Disney's Princess of Thieves (2001) (TV) in which she played Robin Hood's daughter, Gwyn. Keira's first serious boyfriend was her Princess of Thieves (2001) (TV) co-star Del Synnott, and they later co-starred in Peter Hewitt's 'work of fart' Thunderpants (2002). Nick Hamm's dark thriller The Hole (2001) kept her busy during 2000, and featured her first nude scene (15 at the time, the film was not released until she was 16 years old).
In the summer of 2001, while Keira studied and sat her final school exams (she received six A's), she filmed a movie about an Asian girl's (Parminder Nagra) love for football and the prejudices she has to overcome regarding both her culture and her religion). Bend It Like Beckham (2002) was a smash hit in football-mad Britain but it had to wait until another of Keira's films propelled it to the top end of the US box office. Bend It Like Beckham (2002) cost just £3.5m to make, and nearly £1m of that came from the British Lottery. It took £11m in the UK and has since gone on to score more than US$76m worldwide. Meanwhile, Keira had started A-levels at Esher College, studying Classics, English Literature and Political History, but continued to take acting roles which she thought would widen her experience as an actress. The story of a drug-addicted waitress and her friendship with the young son of a drug-addict, Pure (2002), occupied Keira from January to March 2002. Also at this time, Keira's first attempt at Shakespeare was filmed. She played "Helena" in a modern interpretation of a scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" entitled The Seasons Alter (2002). This was commissioned by the environmental organisation "Futerra", of which Keira's mother is patron. Keira received no fee for this performance or for another short film, New Year's Eve (2002), by award-winning director Col Spector.
But it was a chance encounter with producer Andy Harries at the London premiere of Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) which forced Keira to leave her studies and pursue acting full-time. The meeting lead to an audition for the role of "Larisa Feodorovna Guishar" - the classic heroine of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (2002) (TV), played famously in the David Lean movie by Julie Christie. This was to be a big-budget TV movie with a screenplay written by Andrew Davies. Keira won the part and the mini-series was filmed throughout the Spring of 2002 in Slovakia, co-starring Sam Neill and Hans Matheson as "Yuri Zhivago". Keira rounded off 2002 with a few scenes in the first movie to be directed by Blackadder and Vicar of Dibley writer Richard Curtis. Called Love Actually (2003), Keira played "Juliet", a newlywed whose husband's Best Man is secretly besotted with her.
A movie filmed after Love Actually (2003) but released before it was to make the world sit up and take notice of this beautiful fresh-faced young actress with a cute British accent. It was a movie which Keira very nearly missed out on, altogether. Auditions were held in London for a new blockbuster movie called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), but heavy traffic in the city forced Keira to be tagged on to the end of the day's auditions list. It helped - she got the part. Filming took place in Los Angeles and the Caribbean from October 2002 to March 2003 and was released to massive box office success and almost universal acclaim in the July of that year. Meanwhile, a small British film called Bend It Like Beckham (2002) had sneaked onto a North American release slate and was hardly setting the box office alight. But Keira's dominance in "Pirates" had set tongues wagging and questions being asked about the actress playing "Elizabeth Swann". Almost too late, "Bend It"'s distributors realised one of its two stars was the same girl whose name was on everyone's lips due to "Pirates", and took the unusual step of re-releasing "Bend It" to 1,000 screens across the US, catapulting it from no. 26 back up to no. 12. "Pirates", meanwhile, was fighting off all contenders at the top spot, and stayed in the Top 3 for an incredible 21 weeks. It was perhaps no surprise, then, that Keira was on producer Jerry Bruckheimer's wanted list for the part of "Guinevere" in a planned accurate telling of the legend of "King Arthur". Filming took place in Ireland and Wales from June to November 2003. In July, Keira had become the celebrity face of British jeweller and luxury goods retailer, Asprey.
At a photoshoot for the company on Long Island New York in August, Keira met and fell in love with Northern Irish model Jamie Dornan. King Arthur (2004) was released in July 2004 to lukewarm reviews. It seems audiences wanted the legend after all, and not necessarily the truth. Keira became the breakout star and 'one to watch in 2004' throughout the world's media at the end of 2003.
Keira's 2004 started off in Scotland and Canada filming John Maybury's time-travelling thriller The Jacket (2005) with Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. A planned movie of Deborah Moggach's novel, "Tulip Fever", about forbidden love in 17th Century Amsterdam, was cancelled in February after the British government suddenly closed tax loopholes which allowed filmmakers to claw back a large proportion of their expenditure. Due to star Keira and Jude Law in the main roles, the film remains mothballed. Instead, Keira spent her time wisely, visiting Ethiopia on behalf of the "Comic Relief" charity, and spending summer at various grandiose locations around the UK filming what promises to be a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride & Prejudice (2005), alongside Matthew Macfadyen as "Mr. Darcy", and with Donald Sutherland and Judi Dench in supporting roles. In October 2004, Keira received her first major accolade, the Hollywood Film Award for Best Breakthrough Actor - Female, and readers of Empire Magazine voted her the Sexiet Movie Star Ever. The remainder of 2004 saw Keira once again trying a completely new genre, this time the part-fact, part-fiction life story of model turned bounty hunter Domino (2005). 2005 started with the premiere of The Jacket (2005) at the Sundance Film Festival, with the US premiere in LA on February 28th. Much of the year was then spent in the Caribbean filming both sequels to Pirates Of The Caribbean. Keira's first major presenting role came in a late-night bed-in comedy clip show for Comic Relief with presenter Johnny Vaughan. In late July, promotions started for the September release of Pride & Prejudice (2005), with British fans annoyed to learn that the US version would end with a post-marriage kiss, but the European version would not. Nevertheless, when the movie opened in September on both sides of the Atlantic, Keira received her greatest praise thus far in her career, amid much talk of awards. It spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK box office. Domino (2005) opened well in October, overshadowed by the death of Domino Harvey earlier in the year. Keira received Variety's Personality Of The Year Award in November, topped the following month by her first Golden Globe nomination, for Pride & Prejudice (2005). KeiraWeb.com exclusively announced that Keira would play Helene Joncour in an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's novella Silk (2007).
Pride & Prejudice (2005) garnered six BAFTA nominations at the start of 2006, but not Best Actress for Keira, a fact which paled soon after by the announcement she had received her first Academy Award nomination, the third youngest Best Actress Oscar hopeful. A controversial nude Vanity Fair cover of Keira and Scarlett Johansson kept the press busy up till the Oscars, with Reese Witherspoon taking home the gold man in the Best Actress category, although Keira's Vera Wang dress got more media attention. Keira spent early summer in Europe filming Silk (2007) opposite Michael Pitt, and the rest of the summer in the UK filming Atonement (2007), in which she plays Cecilia Tallis, and promoting the new Pirates movie (her Ellen Degeneres interview became one of the year's Top 10 'viral downloads'). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) broke many box office records when it opens worldwide in July, becoming the third biggest movie ever by early September.
Keira sued British newspaper The Daily Mail in early 2007 after her image in a bikini accompanied an article about a woman who blamed slim celebrities for the death of her daughter from anorexia. The case was settled and Keira matched the settlement damages and donated the total amount to an eating disorder charity. Keira filmed a movie about the life of Dylan Thomas, The Edge Of Love (2008) with a screenplay written by her mother Sharman Macdonald. Her co-star Lindsay Lohan pulled out just a week before filming began, and was replaced by Sienna Miller. What was announced to be Keira's final Pirates movie in the franchise, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007), opened strongly in June, rising to all-time fifth biggest movie by July. Atonement (2007) opened the Venice Film Festival in August, and opened worldwide in September, again to superb reviews for Keira. Meanwhile, Silk (2007) opened in September on very few screens and disappeared without a trace. Keira spent the rest of the year filming The Duchess (2008), the life story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, based on Amanda Foreman's award-winning biography of the distant relation of Princess Diana. The year saw more accolades and poll-topping for Keira than ever before, including Women's Beauty Icon 2007 and gracing the covers of all the top-selling magazines. She won Best Actress for Atonement (2007) at the Variety Club Of Great Britain Showbiz Awards, and ended the year with her second Golden Globe nomination. Christmas Day saw - or rather heard - Keira on British TV screens in a new Robbie The Reindeer animated adventure, with DVD proceeds going to Comic Relief.
At the start of 2008, Keira received her first BAFTA nomination - Best Actress for Atonement, and the movie wins Best Film: Drama at the Golden Globes. Seven Academy Award nominations for Atonement soon follow. Keira wins Best Actress for her role as Cecilia Tallis at the Empire Film Awards. In May, Keira's first Shakespearean role is announced, when she is confirmed to play Cordelia in a big-screen version of King Lear, alongside Naomi Watts and Gwyneth Paltrow, with Sir Anthony Hopkins as the titular monarch. After two years of rumours, it is confirmed that Keira is on the shortlist to play Eliza Doolittle in a new adaptation of My Fair Lady. The Edge Of Love opens the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18th, and opens on limited release in the UK and US. A huge round of promotions for The Duchess occurs throughout the summer, with cast and crew trying to play down the marketers' decision to draw parallels between the duchess and Princess Diana. Keira attends the UK and US premieres and Toronto Film Festival within the first week of September. The Duchess opens strongly on both sides of the Atlantic. Two more movies are confirmed for Keira during September - a tale of adultery called Last Night (2010/I), and a biopic of author F Scott Fitzgerald entitled The Beautiful and the Damned (2011). Keira spends October on the streets of New York City filming Last Night alongside Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet. Keira helps to promote the sixtieth anniversary of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights, by contributing to a series of short films produced to mark the occasion.
In January 2009 it was announced Keira had signed to play a reclusive actress in an adaptation of Ken Bruen's novel London Boulevard (2010), co-starring Colin Farrell. Keira continues her close ties with the Comic Relief charity by helping to launch their British icons T-shirts campaign. In the same week King Lear was revealed to have been shelved, it was announced that Keira would instead star alongside her Pride & Prejudice co-star Carey Mulligan in an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go (2010). A new short film emerges in March, recorded in the January of 2008 in which Keira plays a Fairy! The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers (2009) was written by Keira's boyfriend Rupert Friend and actor Tom Mison. It goes on to be shown at the London Film Festival in October and wins Best Comedy Short at the New Hampshire Film Festival. Keira continued to put her celebrity to good use in 2009 with a TV commercial for WomensAid highlighting domestic abuse against women. Unfortunately UK censors refused to allow its broadcast and it can only be viewed on YouTube. May and June asw Keira filming Never Let Me Go and London Boulevard back-to-back.
In October, a new direction for Keira's career emerged, when it was announced she would appear on the London stage in her West End debut role as Jennifer, in a reworking of Moliere's The Misanthrope, starring Damian Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald. More than $2m of ticket sales followed in the first four days, before even rehearsals had begun! The play will run from December to March at London's Comedy Theatre. Meanwhile, in late October it was finally confirmed that Keira had won the role of Eliza Doolittle in a brand new adaptation of My Fair Lady (2012). With a script by Emma Thompson and produced by Duncan Kenworthy and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, its director was also finally confirmed as Joe Wright (after Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry were linked at various stages). Filming is not due to start until late 2010, with Daniel Craig a possible Professor Higgins.
Daughter of actor Will Knightley.
Member of the Heathham House Youth Project.
Younger sister of Caleb Knightley.
Trained in dancing.
The similarity between Knightley and Natalie Portman meant that during the filming of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), their own mothers could not tell them apart once in makeup.
Her role as the decoy queen in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) was kept secret in order to not spoil the surprise, it was maintained through the promotions that Portman played both the Queen and the decoy.
Supports West Ham United.
Mother is actress-turned-author Sharman Macdonald, who wrote 'When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream And Shout' and 'The Winter Guest'.
Tatler announced that Keira is the most desirable single woman in the UK (2004).
Has dyslexia. She had to wear special glasses in adolescence to help her read.
Glamour magazine's choice for "Most Glamorous Film Actress" (2004).
The Royal Shakespeare Company of Stratford, England, held a 2004 poll asking movie viewers to vote for the actor and actress they would love to see play Romeo and Juliet, and the winners were Knightley and James Marsters. More than 2,000 people voted for more than 150 different actors for both roles. Keira triumphed over Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, and Juliet Landau in the vote. Knightley said, "I am absolutely thrilled to have come top of the poll, particularly as Juliet is a role I would very much love to play in the future." (April 23, 2004)
Voted #1 in New Woman magazine's 50 Most Beautiful Celebs 2004.
Voted The Sexiest Film Star of All Time by Empire magazine poll. [September 2004]
She did her first topless scene at the age of 15, in The Hole (2001), whilst the film was released in 2001 it was filmed in 2000. For legal reasons due to her age her mother had to agree and the set was closed.
Auditioned for, and was accepted to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in London, England.
At 16, she went to Esher College to study for her A Levels, but quit the course when offered the role of Lara in Doctor Zhivago (2002) (TV).
Voted #18 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women 2005.
Credits her dark looks to her mother's Black Scottish heritage, who were descendants of the Spanish Armada.
She's an idol in several forum communities from Heavengames.com, one of the most famous websites about Real Time Strategy computer games.
When auditioning for the role of Jackie Price in The Jacket (2005), she had suffered food poisoning a few days earlier. She decided to audition anyway and the film makers liked her "acting" for the scene, as Jackie Price was to be a woman with many issues of loss and pain as well as being physically sick in general.
She has bought a flat in Richmond Upon Thames (2005) but has said to have only have spent a few weeks there. However, she plans to fill it with her own painted canvases.
Voted second sexiest voice, behind Sir Sean Connery, in a poll by the UK's Royal National Institute for the Blind, commissioned to celebrate 70 years of their Talking Books service.
Named #53 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
The Daily Mirror named her "Actress of the Year" in December 2005.
At age 20, she was the third-youngest woman in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Actress.
As of February 2006, says she plans on remaining living in London and will not move to Los Angeles to further her career in American films.
Friend of Sienna Miller.
Loves to collect shoes.
Friend of the Italian actor Andrea Logiudice.
Was considered for the role of Kate Meer in Neil James's "Ghost Seeker: Genesis" in 2006. Both Lindy King (Knightley's agent) and Knightley herself liked the script, but the shooting schedule of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) meant that the project had to move on without her.
Her hero is her cast mate in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Geoffrey Rush.
Named #11 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
Named #9 on MAXIM magazines "Hot 100" list of 2006
Employed a stylist to dress her for premieres and award ceremonies. The stylist also dresses Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Kidman.
Attended an engagement party for Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd.
Trained four days a week for three months in preparation for King Arthur (2004). She did about two hours of weight lifting, and then three hours either boxing, fighting, or horseback riding. - Cosmopolitan, August 2004.
Said auditioning for the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (2004) was the singularly most embarrassing moment of her life because "I knew I couldn't sing it." The role eventually went to trained opera singer Emmy Rossum. - Marie Claire 2005.
Told NewWoman in 2004 that for King Arthur (2004), she endured an amazing seventh-month training session.
She has a personal trainer. - Tatler 2005
Took elocution lessons at the beginning of her career.
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
She attended a pre-Emmy party where she purchased a $7,500 pair of earrings.
Her 21st birthday party cost more than $30,000. Actors, designers, and other industry types attended.
Named #5 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).
Ranked #20 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list.
Named Most Beautiful Woman and Most Beautiful Face by Independent Critics (indiecritics.com).
Her first name means 'dark'.
Made her debut on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities in June, 2007. She came in a #71 beating out other high profile actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon.
Voted #15 in the AfterEllen Hot 100, a list of the hottest women in entertainment as voted by lesbian and bisexual women (June 2007).
Was considered for the role of Ann in Evening (2007), but wasn't able to do it due to schedule conflicts.
In January 2007, the Daily Mail newspaper published an article about a girl who had died from anorexia which falsely suggested that Keira was also anorexic and showed a photograph of her in a bikini alongside an emotive quote from the girl's mother "If pictures like this one of Keira carried a health warning, my darling daughter might have lived". Keira successfully sued the Mail for libel.
The face of Chanel's fragrance 'Mademoiselle' (September 2007).
Was ranked #10 on Forbes List of The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars.(2007).
Was named Empire Magazine's #9 in the list of 100 Sexiest Stars.
The green satin gown she wore in Atonement (2007) was voted the public's favorite film costume of all time in a survey by Sky Movies and In Style magazine (January 2008).
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated her earnings for the year at $9 million.
Was ranked #5 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actress list. (2008).
Ranked #87 on the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Voted #10 in FHM 100 Sexiest 2008.
Measurements: 32A-22-33 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
Campaigned for the lead female role in The Rum Diary (2011), but lost out to Amber Heard.
Was originally cast as Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), but dropped out before filming began and Scarlett Johansson was subsequently cast instead.
Was in consideration for the role of Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), but Hayley Atwell was cast instead.
Was originally cast as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (2012), but later dropped out of the project. Carey Mulligan was then cast instead. ... (more) (less)