The Best British Actors of All Time: Rickman, Firth and Oldman

Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

Alan Rickman first emerged on the cinematic scene as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988). Shortly after, he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Furthermore, featuring in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and the Harry Potter series, Rickman proved to be a mainstay in British cinema. Additionally, Rickman featured equally prominently on television, with many performances earning him a raft of awards. For his leading role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), Rickman received an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Colin Firth (1960-)

Despite being a precocious talent, Colin Firth’s meteoric rise to stardom was signalled by his role as Mr Darcey in widely acclaimed television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Following on from his portrayal of Mr Darcey, Firth appeared in chart-topping hits such as The English Patient, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Shakespeare in Love. In 2009, Firth achieved new heights of stardom, recognition and critical acclaim with a BAFTA Award winning performance in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. The appearance also resulted in Firth’s first ever Academy Award nomination. With a raft of Golden Globe Awards, Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards, Colin Firth is up there with the very best actors of his generation.

Gary Oldman (1958-)

With an Academy Award, three British Academy Film Awards, two Critics’ Choice Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Gary Oldman has an enviable list of accomplishments. One of the most versatile and adept actors of his generation, Oldman’s films have grossed more than $11 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest grossing actors of all time. From a successful career in theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Oldman’s cinematic break came as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986).