Entertainment

Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom has produced so many famous TV actors. Here's a list of over 2,000 British male actors and actresses to help you sort them all out. From televised costume dramas to slapstick comedies, the list of British actors is very long, but definitely worth a read if you're a fan of actors from across the pond. 

Maggie Smith, has had a long and storied career, but may be best remembered for her sassy portrayal of Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham on PBS's Downton Abbey. English actor John Cleese is beloved by comedy fans for co-founding the absurd sketch show Monty Python, which has become a cult favorite among thanks to the work of these funny old British actors.

In fact, some of the funniest and most talented performers are British TV stars, so if you're an aspiring actor or actress from United Kingdom, you'll see your heroes here. The '90s just wouldn't have been the same without the hard-partying antics of Eddy and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, (Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, respectively). Both of them belong on any list that seeks to answer "Who are the best British TV actors?"

Of course, plenty of American TV shows also feature British actors — some whom you'd never know were from the UK. Hello, Hugh Laurie (House), Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead), and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell on The Wire). So if you've been wondering which television actors are from the United Kingdom, now you know. And if you want to vote on the best British actors in the history of entertainment, rank away! 

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Gary Chalk is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
G.I. Joe, Beast Wars: Transformers, ReBoot
Garry Chalk is an English-born Canadian actor and voice actor. He has provided the voices for Optimus Primal of Beast Wars: Transformers and Beast Machines, as well the Optimus Prime in the ...more
27
Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Into the West, The War that Made America
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist and author regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene had ...more
28
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson is an English actress, model, and activist. Watson rose to prominence as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, appearing in all eight Harry Potter films ...more
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Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Angels in America, Playhouse Presents, Alfresco
Emma Thompson is a British actress, comedienne, screenwriter and author. Cited as one of the greatest British actresses of her generation, she is known for her portrayals of reticent women in ...more
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Ricky Gervais is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Office, Extras, Derek
Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, film director, producer, musician, screenwriter, and radio presenter. Gervais worked initially in the music industry, attempting a ...more
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Nicollette Sheridan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Desperate Housewives, Knots Landing, The Legend of Tarzan
Nicollette Sheridan is an English television and film actress, known for playing Edie Britt on the ABC dramedy series Desperate Housewives and as Paige Matheson of the CBS primetime soap opera ...more
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Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Jesus of Nazareth, Brideshead Revisited, Love Among the Ruins
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also ...more
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Peter Ustinov is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Jesus of Nazareth, Doctor Snuggles, Victoria & Albert
Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, ...more
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David Schneider is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
I'm Alan Partridge, The Day Today, The Ten Commandments
David Schneider is an English actor and comedian.
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Harry Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Game of Thrones, Robin Hood, Great Expectations
Harry Charles Salusbury Lloyd is an English actor. He is known for his roles as Will Scarlet in the 2006 BBC drama Robin Hood, Jeremy Baines in the 2007 Doctor Who episodes "Human ...more
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Barbara Flynn is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Cracker, Open All Hours, The Vanishing Man
Barbara Flynn appeared in the Big Fat Gypsy Weddings documenatry tv show.
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Tony Robinson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Black Adder, Blackadder II, Airline
Sir Anthony "Tony" Robinson is an English actor, comedian, amateur historian, TV presenter and political activist. He is known for playing Baldrick in the BBC television series ...more
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Dawn French is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Vicar of Dibley, French & Saunders, French and Saunders
Dawn Roma French is an English actress, writer, and comedian, best known for starring in and writing for the comedy sketch show French and Saunders with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders and for ...more
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Alan Cumming is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Good Wife, Arthur, Tin Man
Alan Cumming, OBE, is a Scottish actor who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and plays. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the lead in Bent, and the National Theatre of ...more
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Hugh Bonneville is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Downton Abbey, Doctor Zhivago, Lost in Austen
Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams, known professionally as Hugh Bonneville, is an English stage, film, television and radio actor, who is best known for playing Robert Crawley in the ITV period ...more
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Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Courage the Cowardly Dog, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
Richard Starkey Jr., MBE, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. On ...more
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Naveen Andrews is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Lost, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, The Beast
Naveen William Sidney Andrews is a British Indian actor. He is best known for portraying Sayid Jarrah in the television series Lost, Kip in the film The English Patient and Sanjay in the 2002 ...more
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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Lost, Oz, Hunted
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is an English actor and former fashion model, best known for his roles as Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns, Nykwana Wombosi in The Bourne Identity, Mr. Eko on Lost and ...more
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Neil Ross is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem
Neil Ross is an English-born voice actor and announcer, now resident in the United States, working in Los Angeles. He has provided voices in many American cartoons, most notably Voltron, G.I. ...more
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Lucy Punch is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Ben and Kate, Doc Martin, The 10th Kingdom
Lucy Punch is an English film, stage and television actress. Her feature film credits include Hot Fuzz, Bad Teacher, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Dinner for Schmucks, and Into the Woods.
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Terry Jones is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Monty Python's Flying Circus, Do Not Adjust Your Set, Twice a Fortnight
Terence Graham Parry "Terry" Jones is a British comedian, screenwriter, actor, film director and author. He is best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy team.
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Catherine Zeta-Jones is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
The Darling Buds of May, The Catherine Cookson Anthology: The Cinder Path, The Scrat Show
Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE is a Welsh actress. She began her career on stage at an early age. After starring in a number of British and U.S. television films and small roles in films, which ...more
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Billie Piper is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Penny Dreadful, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Mansfield Park
Billie Paul Piper is an English singer, dancer and actress. She made her debut in Scratchy & Co., and at the age of 15, she signed a recording contract and released her debut single ...more
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Gerard Butler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Attila, The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star
Gerard James Butler is a Scottish actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television. A trained lawyer, Butler turned to acting in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as Mrs. ...more
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Eric Idle is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom
Monty Python's Flying Circus, Suddenly Susan, Around the World in 80 Days
Eric Idle is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer and comedic composer. Idle is a member of the English surreal comedy group Monty Python, a member of the Rutles on Saturday Night ...more