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Famous TV Actors from the United Kingdom

Updated May 3, 2018 250.5k views2.1k items

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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  • 26
    Gary Chalk

    Gary Chalk

    G.I. Joe, Beast Wars: Transformers

    BirthplaceSouthampton, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited States of America,United Kingdom,Canada

    Garry Glen Chalk (born February 17, 1952) is a British-born Canadian actor and voice actor. He... more on Wikipedia
  • 27
    Graham Greene

    Graham Greene

    Into the West, The War that Made America

    BirthplaceBerkhamsted, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom,England

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    Emma Watson
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  • 29
    Emma Thompson

    Emma Thompson

    Angels in America, Playhouse Presents

    BirthplaceEngland, London, Paddington

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

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  • 30
    Ricky Gervais

    Ricky Gervais

    The Office, The Office

    BirthplaceReading, United Kingdom

    NationalityEngland

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  • 31
    Nicollette Sheridan

    Nicollette Sheridan

    Desperate Housewives, Knots Landing

    BirthplaceEngland, Worthing

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

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  • 32
    Laurence Olivier

    Laurence Olivier

    Jesus of Nazareth, Brideshead Revisited

    BirthplaceDorking, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 33
    Peter Ustinov

    Peter Ustinov

    Jesus of Nazareth, Doctor Snuggles

    BirthplaceSwiss Cottage, London, United Kingdom

    NationalityEngland

    Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, (, ; 16 April 1921 – 28 March 2004), was an English actor,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 34
    David Schneider

    David Schneider

    I'm Alan Partridge, The Day Today

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom,England

    David Schneider (born 22 May 1963) is an English actor, comedian and director.
  • 35
    Harry Lloyd

    Harry Lloyd

    Game of Thrones, Robin Hood

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

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    Barbara Flynn

    Barbara Flynn

    Cracker, Open All Hours

    BirthplaceSt Leonards-on-Sea, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    Barbara Flynn (born Barbara Joy McMurray; 5 August 1948) is an English actress. She first came... more on Wikipedia
  • 37
    Tony Robinson

    Tony Robinson

    The Black Adder, Blackadder II

    BirthplaceHomerton, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Sir Anthony Robinson (born 15 August 1946) is an English actor, comedian, author, presenter... more on Wikipedia
  • 38
    Dawn French

    Dawn French

    Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley

    BirthplaceHolyhead, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, Wales

    Dawn Roma French (born 11 October 1957) is a British actress, writer, comedian and presenter... more on Wikipedia

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  • 39
    Alan Cumming

    Alan Cumming

    The Good Wife, Arthur

    BirthplaceAberfeldy, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited States of America, Scotland, United Kingdom

    Alan Cumming (born 27 January 1965) is a Scottish-American actor, singer, writer, producer,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 40
    Hugh Bonneville

    Hugh Bonneville

    Downton Abbey, Doctor Zhivago

    BirthplaceEngland, London

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams (born 10 November 1963) is an English actor. He is best known... more on Wikipedia

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  • 41
    Ringo Starr

    Ringo Starr

    Courage the Cowardly Dog, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

    BirthplaceLiverpool, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

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    Naveen Andrews

    Naveen Andrews

    Lost, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

    BirthplaceLambeth, London, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited States of America,England

    Naveen William Sidney Andrews (born 17 January 1969) is a British-American actor. He is known... more on Wikipedia

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  • 43
    Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

    BirthplaceIslington, London, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (; born 22 August 1967) is a British actor, director, and former... more on Wikipedia

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  • 44
    Neil Ross

    Neil Ross

    The Transformers, G.I. Joe

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited States of America,England

    Neil Ross (born 31 December 1944) is a British-American voice actor and announcer, now... more on Wikipedia
  • 45
    Lucy Punch

    Lucy Punch

    Ben and Kate, Doc Martin

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Lucy Punch (born 30 December 1977) is an English actress. She has appeared in films such as... more on Wikipedia
  • 46
    Terry Jones

    Terry Jones

    Monty Python's Flying Circus, Ripping Yarns

    BirthplaceColwyn Bay, United Kingdom

    NationalityWales, United Kingdom

    Terence Graham Parry Jones (February 1, 1942 - January 21, 2020) is a Welsh actor, writer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 47
    Catherine Zeta-Jones

    Catherine Zeta-Jones

    The Darling Buds of May, The Catherine Cookson Anthology: The Cinder Path

    BirthplaceSwansea, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    Catherine Zeta-Jones (; born 25 September 1969) is a Welsh actress. Born and raised in... more on Wikipedia

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    Billie Piper

    Billie Piper

    Penny Dreadful, Secret Diary of a Call Girl

    BirthplaceSwindon, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Billie Paul Piper (born Leian Paul Piper; 22 September 1982) is an English actress, dancer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 49
    Gerard Butler

    Gerard Butler

    Attila, The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star

    BirthplacePaisley, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland

    Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottish actor, producer, singer and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 50
    Eric Idle

    Eric Idle

    Monty Python's Flying Circus, Suddenly Susan

    BirthplaceSouth Shields, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, author,... more on Wikipedia

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