Kate Beckinsale - actress

Born in Finsbury Park, London,Beckinsale is the daughter of actor Richard Beckinsale, who died from a heart attack in 1979, and actress Judy Loe. She has a paternal half-sister, Samantha, who is also an actress. Beckinsale's paternal great-grandfather was Burmese, and Beckinsale has said that she was "very oriental-looking" as a child.
Beckinsale attended the Godolphin and Latymer School, an all-girls independent school in London.In her teens, Beckinsale twice won the W. H. Smith Young Writers' competition — once for three short stories and once for three poems.After a rebellious adolescence, including a period of anorexia and starting a smoking habit, she followed in the footsteps of her parents and began her acting career.
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Her first role was in One Against the Wind, a television film about World War II that was first aired in 1991. Having gained three language A levels, Beckinsale studied French and Russian literature at New College, Oxford, though she did not finish her degree.She thought that having an academic background studying foreign language and literature would broaden her range of acting roles.
During her first year at Oxford, Beckinsale was offered a part in Kenneth Branagh's big-screen film, Much Ado About Nothing, adapted from the Shakespeare play. She spent her last year of studies in Paris, after which she decided to leave the university and concentrate on her acting career.In 1994, Beckinsale had a supporting role in Prince of Jutland, which she worked with actor Christian Bale, whom would later reunite in 2002 drama Laurel Canyon. Kate starred in Haunted (1995) with Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud and in the 1996 TV film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma.
She subsequently appeared in a few low-profile films, including Shooting Fish and The Last Days of Disco, both in 1998. During this time, Beckinsale also appeared in television films and in stage roles, including the well-received Cold Comfort Farm, opposite British film and television notables Rufus Sewell, Eileen Atkins, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry.

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