City Connect celebrates the birthday of Academy Award winner Colin Firth who was born this day in 1960 and turns 51 today. Read all about Firth’s acting career in the biography that follows.
Colin Andrew Firth, CBE (born 10 September 1960) is an English film, television, and stage actor. Firth gained wide public attention in the 1990s for his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
In 2011, Firth received the Academy Award for his portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech, a performance that also earned him the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. The previous year, he received his first Academy Award nomination, for his leading role in A Single Man, a performance that won him a BAFTA Award.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. In April 2011, Time magazine included Firth in its list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People.
Firth is married to Italian film producer/director Livia Giuggioli and lives in both London and Italy. They have two sons. Firth started to learn Italian when he and Giuggioli began to date and he now is fluent in the language.
In a 2006 interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, Firth was asked “Quelles sont les femmes de votre vie?” (Who are the women of your life?). Firth replied: “Ma mère, ma femme et Jane Austen” (My mother, my wife and Jane Austen).
Firth has been a long-standing supporter of Survival International, a non-governmental organisation that defends the rights of tribal peoples.
Firth has been involved in a campaign to stop the deportation of a group of asylum seekers, because he believed that they might be murdered on their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Firth argued that “To me it’s just basic civilisation to help people. I find this incredibly painful to see how we dismiss the most desperate people in our society. It’s easily done. It plays to the tabloids, to the Middle-England xenophobes. It just makes me furious. And all from a government we once had such high hopes for”. As a result of the campaign, a Congolese nurse was given a last-minute reprieve from deportation.
Firth has also been involved in the Oxfam global campaign Make Trade Fair, in which several other celebrities participated as well in order to bring more attention to the issues involved. The campaign has focused on several trade practices seen as unfair to third world producers especially, including dumping, high import tariffs, and labour rights such as fair wages. Firth remains deeply committed to this cause, making efforts such as supporting fair trade coffee in his daily life.
In 2011, Firth collaborated with colleagues at the University College London to conduct a study probing differences in the volume of various brain regions in conservatives and liberals, with the results suggesting that conservatives have greater amygdala volume and liberals have greater volume in their anterior cingulate cortex.
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