Diverse, funny, and British, what’s more to love?

For a long time Bill Nighy has been considered a staple of British rom coms and feel good movies. And he’s truly brilliant in these roles. His long time collaboration with writer-director Richard Curtis has established this position in film’s such as Love Actually and The Boat That Rocked where he plays a rocker that can’t be stopped, with a lot of laughter at his characters expense thrown into the mix. He’s played a prominent role in Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, as a dislikeable stepfather to Simon Pegg’s Shaun, and even played the fatherly role in 2013’s romantic time travel adventure About Time.

But below the surface Nighy is so much more that just that. He’s played the unforgettable pirate villain, Davy Jones, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, putting on a strong, menacing voice and using his physical prowess to build the CGI creature. He’s played important roles in brilliant dramas such as Enduring Love, and thrillers such as The Constant Gardener and has voiced many animated roles in films such as Rango, Arthur Christmas, The Magic Roundabout and Astro Boy.

He even starred in two of the Underworld films, Underworld and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, as Viktor, the leader of the vampires and is staggeringly different to the rom com brashness he’s best known for. 2014’s I, Frankenstein’s continues this trend of movies with Nighy again playing a strong, devilish character, and one he seems to enjoy playing.

As one of the most in demand British actors in both Hollywood and at home, Nighy is a force to be reckoned with. He may not always play the lead role in his movie choices, but he certainly leaves an impression, no matter how diverse the role.


1949

Born William Francis Nighy in Caterham, Surrey on December the 12th.

1949

1964

After leaving school he runs away with a friend aiming to reach the Persian gulf but only makes it to the South of France

1964

1971

Works professionally as an actor for the first time in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here by Tennessee Williams at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury.

1971

1976

Makes his debut in the TV series Softly Softly: Task Force as Albert Blake.

1976

1977

Performs on the London stage for the first time in the National Theatre’s staging of Chris Langham’s Illuminatus!

1977

1979

Stars in a film for the first time as a flower delivery boy in Jackie Collins’ The Bitch

1979

1981

Voices Samwise Gamgee in BBC Radio’s version of Lord of the Rings

1981

1985

Plays Nazi Helmut Hoffmann in Hitler’s S.S.: Portrait in Evil

1985

1991

Became a well known name for his performance as Professor Mark Carleton in the TV series The Men’s Room

1991

1999

Stars opposite Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in Guest House Paradiso, the movie version of Bottom.

1999

2007

Wins a Golden Globe for his performance of Gideon Walker in Stephen Poliakoff’s Gideon’s Daughter

2007

2008

Stars in Valkyrie as Friedrich Olbricht, another real life Nazi who plotted to assassinate Hitler.

2008

2009

Plays an assassin in Wild Target along with Martin Freeman, Emily Blunt and Rupert Grint.

2009