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Knightley at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth name     Keira Christina Knightley
Born     26 March 1985 (1985-03-26) (age 22)
Teddington, London, England
Occupation     Actor
Years active     1993-present
Parents     Will Knightley
Sharman Macdonald
IFTA Awards
People's Choice Award - Best International Actress
2004 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and King Arthur

Keira Christina Knightley (pronounced  born 26 March 1985) is a Golden Globe-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-nominated English[2] film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress, and came to international prominence in 2003, after co-starring in the films Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Knightley has since become a notable lead actress, having appeared in several Hollywood films and earning an Academy Award nomination for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

    * 1 Biography
          o 1.1 Early life
          o 1.2 Career
          o 1.3 Media attention
          o 1.4 Personal life
    * 2 Filmography
    * 3 References
    * 4 External links


Early life

Knightley was born in Teddington, London, England, the daughter of Sharman Macdonald, a Scottish award-winning playwright, and Will Knightley, an English theatre and television actor. She has an elder brother, Caleb, who was born in 1979. Knightley lived most of her life in Richmond, attending Teddington School and Esher College. Knightley has dyslexia, but nevertheless was successful in school and was thus permitted to acquire a talent agent and pursue an acting career. Knightley has noted that she was "single-minded about acting" during her childhood.[3] She performed in a number of local amateur productions including After Juliet (written by her mother) and United States (written by her then drama teacher, Ian McShane).


Knightley appeared in several made-for-television films in the mid to late 1990s, before being cast as Sabé, Padmé Amidala's decoy, in the 1999 science fiction blockbuster Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Knightley was cast in the role due to her close resemblance to Natalie Portman, who played Padmé; the two actresses' mothers had difficulty telling their daughters apart when the girls were in full makeup.[4] Knightley's first starring role followed in 2001, when she played the daughter of Robin Hood in a made-for-television Walt Disney Productions feature, Princess of Thieves. During this time, Knightley also appeared in The Hole, a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States. She appeared in a mini-series adaptation of Doctor Zhivago that first aired in 2002 to mixed reviews but high ratings.

Knightley's breakthrough role was in the football-themed film, Bend It Like Beckham, which was a success in its August 2002 UK release, grossing $18 million, and in its March 2003 U.S. release, grossing $32 million.[5] After Bend It Like Beckham's UK release raised her profile, she was cast in the big budget action film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (along with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp) which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and opened in July 2003 to positive reviews and high box office grosses, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2003 and cementing Knightley as the new "It" girl.

Knightley had a role in the British romantic comedy Love Actually, which opened in November 2003. Though charismatic, her performance was overlooked in the crowded A-List cast. Her next film, King Arthur, opened in July 2004 to negative reviews, scoring only 31% at Rotten Tomatoes.[6] In the same month, Knightley was voted by readers of Hello! magazine as the movie industry's most promising teen star. Additionally, Time magazine noted in a 2004 feature that Knightley seemed dedicated to developing herself as a serious actress rather than a film star.
Knightley at a London Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiere in July 2006
Knightley at a London Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiere in July 2006

2005 would see the release of 3 films, the first of which was The Jacket. The complex thriller starring Adrien Brody was derided by critics as unoriginal, silly and messy, scoring a disappointing 44%. Knightley was taken to task for her American accent but was otherwise dismissed by critics. Next would be Tony Scott's Domino, an action film based on the life of bounty hunter Domino Harvey. The film would be Knightley's greatest critical flop to date, scoring only 17% positive reviews. Knightley's critics often suggested she was nothing more than a pretty face, which lead the young starlet to comment to Elle magazine, "I always feel like I'm the one with everything to prove." Pride and Prejudice would round out 2005, scoring a lively 85%.[7] As iconic Elizabeth Bennet, Knightley would receive the greatest reviews of her career thus far. From Variety: "Looking every bit a star, Knightley, who's shown more spirit than acting smarts so far in her career, really steps up to the plate here, holding her own against the more classically trained [Matthew] Macfadyen (as well as vets like [Brenda] Blethyn, [Donald] Sutherland and Judi Dench) with a luminous strength that recalls a young Audrey Hepburn. More than the older [Jennifer] Ehle in the TV series, she catches Elizabeth's essential skittishness and youthful braggadocio, making her final conversion all the more moving."[8] The film would gross more than $100 million worldwide and Knightley would earn a Golden Globe nomination and an Oscar nomination (the Oscar ultimately went to Reese Witherspoon). BAFTA's decision not to nominate her drew criticism[9] from Pride and Prejudice producer Tim Bevan.

In 2006, Knightley was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[10]

Knightley's biggest financial hit thus far, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, was released on July 7, 2006. On June 3, 2007, Knightley was up for a MTV Movie Award for Best Performance but she lost to her co-star, Johnny Depp. 2007 saw the release of several films starring Knightley: Silk, an adaptation of the novel by Alessandro Baricco, Atonement, a feature film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name (co-starring James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Blethyn),[11] and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which was released on May 24, 2007. Knightley's performance in Atonement began to generate buzz before the film was released; she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Dramatic Actress category for the role, as well as a BAFTA.

In the late spring of 2007, Knightley shot The Edge of Love with Cillian Murphy as her husband, Matthew Rhys as her childhood sweetheart, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and Sienna Miller as Thomas' wife Caitlin MacNamara. This 2008 release was penned by her mother, Sharman Macdonald, and directed by John Maybury. She then began work on The Duchess in which she will play Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. Which is currently in its post-production stages. She also lends her voice to the forthcoming Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind.

Media attention
Keira attends the premiere of Atonement, Leicester Square, London
Keira attends the premiere of Atonement, Leicester Square, London

As a result of her rapid rise to fame, Knightley has been the focus of significant media attention. She has been described by press reports as "famously open with media",[12] although Knightley herself has stated "I don't talk about my private life."[13]

She was ranked #79 by FHM in the magazine's UK Edition 2004 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, #18 in 2005, and was ranked the sexiest woman in the world in 2006.[14] The U.S. Edition ranked her #54 in 2004, #11 in 2005 and #5 in 2006. Knightley appeared nude along with Scarlett Johansson, on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's March 2006 'Hollywood' issue. In May 2006, Knightley was #9 on Maxim's 2006 Hot 100.

Knightley was the celebrity face for the luxury goods brand Asprey, as well as Lux haircare products in Japanese television commercials. In April 2006, she was confirmed as the new celebrity face of Chanel's perfume "Coco Mademoiselle", though the first photo from the campaign was not released until May 2007.[15]

She is the subject of Glasgow band Endrick Brothers song "Star of the Silver Screen" featured on their forthcoming album Attraction versus Love. The song was written after a chance meeting at a party in Glasgow during the filming of The Jacket.[14]

Her Valentino gown at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards won her much acclaim and even landed her the top spot on Steven Cojocaru's "Best Dressed List" on Entertainment Tonight, while the dress she wore to the 2006 Academy Awards was recently donated to the charity Oxfam, where it raised £4,300.[16]

Knightley has warned kids who dream of the celebrity life that it's not all what it seems to be. "It frightens me when kids go, 'I want to be famous'"[17]

In a recent interview with the BBC Knightley said that she feels "de-humanised". She also said that when a person becomes a celebrity, the public doesn't care that the person's life is constantly watched.

While she has no current plans to leave the world of film, Knightley has said that she could not imagine subjecting a child to the media. She is quoted as saying; "I'm not planning to have children at the moment... everyone changes, and I'm sure there will be a time I will want to do something different. I could completely see myself moving away [from acting]."[18]

Personal life

Knightley, who currently lives in London, is dating Rupert Friend. There have been rumours that they are engaged to be married, but Knightley has stated she has no plans to be married in the near future. She has previously dated Irish fashion model Jamie Dornan,[19] as well as actor Del Synnott, who, according to some reports, attempted suicide after their relationship ended, although Synnott and Knightley deny these claims.[20]

She has denied rumors she is anorexic, although after her appearance at the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiere led to media speculation that her extremely slender figure was due to an eating disorder, she noted that her family has a history of anorexia.[21] Keira then sued the Daily Mail after they claimed she lied about having anorexia; the article said that a teenage girl died from anorexia, indicating that Knightley's physical appearance may have influenced her in some way. She was awarded a settlement for it.[22] In July 2006, Knightley said she has become a workaholic, detailing that "the last five years have blended into one. I can't tell you what was last year and what was the year before" and specifying that she is "working too much"[23] and is "quite frightened that if I continue at this rate I will start to hate what I love."[24] As a result, Knightley may take a one year break from acting to travel and focus on her personal life.[25]

Knightley is a lifelong supporter of football team West Ham United F.C., and watches games in her local pub whenever possible.[26] She has said that her favourite book is War and Peace[27] and her favourite film is All About Eve.[28]

Year     Title     Role     Gross World     Other notes
1995     A Village Affair     Natasha Jordan         (TV)
    Innocent Lies     Young Celia        
1996     The Treasure Seekers     The Princess         (TV)
1998     Coming Home     Young Judith         (TV)
1999     Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace     Sabé (queen's decoy)     $924,317,558    
2001     Princess of Thieves     Gwyn (daughter of Robin Hood)         First starring role
HoleThe Hole     Frances 'Frankie' Almond Smith        
2002     Thunderpants     Music school student (cameo)        
Doctor Zhivago     Lara Antipova (née Guishar)         (TV)
Pure     Louise     $102,471    
Bend It Like Beckham     Juliette 'Jules' Paxton     $76,583,333    
2003     Pir1Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl     Elizabeth Swann     $654,264,015    
Love Actually     Juliet     $246,942,017    
2004     King Arthur     Guinevere     $203,567,857    
2005     JackThe Jacket     Jackie     $21,126,225    
Domino     Domino Harvey     $22,922,552    
Pride and Prejudice     Elizabeth Bennet     $121,147,947     nominated for Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress
2006     Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest     Elizabeth Swann     $1,066,179,725    
2007     Pir3Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End     Elizabeth Swann     $961,002,663    
Silk     Hélène Joncour     $4,131,106    
Atonement     Cecilia Tallis     $94,651,553     nominated for Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and BAFTA for best actress
Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind (TV)     Em         Broadcast on BBC1 25/12/07
2008     EdgeThe Edge of Love     Vera Phillips         (post-production)
DuchThe Duchess     Georgiana Cavendish         (post-production)

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