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EWAN McGREGOR (Valiant) was born in 1971 in Crieff, Scotland. Despite a small-town upbringing, he became enthralled with the world of acting from an early age and was largely inspired by his uncle, Denis Lawson (of "Local Hero” fame). As a tiny child, he would return home to watch old black-and-white movie classics, rather than contemporary television programs of the day. His passion for the silver screen was crystallized in 1977 when, as a 6-year-old, he was taken to see his uncle play fighter pilot Wedge Antilles in "Star Wars.” Like millions of other small boys in the world, he was spellbound. He saw the film so many times that he could recite practically the whole script without drawing breath—one of life's ironies that would take over twenty years to unfold.

Six months before his graduation at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, McGregor was offered the role of Private Mick Hopper in Dennis Potter's six-part musical comedy television series "Lipstick on Your Collar.” Shortly after this break, he landed his first film role in Bill Forsyth's "Being Human,” where the producer, Lord David Puttnam, was so impressed by McGregor's abilities that he added extra scenes for him. Puttnam said: "McGregor has the same quality that a certain select group of actors have. Once you watch them, they mesmerize you and you forget you are watching an actor, because they appeal to you personally.”

Following his portrayal of an over-sexed hotel bellhop in the classic adult comedy play "What the Butler Saw” and the romantic lead as the French adventurer Julien Sorel in a BBC production of "Scarlet and Black,” McGregor starred in the BAFTA Award-winning "Shallow Grave.” The confidence with which he balanced this dark comedic role, coupled with the success of the film, pushed the young Scottish actor into the limelight. His portrayal of Alex Law earned him the Hitchcock D'Argent Best Actor Award and a nomination for Best Actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards, as well as laying the roots for a highly successful partnership with the director, Danny Boyle. He then went on to portray the shifty London drug dealer Dean Raymond in "Blue Juice” opposite an up-and-coming Catherine Zeta-Jones, followed by his first solo lead in cult director Peter Greenaway's art-house erotic film, "The Pillow Book.”

Although "Shallow Grave” provided McGregor with his breakthrough role, it was his portrayal of heroin addict Mark Renton in Irvine Walsh's "Trainspotting” that catapulted him to international fame. To prepare for this role, he worked closely with ex-drug addicts who helped provide him with a level of insight needed to tackle the graphic portrayal of drug addiction and withdrawal—scenes that have now become classics in film history.

"Trainspotting” won a string of prestigious awards, including the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Feature Film, while McGregor himself picked up BAFTA Scotland's Best Actor accolade and, for the second year running, the Empire magazine award for Best British Actor.

After the success of "Trainspotting,” McGregor eluded any danger of typecasting by taking on the contrasting role of Frank Churchill opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel "Emma.” After this, he starred opposite Tara Fitzgerald in Mark Herman's Cesar award-winning "Brassed Off,” which juggled humor and pathos by portraying the fate of a brass band in a small community threatened by the politically motivated coal mine closures in the early 1980s.

Ewan McGregor's US film debut arrived in the shape of "Nightwatch,” a grisly slasher movie filmed in LA in which he played the lead role of Marin Bwelos, a law student who worked part-time as a mortuary night watchman. Walk-on parts in the BBC Dennis Potter series "Karaoke” and "Cold L


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