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EMMA THOMPSON (Karen Eiffel) was born in London. Her father was theater director Eric Thompson, also the creator of the successful children's series "The Magic Roundabout." Her mother is actress Phyllida Law and her sister is actress Sophie Thompson.

She read English at Cambridge. While there, she made her debut as Aladdin in the Footlights pantomime, toured in the Footlights Revue and became vice-president of Footlights, appearing on BBC-TV's "Friday Night, Saturday Morning." In 1983, Thompson received wide acclaim for her performances in the TV series "Alfresco," Jasper Carrott's "Election Night Special,” "The Crystal Cube" and "Celebration." She also appeared in her own show, "Short Vehicle," at the Edinburgh Festival.

Thompson played opposite Robert Lindsay in the original cast of the musical "Me and My Girl" on London's West End, and starred in her own TV special "Up For Grabs." She wrote and recorded her own BBC series, "Thompson," and went on to star in the comedy feature The Tall Guy co-starring Jeff Goldblum and Rowan Atkinson. She returned to the BBC in "The Winslow Boy." She then won her first Best Actress BAFTA award for her performances in The Fortunes of War and Tutti Frutti.

In 1988, she appeared in Henry V directed by and co-starring Kenneth Branagh. The following year she played Alison Porter in "Look Back in Anger," which was filmed for Thames TV. In 1989, she starred in James Lapine's Impromptu opposite Judy Davis, Hugh Grant and Mandy Patinkin.

Thompson then joined the Renaissance Theatre Company to play Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and The Fool in "King Lear" and toured the world in both productions.

In 1991, Thompson starred in Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing and Peter's Friends, all directed by and co-starring Branagh.

She won her first Oscar® for Howards End and was again nominated for The Remains of the Day. Both films co-starred Anthony Hopkins and were directed by James Ivory. She received a Supporting Actress nomination for Jim Sheridan's In The Name of the Father opposite Daniel Day Lewis.

For Howards End she also won the Golden Globe, the New York, Los Angeles and National Film Critics Awards, and the BAFTA Award. For The Remains of the Day and In The Name of the Father, Thompson was nominated for Golden Globe Awards for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. For her work in Much Ado About Nothing, she was nominated for Best Female Lead by the Independent Feature Project West (the Spirit Awards) and Best Actress by the American Comedy Awards. She also won the London Film Critics Circle Award as Best Actress for her performances in both The Remains of the Day and Much Ado About Nothing.

Thompson starred in and wrote the screenplay adaptation of Sense and Sensibility for director Ang Lee, winning an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay, as well as a Golden Globe, the USC Scripter Award and Best Screenplay awards from the Writers Guild, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Broadcast Film Critics, the Chicago Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics and the New York Film Critics. She also received a nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television. Her performance in Sense and Sensibility earned her a third BAFTA and National Board of Review award for Best Actress, along with Academy Award®, Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

Thompson followed that with starring roles in a succession of films, including The Winter Guest, shot on location in Scotland and co-starring her mother Phyllida Law, Primary Colors with John Travolta, Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates for director Mike Nichols, and the independent feature Judas Kiss with Alan Rickman.

More recently, Thompson starred in the HBO telefilm "Wit," for which she received a Screen Actors Guild, Golden G


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