With an actor father and a playwright mother, it's no wonder this British beauty decided on a showbiz career. Knightley landed her first professional gig at age 8 and tackled a handful of British film and TV projects throughout the '90s. A small part as Natalie Portman's decoy in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace won her attention, but her breakthrough came in 2003 when she appeared in the soccer movie Bend It Like Beckham. Later that year her talent for playing headstrong women (and her athletic figure) were put to excellent use in the adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which turned her into an international star; she also appeared in two popular sequels. Adept at multiple genres, Knightley effortlessly moved from action flicks (Domino) to romantic comedies (Love Actually) to dramas, like 2005's Pride & Prejudice, which earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nods before she even hit 21, and her performance in the tragic, memorable 2007 film Atonement also yielded critical praise. Pride & Prejudice, though, yielded a bit more, as the film also snagged her a boyfriend, costar Rupert Friend. She also became involved in the late 2000s in such causes as the work of Amnesty International and efforts to combat domestic abuse.
- Diagnosed with dyslexia as a child.
- Had her own agent at the age of 6.
- When 2003's Bend It like Beckham became an unexpected hit, she shifted her plans from resuming college and working at a skateboard shop to pursuing a full-time acting career.
- Had to use a "butt double" for a lap-dance scene in the 2005 biopic Domino.
- Posed nude, alongside Scarlett Johansson and a fully-clothed Tom Ford, on the cover of Vanity Fair in March 2006.
- Active with Amnesty International, hers was the face behind a 2008 effort to promote the human rights organization.
- Made her Broadway debut in as the title role in Thérèse Raquin in 2015.
- 2005, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2006, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
- 2015, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2015, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2015, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2008, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
- 2013, European Film Awards — European Actress: Nominee
- 2007, People's Choice Awards — Favorite On Screen Match Up: Winner
- 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
- 2015, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Song: Nominee
- 2014, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2008, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female Action Star: Winner
- 2008, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actress: Nominee
- Caleb Knightley — Brother
- Will Knightley — Father
- Sharman McDonald — Mother
- Edie — Daughter
- James Righton — Husband
- Rupert Friend — Ex-significant Other
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