Emma Thompson (born 15 April 1959) is a British actress, comedian, screenwriter and author. She first came to prominence in 1987 in two BBC TV series, Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War, she won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work in both. Her first major film role was in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy. In 1992, Thompson won multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, for her performance in the British drama Howards End. The following year Thompson garnered dual Academy Award nominations, as Best Actress for The Remains of the Day and as Best Supporting Actress for In the Name of the Father.
In 1995, Thompson scripted and starred in Sense and Sensibility, a film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel of the same name, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role among other awards. Other notable film and television credits have included the Harry Potter film series, Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Wit (2001), Love Actually (2003), Angels in America (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), Last Chance Harvey (2008), An Education (2009), Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010), Men in Black 3 (2012) and Brave (2012). In 2012, Thompson authored The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the publication of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Thompson also played Katherine, the French Princess, opposite Kenneth Branagh in the 1989 move, "Henry V."
Thompson was born in Paddington, London, England. Her father was English director and actor Eric Thompson, best known for having written and narrated The Magic Roundabout, shown on BBC children's television in the 1960s and 1970s. Her mother is the Scottish actress Phyllida Law, and her younger sister is actress Sophie Thompson. Thompson has spent part of her life in Scotland and has stated that she "feel[s] Scottish".
Environmental workEditThompson in 2008
Thompson is a supporter of Greenpeace. It was announced on 13 January 2009 that, with three other members of the organisation, she had bought land near the village of Sipson, under threat from a proposed third runway for Heathrow Airport.It was hoped that possession of the land, half the size of a football pitch, would make it possible to prevent the government from carrying through its plan to expand the airport.
Bought for an undisclosed sum from a local land owner, the plot was to be split into small squares and sold across the globe. Thompson said, "I don't understand how any government remotely serious about committing to reversing climate change can even consider these ridiculous plans. It's laughably hypocritical. That's why we've bought a plot on the runway. We'll stop this from happening even if we have to move in and plant vegetables."
Thompson has said of her religious and political views: "I'm an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Qur'an and I refute them." Despite this, she has said that "The guiding moral principles, the ethical principles, much of the philosophy [of the Christian tradition], if properly applied, is very good", and that she observes the Christmas tradition. She is supporter of the Labour Party and she told the BBC Andrew Marr Show in March 2010 that she had been a member of the party "all my life." Thompson is also a human rights activist for Palestinians, having been a member of the British-based ENOUGH! coalition that seeks to end the "Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank." She opposes Scottish independence, although she believes that England had been "so awful" to Scotland.
She is also a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.