PROFILE
Name:
Kristin Scott Thomas
Birth Date:
May 24, 1960
Birth Place:
Redruth, Cornwall, England, UK
Nationality:
British
Famous for:
Her role as Fiona in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' (1994)
BIOGRAPHY
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The Horse Whisperer

Background:

“Recently, in a restaurant in London, I overheard someone say, ‘See you in another obscure European movie.’ Well, better that than run-of-the-mill TV stuff in England. In Paris, I can have friends who aren't in films and don't care about that world. Perhaps that’s a shallow thing to say, but then I’m just a shallow, shallow person.” Kristin Scott Thomas

Petite, brunette, international actress Kristin Scott Thomas (born in England, now a resident of France), who initially came to prominence with a London Evening Standard Award-winning role in A Handful of Dust (1988) and a Cabourg Romantic Film Festival-winning performance in Headstrong (1989), achieved worldwide stardom after playing the unmarried, tart-tongued pal in the 1994 hit Four Weddings and a Funeral, in which she nabbed an Evening Standard British Film Award and a BAFTA award, and with her Academy Award nominated performance as the attractive, but doomed, girlfriend in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed The English Patient (1996), where she picked up a Golden Globe award and a National Board of Review award. Scott Thomas also won an Evening Standard British Film for her role in the 1995 film Angels and Insects. In the Robert Altman-directed Gosford Park (2001), she took home a Screen Actors Guild award.

Off screen, Scott Thomas became a member of the jury at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. She was appointed OBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List (2003) and was listed as one of People magazines’”50 Most Beautiful People in the World” (1997) as well as one of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995). More recently, she was awarded France’s highest civilian award called Legion d’Honneur, in 2005. The bilingual actress is currently the wife of French obstetrician Dr. François Olivennes, with whom she shares three children. The family now resides in their 19th century country house in France.


Bashful Girl

Childhood and Family:

The daughter of a Royal Navy pilot, Kristin Scott Thomas was born on May 24, 1960, in Redruth, Cornwall, England. At age five, Kristin’s father died in an air crash and her mother later married another pilot who was also killed under similar circumstances in 1972. She was raised primarily in a countryside environment along with her four younger siblings: two brothers and two sisters. One of her sisters is actress/model Serena Scott Thomas, who regularly appeared in CBS’s series “Nash Bridges.”

An extremely shy girl, Kristin discovered a love for acting and attended drama at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama (at first in a teacher training program before switching to drama) after dropping out of Cheltenham Ladies College at age 16. Three years later, she flew to Paris and got a job as an au pair while also taking acting classes at Paris’ Ecole Nationale des Arts et Techniques de Theater.

As for her private life, British by birth and a long-time resident of France, Kristin is married to French doctor Francois Olivennes. The couple has three children: sons Joseph Olivennes (born in March 1991), George Olivennes (born in September 2000) and daughter Hannah Olivennes (born in 1988).


Four Weddings and a Funeral

Career:

English-born Kristin Scott Thomas left her homeland at age 19 to be an au pair in Paris. Encouraged by her employer to enroll in a drama school, the former student of London’s Central School of Speech and Drama earned a place at Paris’ Ecole Nationale des Arts et Technique de Theatre and quickly found her calling. With the help of her acting tutor, Scott Thomas landed her first acting job in a French play of “La lune declinante sur 4 ou 5 personnes qui dansent,” and followed it up with unimportant roles on stage, in TV and in French films.

Making her film debut with the supporting role of Mary Sharon in Prince’s Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Scott Thomas’ career gained momentum in 1988 when she got her first lead in an English film, the Charles Sturridge-helmed A Handful of Dust. Costarring opposite James Wilby, the actress offered a strong portrayal of a cool-blooded aristocrat named Lady Brenda, a role that brought her a London Evening Standard for Most Promising Newcomer. She received additional praise with a Cabourg Romantic Film Festival-winning performance in the France-produced Headstrong (1989). In between her talked-about turns, Scott Thomas also earned positive reviews for her bright portrayal of Therese Mangeot in the CBS made-for-TV film The Tenth Man (1988), a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation which also starred Anthony Hopkins and Derek Jacobi.

The actress went on to act in wide screen films like Uncontrollable Circumstances (1989), The Governor’s Party (1990), In the Eyes of the World (1990), The Bachelor (1991), Roman Polanski’s Bitter Moon (1992, with Hugh Grant) and the Romanian An Unforgettable Summer (1994). She was also seen in television’s The Endless Game (1990, starred Albert Finney), the comedy Framed (1990, with Jeff Goldblum), the Martyn Friend-directed mini “Titmuss Regained” (1991, opposite David Threlfall) and the PBS six-hour miniseries “Body & Soul” (1993). However, it was her supporting turn as Hugh Grant’s scornful buddy Fiona in the 1994 sleeper hit Four Weddings and a Funeral that garnered Scott Thomas international and Hollywood recognition. With the role, she also nabbed an Evening Standard British Film for Best Actress and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. A year later, she added another Evening Standard British Film for her impressive accomplishments with her stunning turn as Matty Crompton in director Philip Haas’ film adaptation of Angels and Insects (1995).

After roles in Mayday (1995), Richard III (1995, played a haunting Lady Anne), Les Milles (1995), “Belle Époque” (1995), Gulliver’s Travels (1996, TV), Mission: Impossible (1996) and The Pompatus of Love (1996), Scott Thomas’ reputation in Hollywood was raised even higher when director Anthony Minghella had her play Katharine Clifton in the widely acclaimed The English Patient (1996), starring Ralph Fiennes and French actress Juliette Binoche. For her striking acting, the actress was handed a 1997 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama and a 1996 National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actress, as well as took home an Oscar, Screen Actors Guild and a BAFTA nomination. Moreover, the Academy Award-nominated performer won two big-budget romantic lead roles. She starred with director/actor Robert Redford in the drama The Horse Whisperer (1998) and opposite Harrison Ford in the ill-fated romance Random Hearts (1999).
The new millennium saw the actress continue with powerful performances in Up at the Villa (2000), as Kevin Kline’s disenchanted former wife in Life as a House (2001) and the presumptuous Lady Sylvia McCordle in Robert Altman’s highly acclaimed Gosford Park (2001). Scott Thomas’ turn in the latter film gave her a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture. Also in 2001, Scott Thomas returned to theatre with a role in a Paris production of Berenice, by Racine.

2003-2005 saw roles in Small Cuts (2003), Arsène Lupin (2004), the drama Man to Man (2005, with Joseph Fiennes), Chromophobia (2005, reunited her with The English Patient costar Ralph Fiennes) and the comedy film Keeping Mum (2005, starred with Rowan Atkinson and Patrick Swayze). Recently, 46-year-old Scott Thomas had supporting roles in two French films: Francis Veber’s comedy Doublure, La and Guillaume Canet’s drama/thriller Tell No One. She is also scheduled to make an American comeback with a drama film by Paul Schrader, The Walker (2007) and will be seen in the Peter Medak-helmed The Villa Golitsyn (2007), where she will portray Priscilla Ludley. As for the stage, the 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre nominee for Best Actress of 2003 was the main character in the Luigi Pirandello play “As You Desire Me,” at the Playhouse Theatre, in West End, London (2006).


Awards:

  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture, Gosford Park, 2002
  • Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, The English Patient, 1997
  • National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actress, The English Patient; cited with costar Juliette Binoche, 1996
  • Evening Standard British Film: Best Actress, Angels and Insects, 1996
  • Evening Standard British Film: Best Actress, Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1995
  • BAFTA: Best Supporting Actress, Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994
  • Cabourg Romantic Film Festival: Best Actress, Headstrong, 1989
  • London Evening Standard: Most Promising Newcomer (Film), A Handful of Dust, 1988
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