Emma Thompson at 60
One of today's best-loved actresses is celebrating an important birthday. Here are images from some her movie milestones.
Henry V. (1989)
The daughter of a director and an actress, Thompson first studied literature at Cambridge University. After graduating, she became involved in politics, demonstrating against the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland – and landed her first TV and film roles. She gained praise for her part in Henry V., the breakthrough film of her future husband, Kenneth Branagh.
An appearance in Howard's End (1992)
Anyone in England who hadn't yet heard of Emma Thompson certainly knew the name after the premiere of the offbeat comedy "Peter's Friends" in 1992. The big international breakthrough, however, was the romantic drama "Howard's End," where she appeared with actor Anthony Hopkins and won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel.
The Remains of the Day (1993)
Thompson was also acclaimed for co-starring with Anthony Hopkins in another historical drama. "The Remains of the Day" is a tale of unrequited love, exaggerated sense of duty and political misconduct in the context of World War II and post-war England.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Under the direction of her husband at the time, Kenneth Branagh (pictured above), Thompson played Beatrice in the comedy by Shakespeare. Thompson and Branagh were then one of the most glamorous couples on drama scene in Great Britain, symbolizing a new, cool England unafraid to reinterpret its traditions.
In the Name of the Father (1993)
By then a favorite with the British press, Emma Thompson proved with "In the Name of the Father" that she is truly an actress with a wide range of characters. Based on the true story of the "Guildford Four," the film has Thompson playing a lawyer who defends a Northern Irish freedom fighter (Daniel Day-Lewis) against his will. This performance too yielded an Oscar nomination.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
This adaptation of a Jane Austin book is one of Thompson's greatest successes. This time she took an Oscar for the film's screenplay, which she wrote, and a Golden Globe for portraying the character of Elinor Dashwood. A Who's Who of British drama, the cast included Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman.
Love Actually (2003)
Emma Thompson has also played characters unlucky in love. In 2003, she starred in "Love Actually" as Karen, the sister of the English prime minister (Hugh Grant) and the unfortunate wife of Harry (Alan Rickman). "Love Actually" is one of the most successful love films of all time.
Harry Potter (2007-2011)
Like a chameleon, Emma Thompson is good at changing her appearance. In three of the Harry Potter films, she played the wacky teacher Sibyll Trelawney, who teaches fortune-telling to students of magic - clearly seeming to enjoy herself in the role.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
Emma Thompson once again proved her mettle in supporting roles in this tragicomedy by Noah Baumbach. Appearing with Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller, she depicted the drunken hippie wife of protagonist Harold Meyerowitz (Hoffman).
The Child Act (2017)
In "The Child Act," Emma Thompson once again took on the lead role in a melodrama. In it, family judge Fiona Maye has to decide whether or not a 17-year-old Jehovah's Witness suffering from leukemia should receive a life-saving blood transfusion. She is seen here next to actor Fionn Whitehead at the premiere in London.
A motivated activist
As a student, Thompson was an activist who once described herself as a leftist, radical feminist atheist. For decades, she has been fighting climate change with Greenpeace. In the #Metoo debate, she has stood firmly against existing power structures in Hollywood. Here, she can be seen in a 2015 protest in front of the headquarters of Shell Oil.
Emma Thompson was honored with the title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in November 2018, the highest English Order. It was bestowed for her exceptional achievements in British theater, as one of England's most versatile and celebrated actresses. The picture shows her at the ceremony with Prince William.