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People in Film | Colin Firth

Posted October 24, 2011 to photo album "People in Film | Colin Firth"

Whether as a spy, a single man, a king, or a romantic icon, Colin Firth has always been able to bring a clear, albeit complex, sense of humanity to his characters.

Colin Firth | A Natural Spy
Colin Firth | Growing Up as an Outsider
Colin Firth | Becoming an Actor
Colin Firth | More than Mr. Darcy
Colin Firth | Finding his Voice
Colin Firth | Growing Up as an Outsider

Colin Firth | Growing Up as an Outsider

Colin Firth in 1979 at Barton Peveril College and in 1984.

While Colin Firth has come to represent the quintessential English spirit, having played both kings and common men, his childhood was spent around the world. Born on September 10, 1960 in Grayshott, Hampshire in Southern England, Firth found his early identity formed by living outside of the UK. Firth’s parents were teachers who took assignments internationally. Indeed, soon after his birth, Firth’s family moved to Nigeria, where he spent his early childhood. Later he moved to spend a year in St. Louis, Missouri, a period that confirmed his sense of being an outsider, especially after he returned to England. Firth explained to The Washington Post, “I am an outsider. I have always been….When I was in school in America, I was the Englishman, and then I came back and I was nicknamed the Yank.” But in drama Firth found a place where his sense of difference was not only accepted, but commended. He told The Sun, "I started acting at five years old, school pantomime, I was Jack Frost – that's when I got the bug.” And he continued in theater from then on. As he told The Observer, “School plays [were] always something where I was definitely praised and in demand; that wasn't true of most aspects of school life for me.”  So determined was Firth that at 14 he’d proclaimed that he was going to be an actor.