Keira Knightley has enjoyed one of the most meteoric rises to fame in recent memory, perhaps suggesting a dearth of beautiful, intelligent young actresses with sufficient range to move between costume drama and swashbuckling action thrillers. Born on the 26th March 1985, her parents are the acclaimed playwright Sharman MacDonald and the actor Will Knightley, who brought her up in a thespian environment. She made her proper acting debut at the age of nine, playing Sophie Ward’s daughter in A Village Affair (ITV, 1994), but showed unusually artistic tastes in her early roles, playing the young Gabrielle Anwar in Innocent Lies (UK/France, d. Patrick DeWolf, 1995) and the youthful Emily Mortimer in the Rosamund Pilcher adaptation Coming Home (ITV, 1998). Her first significant film appearance came in Star Wars Episode 1- The Phantom Menace (US, 1999), in which she played Sabe, the ‘decoy’ for Natalie Portman’s Queen Amidala.
2001 proved to be an important year, as she appeared both… read more