13 Marvel, Netflix and Hollywood stars you might not know were from Cambridgeshire
It might be odd to think that some of the country’s biggest stars might have been known to our neighbors before they became household names.
Cambridgeshire has seen its fair share of celebrities born and raised in the county, from Aston Merrygold of JLS to Olympic medalist Louis Smith.
Read more: Take a trip down memory lane with these 60-year-old photos of Cambs in 1962
However, it appears that most A-listers who could once settle in Cambridgeshire have carved out careers in film and TV.
These people are nothing short of local legends; before they rose to fame, they grew up in our towns, went to local schools, or were perhaps members of local amateur theater groups.
Whether they’ve appeared in Marvel, Harry Potter, or Star Wars films, starred in a Netflix series, or been featured in many of our favorite TV shows, this list of 13 Cambridgeshire-born actors covers just about every area of television and film.
After beginning his career playing Mike Young on the Australian TV series Neighbours, Guy Pearce went on to garner international attention for his breakthrough role in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994.
Although he is often considered an Australian actor, Pearce was actually born in Ely in 1967 before his family moved to Geelong, Victoria when he was just three years old.
Later film credits came in The King’s Speech (as King Edward VIII), Prometheus (as Peter Weyland), and Iron Man 3 (as ultimate villain Aldrich Killian).
Most recently, he appeared in Netflix’s The Innocents and Mare of Easttown, an American crime drama series.
Olivia Newton John
Olivia Newton-John was a poster boy of the 1970s and 1980s, having starred as Sandy in Grease.
Like Pearce, Newton-John’s family also emigrated to Australia, when she was six years old, having been born in the county, in Cambridge itself.
In fact, her father became headmaster of Cambridgeshire High School for Boys and was in that position when Olivia was born.
Despite her obvious prowess as an actress, she opted for the musical route which proved incredibly successful as she won four Grammy Awards and sold around 100 million records worldwide.
Prior to Grease, Olivia represented the UK in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and also received an OBE in 1979.
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Born in Cambridge as the son of Heather R. and John FW Brown, Ralph Brown has an impressive list of acting credits.
Brown is known for playing drug dealer Danny in Withnail and I, vigilante Aaron in Alien 3, DJ Bob Silver in The Boat That Rocked, super-roadie Del Preston in Wayne’s World 2, pilot Ric Olié in Star Wars : The Phantom Menace and Henry Clinton take turns: Washington’s spies.
His work is not limited to the cinema screen either, with television appearances in the form of Death in Paradise, Coronation Street and Spooks while his work has graced theaters as well; he wrote the play Sanctuary for the Joint Stock Theater Company in 1987 which toured the UK and won the Samuel Beckett Award for Best First Play.
Ok, so we’re bending the rules slightly with this one as Warwick Davis, who was actually born in Surrey, didn’t move to Cambridgeshire until later in life as the current Tenable presenter now lives in Peterborough.
Warwick can certainly be described as an all-rounder given his work in comedy, presentation, and film, but many people will know him best for his roles in the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises.
The 51-year-old was the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars and took on two characters – Professor Flitwick and Griphook – in Harry Potter.
The man who welcomed us all to the world of Jurassic Park in 1993 was Richard Attenborough, whose career spanned more than six decades before his death in 2014.
Born in Cambridge in 1923, Attenborough was the eldest of three sons, one of whom was of course David, born three years later in Isleworth, Middlesex.
In 1945 Richard won a scholarship to Clare College to study geology and zoology and graduated with a degree in natural science.
In addition to Jurassic Park, Richard starred in Brighton Rock in 1948, Dunkirk in 1958, The League of Gentlemen in 1960, The Great Escape in 1963, Doctor Dolittle in 1967 and Miracle on 34th Street in 1994.
He was also an accomplished producer and director, with the films Gandhi and Chaplin both on his portfolio.
Although she has largely made a name for herself on American television, Rebecca Mader was actually born in Cambridge in 1977.
She is perhaps best known for her roles as Charlotte Lewis on the ABC series Lost and as Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, for which she received critical acclaim.
Mader also had a minor role, as a sweat shop agent, in Iron Man 3.
Still very present on our screens today, the work of Luke Pasqualino has focused a lot on television series.
The Peterborough-born actor is perhaps best known for his portrayals of Freddie McClair in Skins, D’Artagnan in The Musketeers and Elvis Harte in Our Girl.
Her face has also appeared in episodes of Casualty, Miranda, Inside No. 9, and Death in Paradise.
Born and raised in Gamlingay, South Cambridgeshire, in 1990, Jeremy Irvine made a name for himself starring in many highly regarded films of the 2010s.
Irvine made his film debut in the epic war film War Horse, a role which saw him nominated for the Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer, before playing Philip “Pip” Pirrip in Great Expectations the following year. and more recently playing young Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! Here we go again.
His relationship with Cambridge did not end at birth; his mother, Bridget Smith, is a Liberal Democrat councilor (and latterly leader of) South Cambridgeshire Borough Council.
Another Jeremy, Northam this time, initially appeared in a number of television roles but eventually caught the eye as Mr. Knightley in the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.
Later film credits include An Ideal Husband, Gosford Park, Amistad, The Winslow Boy, Enigma and Martin and Lewis, among others, while he also took on the role of Anthony Eden in Netflix’s The Crown.
Northam was born in Cambridge as the youngest of four children. His father, John Northam, was a professor of literature and drama, in addition to being a lecturer, notably at Clare College in Cambridge.
Steven Mackintosh was born in Cambridge and attended Icknield Primary School, Sawston Village College and Dramawise Theater School, all located in the county.
His first film appearance came in Prick Up Your Ears before later roles as Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, in The Muppet Christmas Carol and as Winston in Guy Ritchie’s film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. earned greater fame.
If you don’t recognize Simon McBurney’s face, you might recognize his voice as he was the voice behind Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
He was born in Cambridge in 1957 and studied English Literature at Peterhouse, Cambridge, graduating in 1980. Fast forward to the 2005 New Year’s Honors and McBurney received an OBE ‘for services to the theatre’.
Besides appearing in other films such as Robin Hood, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, he also played the recurring role of Cecil the Choirmaster in The Vicar of Dibley and even wrote the story, and was an executive producer, for Mr. Bean’s Holiday.
McBurney is also the founder and artistic director of the British theater company Complicité, which performs around the world.
Born in Sawtry in 1990, Himesh Patel’s love for the arts was evident from an early age. at the suggestion of a teacher, his parents enrolled him in a local theater group, the Key Youth Theater in Peterborough and later he became a member of The Young Actors’ Company in Cambridge, where he also attended film lessons.
He also took piano lessons and bought an electric guitar, learning to play at the age of 13, while his parents ran a newsagent in Cambridgeshire, Patel running a newspaper until the age of 21 years old.
For a long time, Patel was best known for playing Tamwar Masood in EastEnders until he left in 2016 to make a name for himself with a wider audience.
These include the 2019 musical romantic comedy film Yesterday and the 2020 sci-fi action film Tenet, while he also appears in the 2021 Netflix film Don’t Look Up.
Our latest Cambridgeshire-born actor is Rosie Day, who was born in Cambridge in 1995.
After early child roles, such as in the BBC’s Hope and Glory (age 4) and the theatrical production of Les Misérables (playing the young Cosette, 11), she began to make a name for herself in television series, including Doctors and Holby City. .
Rosie became best known for her portrayals of Mary Hawkins in the Starz series Outlander and Sarah Jessica Parker’s daughter in the comedy film All Roads Lead to Rome, while last year she starred in the Call the Midwife Christmas Special .
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