Kenneth Branagh

Born Dec. 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Kenneth Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at age 23 but soon formed a rival troupe, the Renaissance Theatre Company.

Branagh debuted on the screen in A Month in the Country (1987), but it was his direction and acting in 1989's Henry V that brought Oscar nods in both categories. He teamed with then-wife Emma Thompson for Henry V and subsequently for Dead Again and Much Ado About Nothing.

In 1994, Branagh helmed and starred in Frankenstein and later continued making wide-appeal Shakespeare movies by filming the entire text of "Hamlet," earning a third Oscar nomination (for Adapted Screenplay). He won an Emmy for his turn in the 2001 TV movie Conspiracy and played the buffoon in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). Branagh also nabbed Emmy and Golden Globe nods for his roles in Warm Springs (2005) and "Wallander" (2008).