Emily Watson

Rejected on her first application to drama school, Emily Watson more than made up for that disappointment when she received an Oscar nomination for her first film appearance -- as the female lead in Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1996).

Born Jan. 19, 1967, in London, Watson eventually was accepted to the London Drama School, and in 1992 she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. After her auspicious film debut, Watson continued to land stellar roles in both British and American movies, including Metroland, The Mill on the Floss and The Boxer (opposite Daniel Day-Lewis).

In 1999, Watson received another Oscar nod -- this time for her portrayal of cellist Jacqueline du Pre in Hilary and Jackie (1998). Since then, Watson has appeared in such films as Robert Altman's Gosford Park (2001), Red Dragon (the third installment of Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter series) and Punch-Drunk Love.