Jeremy Irons

Born Sept. 19, 1948, in Cowes, England, Jeremy Irons took up acting when he failed to get into veterinary school. The veterinary field's loss was the theater's gain, and after studying at the Bristol Old Vic, he began appearing on the London stage.

Irons made his film bow in 1980's Nijinsky and received widespread praise for his work in the 1981 miniseries "Brideshead Revisited," which led to dramatic leads in a string of movies (including The French Lieutenant's Woman).

Two high points of the actor's career came with his portrayal of identical-twin gynecologists in Dead Ringers and murder suspect Claus von B├╝low in Reversal of Fortune (which earned Irons an Oscar). His later credits include the 1997 remake of Lolita. He won a 2006 Emmy for his role as the Earl of Leicester in the miniseries Elizabeth I and scored a Golden Globe nod for his turn in the TV movie Georgia O'Keeffe (2009).