Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley

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Birth Name: Keira Christina Knightley

Date of Birth: March 22, 1983

Place of Birth: Teddington, London, England, UK

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 7"

Best Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean series

Keira Knightley Biography

The young and beautiful actress, Keira Knightley possesses the grace and charisma of an actress twice her age. Her first major role came in the form of Natasha Jordan in the romantic feature A Village Affair (1994). The feature drama, which starred Sophia Ward and Nathanial Parker as a seemingly perfect couple who's life is turned up-side down once a young socialite heiress played by Kerry Fox, enters their world. Knightley continued to length her credits by appearing in the drama Innocent Lies (1996) and the television features Treasure Seekers (1996) and Coming Home (1998). The following year, Knightley obtained the role of a lifetime when she was cast alongside Natalie Portman in the 1999 George Lucas sci-fi series Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace.

Her breakthrough role, however, came when she was still in her teens in the form of writer-director Gurinder Chadha's unlikely sleeper hit Bend It Like Beckham (2002) as part of a pair of soccer-obsessed teen gal pals who dream of careers kicking like soccer superstar David Beckham. Knightley quickly capitalized on the attention she garnered as the second banana in the warm, quirky film and was snatched up by Disney for the big screen blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), loosely based on the beloved theme park attraction, in which she played Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of a governor who teams with rogue pirate and unlikely ally (Johhny Depp) and a dashing love interest (Orlando Bloom) to cross blades with evil marauders led by the villainous Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush)—she would later reprise the role for a pair of sequels shot back-to-back in 2005. The actress was also used to terrific effect in writer-director Richard Curtis' Love Actually (2003) as a bride who realizes her groom's best man is madly in love with her.

Next, Knightley's athletic frame and acting intensity were put to good use in the action-minded King Arthur (2004), a "demystified" and supposedly historically correct interpretation of the myth of the English King in which she played Queen Guinevere as a blue war paint-sporting warrior chieftess. She followed up with a turn in the mysterious thriller The Jacket (2005) playing the woman who may hold the key to the salvation of an amnesiac man (Adrien Brody) who envisions their meeting in the future. The actress, who seemed to be even more confident with each role, took center stage as the central figure character in director Tony Scott's hyperkinetic Domino (2005), playing Domino Harvey, the real-life daughter of actor Lawrence Harvey who defied her Beverly Hills upbringing and early career as a model to become a resourceful, tough-as-nails bounty hunter. Knightley delivered a dynamic performance, but it was frequently undercut by Scott's overly stylized direction. Her final 2005 film was a refreshingly lively adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, which cast Knightley as the tale's bright and strong-willed heroine Elizabeth Bennett, a role that allowed much of the actress' coltish personal charm and winsome pluck to shine through. She was honored with several award nominations for Best Actress, including a Golden Globe and Academy Award.

Knightley started 2006 on a high note when she co-starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), a harrowing, energetic and worthy addition to the swashbuckling franchise. She revived her love-torn character, Elizabeth Swann, to join Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and the swaggering, but effete Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in a quest to find a long-lost treasure containing the heart of Davey Jones, undead captain of the fabled Flying Dutchman. Dead Man’s Chest went on to break several box office records, including biggest single-day gross and biggest opening weekend ever, paving the way for the third installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which was shot simultaneously with the second, and was released in May 2007.

In late 2007, Knightley starred opposite James McAvoy in the period drama titled Atomement. Knightley's performance in Atonement stirred talk that she may earn another Oscar nomination. In the late spring of 2007, Knightley shot The Edge of Love with Cillian Murphy as her husband, Matthew Rhys as her childhood sweetheart, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and Sienna Miller as Thomas' wife Caitlin MacNamara. This 2008 release was penned by her mother, Sharman Macdonald, and directed by John Maybury. She then began work on The Duchess in which she will play Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. She will then play Coco Chanel in a film about Chanel's life.

Knightley currently lives in London, and is dating her Pride and Prejudice co-star, Rupert Friend. She has previously dated Irish fashion model Jamie Dornan and actor Del Synnott.
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