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Keira Knightley

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Knightley at the 2011 Venice International Film Festival
Keira Christina Knightley

26 March 1985 (1985-03-26) (age 37)
Teddington, London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1993–present
James Righton (m. 2013)
Children 1
  • Will Knightley
  • Sharman Macdonald

Keira Christina Knightley born 26 March 1985 is an English actress. She has worked in both the British and American film industries, and has starred in Broadway and West End theatre productions.

She has received an Empire Award and multiple nominations for British Academy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity.

Early life

Keira Knightley at the premiere of Atonement, Toronto Film Festival 2007

Keira Christina Knightley was born in Teddington, London, to theatre actors Sharman Macdonald and Will Knightley. Her mother is of Scottish and Welsh descent, while her father is English. Knightley has an elder brother. Her mother also worked as a playwright after her career as an actress came to an end. She introduced her children to theatre and ballet at an early age. This furthered Knightley's interest in acting.

Knightley attended Teddington School. At the age of six, she was diagnosed with dyslexia but by the time she was eleven, with her parents' support and much tuition she got over it sufficiently. She is still a slow reader and cannot read out loud.

Knightley was single-minded about acting during her childhood. At the age of three Knightley expressed the desire for an agent like her parents', she eventually got one at age six. This led to her taking a number of small parts in TV dramas throughout her childhood. While growing up, Knightley performed in a number of local amateur productions written by her mother and her drama teacher. She focused on art, history, and English literature while studying at the Esher College, but left after a year to pursue an acting career.

Keira Knightley TIFF, 2011
Keira Knightley at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011

Personal life

Knightley has been in a relationship with musician James Righton, of Klaxons, since February 2011. They were married on 4 May 2013, in Mazan, Vaucluse. The couple have a daughter born in 2015. Knightley advocates equal paternity leave and has spoken about the expense of childcare in England.

In October 2018, Keira Knightley revealed she had a mental breakdown at 22 and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as she struggled to adjust to her sudden rise to fame. Knightley described how at one point she did not leave the house for three months. In 2008 Knightley had to have hypnotherapy to prevent panic attacks in order to be able to attend that year's BAFTAS.


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Innocent Lies Young Celia
1996 The Treasure Seekers The Princess
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Sabé (Decoy Queen) credited as Kiera Knightley
2001 Deflation Jogger Short film
Hole, TheThe Hole Frances "Frankie" Almond Smith
Princess of Thieves Gwyn
2002 Thunderpants Music school student Uncredited
Pure Louise
Bend It Like Beckham Juliette "Jules" Paxton
New Year's Eve Leah Short film
Seasons Alter, TheThe Seasons Alter Helena Short film
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Elizabeth Swann
Love Actually Juliet
Gaijin Kate (voice only) Short film
2004 King Arthur Guinevere
2005 Jacket, TheThe Jacket Jackie
Domino Domino Harvey
Pride & Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Elizabeth Swann
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Atonement Cecilia Tallis
Silk Hélène Joncour
2008 Edge of Love, TheThe Edge of Love Vera Phillips
Duchess, TheThe Duchess Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
2009 The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers Fairy, TheThe Fairy Short film
2010 Never Let Me Go Ruth C.
Maze Constance Video installation
Last Night Joanna Reed
Steve Woman Short film
London Boulevard Charlotte
2011 Dangerous Method, AA Dangerous Method Sabina Spielrein
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Penelope Lockhart
Anna Karenina Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
2013 Once Upon a Time... Gabrielle Chanel Short film
Begin Again Gretta
2014 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Cathy Muller
Laggies Megan
Imitation Game, TheThe Imitation Game Joan Clarke
2015 Everest Jan Hall
2016 Collateral Beauty Amy
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Elizabeth Swann-Turner
2018 Colette Colette
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Sugar Plum Fairy
2019 Official Secrets Katharine Gun
Berlin, I Love You Post-production
The Aftermath Rachael Morgan Post-production
TBA Misbehaviour Sally Alexander Post-production

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