15 Famous Hollywood Actors Who Actually Started Out In British TV Shows

Have you ever wondered how Hollywood gets their actors? Like, is there a pool of talented people somewhere? Well, there’s no simple answer to that question, but yes – there are indeed ‘pools’ of talented actors around the world.

It all comes down to two things, basically: talented theater actors, and talented – wait for it – British actors who absolutely shined in those good British TV shows. And thanks to AuntyAcid, today we are bringing you a list of 14 famous Hollywood actors who got good by doing British TV shows.

1. Andrew Lincoln

He may be a pro at shouting in The Walking Dead nowadays, but Andrew Lincoln began his acting career in the British comedy show Drop The Dead Donkey.

2. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Before she ruled Hollywood, the Welsh actress honed her acting skills in The Darling Buds Of May, a British TV show popular in the ’90s.

3. Andrew Garfield

The latest Spiderman first appeared in the show Sugar Rush, albeit for just 5 episodes.

4. Sean Bean

Before becoming world famous, Sean acted in The Bill, a decade-spanning police drama popular in Britain.

5. Damien Lewis


To be frank, I too first saw the talented Mr. Lewis in Homeland, but before that, he was starring in a famous British police drama called A Touch of Frost. 

6. Orlando Bloom

Pirates of the Carribean? Lord of the Rings? Yup, he’s a big shot now. But before that, the Canterbury-born actor was just making occasional guest appearances on a hospital drama called Casualty.

7. Keira Knightlеy

Keira also starred in The Bill – the same show that Sean Bean starred in.

8. Felicity Jones

She made it big after The Theory of Everything, but before that, she starred as Ethel Hallow in The Worst Witch, a British television program for kids.

9. Jerome Flynn

Before becoming everyone’s favorite sellsword due to Game of Thrones, Flynn debuted in the award-winning show Soldier, Soldier.

10. Lena Headey

“Cercei” used to star in British TV shows since the age of 17. She was best known for her role in How We Used To Live.

11. Michael Fassbender

“Big things have small beginnings” the German-born Irish actor mused in Prometheus, as the android David. The same can be said for his acting career – it all began with a small role in a British hospital drama called Holby City.

12. Benedict Cumberbatch

Well, he kinda got so famous that he even made British shows famous! But before becoming everyone’s favorite private detective, Benedict cut his acting teeth in a weekly drama called Heartbeat.

13. Kate Winslet

Before becoming the world’s sweetheart for her role in the Titanic, Kate Winslet was making guest appearances in Casualty – the same hospital drama which featured Orlando Bloom.

14. Steven Moyer

He became famous for the vampire Bill in True Blood, but his beginnings were modest – he starred in a fairly unpopular drama called NY-LON.

15. James McAvoy

Before his rise to the stars for his roles in Split, X-Men, and many others, McAvoy took part in a well-known British drama called Shameless. It is also where he met Anne-Marie Duff, his wife.

Source: Auntyacid