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Keira Knightley's Biography

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Keira Knightley was born in March 1985 in Middlesex on the outskirts of London.

Keira's father is actor Will Knightley and her mother is the Scottish playwright Sharman MacDonald, who wrote the award-winning When I Was a Girl I Use to Scream and Shout.

Keira Knightley's acting started early in life: when she was seven, she appeared in Royal Celebration starring Minnie Driver.

When she was 14, Keira Knightley acted in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as Sabe (Natalie Portman's double) and then one role led to another for Keira who has had a huge number of credits for her age.

The acting chain goes something like this: her performance in Nick Hamm's horror film The Hole led to Gurinder Chadha casting her in the low budget but very successful Bend It Like Beckham, and this led to many roles including a high profile TV production of Dr Zhivago.

Keira got 6 'A's in her GCSEs in the middle of filming Bend It Like Beckham.

Keira Knightley starred alongside Johnny Depp in the very successful Pirates of the Caribbean and also in 2003 acted in Richard Curtis's Love Actually with Hugh Grant.

Since then Keira Knightley has appeared in King Arthur and Pride and Prejudice; she also plays the title role Domino.

The BBC's faces of the week, which has a picture of Keira when she was in Royal Celebration, states that:

"Keira Knightley's two favourite actresses are Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh. 'Not,' she says, 'because of their ability, but because of their perseverance.'"

In 2004 two of the top climbers in popular baby names in the UK were both Keira (up 100 places to 53) and Kiera (up 30 to 94). The National Statistics Office believes it is significantly down to Keira Knightley.

In November 2005, Keira Knightley won the Variety UK personality of the year award at the British Independent Film Awards. She was 39th in BBC3's list of British cultural movers and shakers.

Keira Knightley was nominated for a best actress Golden Globe for her role as Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - a role for which Heat readers voted Keira Knightley into second place (just behind Johnny Depp) in the best film performance category in 2005. Keira Knightley's boyfriend was Jamie Dornan but she then went out with Pride & Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend.

In April 2006, it was announced that Keira would take over from Kate Moss as the face of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle fragrance.

Keira Knightley came first in the list of FHM 100 sexiest women 2006, however, in the FHM 2007 list she dropped to 12th.

In January 2007 the Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley pairing in the Pirates of the Caribbean films was voted favourite on-screen match-up at the 33rd annual People's Choice Awards.

In May 2007, the BBC, in a news item Knightley wants to quit acting, reported that Keira Knightley had told Elle magazine that the pressures of being a celebrity may force her to quit acting for good and that she was particularly worried about being featured on pro-anorexia websites.

Before the launch of Atonement at the Venice Film Festival, in which she plays Cecilia, Keira Knightley explained the pitfalls of celebrity:

"Once you become famous you get completely dehumanised. I think people forget there is a person in there trying to deal with it ... Partly the way you deal with it is by not reading, not looking and seeing any of it and burying your head in the sand. It is the only path to sanity."

Keira Knightley gained a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her role in Atonement.

Like Pride and Prejudice, Atonement was directed by Joe Wright.

In September 2008, The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley was released. In the film, she plays Georgiana Spencer, who married the fifth Duke of Devonshire.

In October 2009, it was reported that Keira Knightley would make her West End debut in Moliere's The Misanthrope in December.

In 2011, Keira Knightley starred alongside Elisabeth Moss in The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, at London's Comedy Theatre.

Also in 2011, she was cast as a patient of Carl Jung in the film Dangerous Method.

In 2012, she was cast in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

In 2018, Keira Knightley revealed she had a breakdown and PTSD.

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