Best of Scotland

by Basilesque | created - 02 Nov 2012 | updated - 10 Jul 2014 | Public

A small country that punches well above its weight in the industry.

1. Iain Glen

Actor | Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Iain Glen is a Scottish actor, who was born on June 24, 1961 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, an independent school for boys (now co-educational), followed by the University of Aberdeen. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he was the winner of...

2. Karen Gillan

Actress | Selfie

Karen Sheila Gillan was born and raised in Inverness, Scotland, the daughter of Marie (Paterson) and John Gillan, who is a singer and recording artist. She developed a love for acting very early on, attending several youth theatre groups and taking part in a wide range of productions at her school,...

3. Robert Carlyle

Actor | The Full Monty

Robert Carlyle was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth, a bus company employee, and Joseph Carlyle, a painter and decorator. He was raised by his father after his mother left him when he was four. At the age of 21, after reading Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," he enrolled in acting ...

4. Kevin McKidd

Actor | Dog Soldiers

Kevin McKidd was born and raised in Elgin, Scotland, the son of Kathleen, a secretary, and Neil McKidd, a plumber. He was a member of the Moray Youth Theatre, before going on to study Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. While at the university, Kevin became involved with Bedlam Theatre, the...

5. David Tennant

Actor | Doctor Who

One of Scotland's greatest ever actors, David Tennant has won almost universal acclaim from audiences, critics and fellow professionals for his outstanding and award-winning performances on stage and screen. He was born David John McDonald in West Lothian, Scotland, to Essdale Helen (McLeod) and ...

6. James McAvoy

Actor | Atonement

McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary), after his parents divorced when James was 7. He ...

7. Kelly Macdonald

Actress | No Country for Old Men

Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was born and raised in Glasgow. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, a sales executive in the garment industry. She has one brother, David. As a hobby, she acted in an amateur theatrical club, which she enjoyed a great deal. ...

8. Ewan McGregor

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...

9. Gerard Butler

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Gerard James Butler was born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. His family is of Irish origin. Gerard spent some of his very early childhood in Montreal, Quebec, but was mostly raised, along with his older brother and sister, in his hometown of Paisley. His parents ...

10. John Barrowman

Actor | Torchwood

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, and raised in Joliet, Illinois. He returned to the UK, for a 6 month Shakespeare semester with the United States International University of San Diego, but left to star in the musical production of "Anything Goes," with Elaine Page. He went on to star in "Miss Saigon," "...

11. Hans Matheson

Actor | Sherlock Holmes

Hans Matheson was born in a caravan on August 7, 1975 at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Shortly after, his family moved to Canterbury, Kent in England but Hans often spent his summer holidays on Stornoway with his grandparents. As a child, his parents Iain (Ado...

12. Craig Ferguson

Writer | I'll Be There

By August of 1994, Craig Ferguson was established as one of Great Britain's leading comedians - he had just had huge success at the Edinburgh Festival. In January 1995 he moved to Los Angeles where he now works as an actor-writer-director-producer-creator.

13. Alan Cumming

Actor | The Anniversary Party

Alan Cumming was born on January 27, 1965, in Aberfeldy, Scotland, to Mary (Darling), an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming. His family lived nearby in Dunkeld, where his father was a forester for Atholl Estate. The family (including his brother, Tom) moved to Fassfern near Fort William,...

14. Morven Christie

Actress | The Replacement

Morven Christie is a Scottish actress. She was born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland in 1981, and grew up in Glasgow and Aviemore. She trained as an actor at Drama Centre London under Reuven Adiv, a colleague of Lee Strasberg, graduating in 2003. Christie lives in the UK and works across film, ...

15. Tom Conti

Actor | Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

Preferring contemporary over classical theatre (with nary a Shakespeare stage credit in sight), one of West End theatre's most enduring and popular faces of the past four decades has been that of Tom Conti. He was born Thomas Antonio Conti on November 22, 1941, in Paisley, Scotland to a pair of ...

16. Shirley Henderson

Actress | 24 Hour Party People

The eldest of three sisters, Shirley Henderson was born into a working-class family in the village of Kincardine in Fife, Scotland. As a teenager she sang locally and performed in school drama clubs. Her first break came when she watched a singer on the Opportunity Knocks (1956) TV talent program ...

17. Billy Connolly

Actor | Brave

Billy Connolly was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He left school to work in the shipyards becoming a welder and joined the Territorial Army (in the parachute regiment) at around the same time. He developed an interest in folk music, eventually becoming an accomplished banjo player and a ...

18. Sean Biggerstaff

Actor | Cashback

Sean Biggerstaff was born to a firefighter and a community education worker. He joined a local drama group and he acted as "Augustus Gloop" in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". After that, for six years, he joined the Scottish Youth Theatre. It was there he got his big break when Alan Rickman ...

19. Billy Boyd

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Billy Boyd was born in 1968 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Mary and William Boyd. The talented young boy, inspired by Star Wars to try acting, got his first taste of it in his school's production of Oliver Twist when he was 10. Boyd's parents were extremely supportive, driving over two hours to get him ...

20. Annette Crosbie

Actress | The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella

Crosbie was born in Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland, to Presbyterian parents who disapproved of her becoming an actress. Nevertheless, she joined the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School while still in her teens. Her big break came in 1970 when she was cast as Catherine of Aragon in the BBC television ...

21. Tony Curran

Actor | Underworld: Evolution

Tony Curran was born on December 13, 1969 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is known for his work on Underworld: Evolution (2006), Red Road (2006) and Flight of the Phoenix (2004).

22. Lindsay Duncan

Actress | Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Lindsay Duncan was born on November 7, 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland as Lindsay Vere Duncan. She is known for her work on Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), About Time (2013) and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003). She is married to Hilton McRae. They have one child.

23. Michelle Duncan

Actress | Atonement

Michelle Duncan was born on April 14, 1978 in Perth, Scotland. She is an actress, known for Atonement (2007), The Broken (2008) and Driving Lessons (2006).

24. Gregor Fisher

Actor | Love Actually

Gregor Fisher, born Gregor McKenzie, was raised in Neilston by adoptive parents Cis and John Leckie. His first regular television appearance was in 1979 when he appeared alongside Rikki Fulton in the BBC sketch show 'Scotch & Wry'. As he became more recognized, he was in demand for more television ...

25. Laura Fraser

Actress | A Knight's Tale

Laura Fraser was born on 24th July 1976 and brought up in Glasgow. Her father, Alister, used to run a small building company but is now an aspiring scriptwriter; her mother, Rose, used to be a nurse but is now a college lecturer. She has an older brother who works with computers, a younger sister ...

26. Georgia King

Actress | Wild Child

Georgia King was born on November 18, 1986 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is an actress and director, known for Wild Child (2008), The Duchess (2008) and One Day (2011).

27. Phyllida Law

Actress | Much Ado About Nothing

Phyllida Law was born on May 8, 1932 in Glasgow, Scotland as Phyllida Ann Law. She is known for her work on Much Ado About Nothing (1993), The Time Machine (2002) and The Winter Guest (1997). She was previously married to Eric Thompson.

28. Denis Lawson

Actor | Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

Denis Lawson was born on September 27, 1947 in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland as Denis Stamper Lawson. He is an actor and director, known for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

29. Bill Paterson

Actor | How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Bill Paterson was born on June 3, 1945 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is an actor and writer, known for How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), The Witches (1990) and Miss Potter (2006). He is married to Hildegard Bechtler. They have two children.

30. Clive Russell

Actor | The Wolfman

Clive Russell was raised in Fife, Scotland, UK from 3 months old. He originally trained as a teacher, but when his drama lecturer resigned and took over a theatre in the provincial town of Bolton, Lancaster, Russell joined him. Russell has been working solely in film and television since 1991.

31. Dougray Scott

Actor | EverAfter

Born in Scotland, trained at the Welsh College of Music and Drama where he was named most promising drama student. Scott's early work was in Scottish national theatre and television, first appearing in the series Soldier Soldier as well as on the stage in the Tim Fleming directed production of ...

32. Sylvester McCoy

Actor | The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Sylvester McCoy was born in Dunoon, Scotland. He spent much of his childhood in Dublin, Ireland. Before becoming an actor, as Percy Smith he trained as a priest, sold insurance and acted as a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones. He started his acting career as a part of the Ken Campbell Roadshow, at ...

33. David Rintoul

Actor | The Ghost Writer

David Rintoul was born on November 29, 1948 in Aberdeen, Grampian, Scotland as David Wilson. He is an actor, known for The Ghost Writer (2010), Game of Thrones (2011) and My Week with Marilyn (2011).

34. Sean Connery

Actor | The Rock

Sean Connery is best known for portraying the character James Bond, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables (1987). His film career also includes such films as Marnie (1964), The Name of ...

35. Robbie Coltrane

Actor | Cracker

Robbie Coltrane, one of Britain's most popular comedians who was head of debating society at school and won prizes for his art, is now a film star who played in two James Bond films and in the "Harry Potter" franchise.

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a ...

36. Rose Leslie

Actress | The Last Witch Hunter

Rose Leslie is a Scottish actress. Her leading on screen debut was at age 21 in the television film New Town (2009). She is famous for playing Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones (2011). Leslie also appeared in the films Now Is Good (2012) and The Last Witch Hunter (2015).

Leslie was ...

37. Emun Elliott

Actor | Prometheus

Emun Elliott was born on November 28, 1983 in Edinburgh, Scotland as Emun Mohammedi. He is an actor, known for Prometheus (2012), Black Death (2010) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

38. Peter Capaldi

Actor | Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Nancy (Soutar) and Gerald John Capaldi. His parents owned an ice cream business. He is of Italian (from his paternal grandfather), Scottish, and Irish descent. Capaldi attended drama classes and was accepted into the Glasgow School of Art. After ...