The Four Weddings & A Funeral star is so beloved among film fans, he's mostly forgiven for his liaison with prostitute Divine Brown 13 years ago - a scandal that would have ruined many men.
Instead, Grant bounced back with a string of hit movies like Notting Hill, Two Weeks Notice and Bridget Jones's Diary, in which he played the perfect cad.
Away from Hollywood, he has dated two of the world's great English beauties in Elizabeth Hurley and Jemima Khan and he's a huge fan of golf, soccer and cricket.
To many, he's an example of all that is good - and bad - about the upper-crust British bloke, and we salute Hugh!
To mark his 50th, we dug through his archive for 10 things you might not have known about Hugh John Mungo Grant:
- he won a scholarship to England's prestigious Oxford University.
- the editors of British film bible Empire picked him 43rd in their 100 Sexiest Stars in movie history list in 1995.
- ex-girlfriend and business partner Elizabeth Hurley called their production company Simian Films, because she thought Grant looked like an ape.
- top star Vincent Cassell used to dub Grant's voice for the French release of his films - even though Grant is fluent in French.
- he is working on a script about his grandfather's real-life escape from a prisoner of war camp during World War Two.
- like Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, he's a big fan of London soccer club Fulham.
- he was originally cast as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber's mother taught the young Hugh how to play the piano.
- he pleaded no contest to lewd behaviour after police officers found him and hooker Divine Brown in a car on Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard and was fined $1,180 (£787).
- Hugh shares his birthday with Leo Tolstoy, Otis Redding, infamous rock groupie Pamela Des Barres, Adam Sandler, model Rachel Hunter and U.S. drug kingpin Frank Lucas, who was portrayed on film by Denzel Washington in American Gangster.
The Notting Hill star is a fan of fine wines but admits he hates fussy waiter service and just wants to get stuck into his meal as soon as possible.
He tells Britain's OK! magazine, "I do like tasting wine. I don't like fancy dinners, though. One of my pet hates is fancy service. They sit you down, put a napkin on your knee, and all that over-attentive stuff. But I don't care. I just like the food to be brought over very fast."
The Notting Hill star was on a seaside stroll with pals in Cornwall, south west England when they decided to scramble up the steep slope for fun.
But their laughter turned to fear when Grant got stuck halfway up the cliff as a rainstorm set in - and he was relieved when a passing rambler saved him.
Grant tells Britain's OK! magazine, "Well, I nearly died on a cliff in Cornwall. I was a bit drunk with two friends walking along the beach and we thought we'd climb the cliff, just for a laugh. I got halfway up and realised I couldn't go any further, but I couldn't go back down either.
"It was raining and the middle of winter. Eventually an old man came along. He leaned over with his stick and dragged me off. But it was very frightening and I wrote a poem about it. The only poem I've ever written!"
The Notting Hill star was invited to his alma mater for a formal dinner but he later let loose by venturing over to the college bar, where undergraduates were celebrating after finishing their exams.
Grant, who attended Oxford in the 1970s, handed his credit card to bar staff to buy drinks for the crowd - only to be informed they only accepted cash.
The actor instead purchased a stack of tickets to a nearby nightclub and gave them out to revellers. He was later spotted showing off his billiard skills on the pool table.
A student tells the university's Cherwell newspaper, "After dinner, he headed off with staff for a private drink but he got bored and left. That's when he came down to the bar. He was loving it."
The Notting Hill star is said to have become involved in a food fight with his former representative, PR guru Matthew Freud, during a glitzy bash in London earlier this month (Mar10).
Freud allegedly overheard the actor make a disparaging comment about him and was said to have thrown chocolate cake at the star.
But Hurley, who dated Grant in the 1990s, claims the two men are still pals - and reveals they're planning to meet again for a meal in the near future.
She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "Hugh and I have known Matthew for years and we're all friends. We're having dinner together soon."
Some comedies fail because of poor execution their humor somehow lost in the transition from script to screen. Others like the Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler rom-com The Bounty Hunter are doomed from the outset lacking even the potential to be funny even in the best of circumstances. If you substituted Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in the lead roles and screened the film in a theater pumped full of nitrous oxide you would still hear nary a laugh emitted from the audience.
Continuing his tragic post-300 freefall Butler plays Milo a scruffy irascible cop-turned-bounty hunter with a pile of debt and a mounting drinking problem. The source of his troubles we learn is his pugnacious ex-wife Nicole (Aniston) a hot-shot investigative journalist who walked out on him a little less than a year ago. On the trail of a potentially explosive news story career-obsessed Nicole unwisely opts to skip a bail hearing relating to her accidental injuring of a police horse some months prior. When the fed-up judge declares her a fugitive a still-resentful Milo is only too happy to bring her to justice. Nicole unsurprisingly refuses to go quietly.
Aniston and Butler are both charismatic enough to form a decent screwball rapport (though Butler increasingly speaks as if his mouth is stuffed with peanut butter) but neither possesses the comic chops necessary to extract lemonade from the rancid lemons of The Bounty Hunter’s lifeless script which might as well have been sketched on a bar napkin the night before the shoot for all its imagination. Not helping matters is veteran rom-com director Andy Tennant (Fool’s Gold Hitch) whose most significant contribution is a handful of wacky chase sequences borrowed straight from Benny Hill (They leave one side of the screen then return on the other! Whoa!) set to the nu-metal equivalent of Yakety Sax.
This appallingly unfunny rom-com is a crime against comedy. Lock it up and throw away the key.
The Notting Hill star admits he has long planned to put pen to paper to fulfil his literary dreams, but he's been holding off until he's more financially stable.
He tells German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, "I have always promised myself: 'When you have made some nice films and earned some money, you are going to finally write your novel.'"
Grant admits he started writing his first book several years ago, but he's not found the time to complete the story because he's always tempted away from his computer by new movie projects.
He adds, "I don't know if it is laziness or some kind of fear of failure. (I think) shouldn’t I rather make a film, earn money and work with beautiful women?"
The Notting Hill star reveals he was around six or seven years old when his granddad first handed him a gun and taught him how to fire the weapon.
But Grant and his siblings wouldn't just shoot at tin cans - his grandfather would create life-sized human cutouts for the kids to aim at, complete with fake blood.
He says, "My grandfather was a military man and he thought it was important to teach kids how to kill.
"He would spend all summer making cardboard cutouts of human beings that he would put up around the farm and he'd put us in kilts, because we had to dress like him and he always wore a kilt. He'd then take us into the farm and shoot these 'people'.
"He also made fake blood and put it in pill canisters and stuck it to their faces so if you hit them right in the middle of the face, blood exploded. Maybe that's not the classic way people bring up children now, but it's useful! I loved it!"
The Notting Hill star decided to pay an impromptu visit to see his brother in New York on a Concorde flight with his father after a boozy meal.
The trip resulted in Grant buying the Warhol piece for $3.2 million (£2 million) - which he sold for $20.8 million (£13 million) at an auction in 2007.
He says, "I'd been having a drunken dinner with my father the night before and I said, 'We ought to go see my brother Jamie. You know, the Concorde's amazing.'
"We had lunch, drank a lot of beer. And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby's auction and I saw the Liz Taylor."
The actor has been candid about his chronic anxiety, which began when he made 1999's Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and became most severe while he was shooting the 2007 romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore.
Grant admits he was terrified of the disorder, and turned to powerful anti-anxiety medication lorazepam to get through the project.
He says, "I did the whole film full of lorazepam... It was scary.
"They've (the panic attacks) been growing over the years. There would always be two or three during a film and on Music and Lyrics I had a lot. I don't really know why. They would come and go during the easiest scenes. I'll go in there, rehearse, think it's going to be good and then suddenly they turn the camera round for a close-up and I freeze like a rabbit. It's humiliating and it's so bad I can barely speak so they have to throw the scene away."
Grant then clung to one piece of advice from a therapist to help him survive filming on upcoming comedy Did You Hear About The Morgans? with Sarah Jessica Parker.
He explains, "The one thing that did me some good was a bloke who said that when you have a panic attack, it's your natural adrenalin which you need to do the scene, but just a fraction too much.
"So if you just breathe and take it down a little you can do it. Just knowing that helped, so I got through this movie just about all right. Just."