British actor Colin Firth achieved international renown in 1995 with his arguably definitive screen portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice. " He began his career in West End dramas and on the big screen in period, often literary adaptations, before a number of successful romantic comedies including "Bridget Jones' Diary" (2001) and broader historic dramas like "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" (2003) turned him into "the thinking woman's heartthrob." While the moniker stuck throughout his career, Firth continued to showcase untapped facets of his talent in independent films, family-friendly hits, and gutsy cable movies. With noted turns in "Love, Actually" (2003), "Nanny McPhee" (2006) and "Mamma Mia!" (2008), Firth displayed both serious acting chops and an easygoing screen presence that continually pleased audiences. But the actor took his career to a new level with "A Single Man" (2009) and "The King's Speech" (2010). The roles were tour-de-force performances that earned Firth several award nominations and wins and elevated his career to new heights.