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.