Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Kate Beckinsale
Birthdate: July 26, 1973
Famous Years: 1993-Present
Currently Known For: Actress
|Networth: $16 Million||Famous For: Underworld series, Van Helsing, Total Recall|
July 26, 1973
Underworld series, Van Helsing, Total Recall
"I think I like playing the bad girl. I like complicated." Known mostly for her role in action films such as “Underworld” and “Van Helsing”, British actress Kate Beckinsale has a much more impressive resume in academics than you might realize. Growing up in London, Beckinsale’s parents were actors themselves (Richard Beckinsale and Judy Loe), but her father unexpectedly passed away when she was five years old.
Beckinsale became a little less outgoing as a result, and focused more on her schooling, attending an all girls school in London where she started both acting and writing. Though her teenage years weren’t always easy, Beckinsale would end up attending the prestigious Oxford University, attending the New College at the school.
Getting a lot of notoriety for her work in the drama department, Beckinsale was getting a lot of offers to get into acting. She would end up spending three years with Oxford University, including spending a year abroad in France. There was a tough decision to be made, and Beckinsale chose to pursue her acting career instead of finishing up at college. In a 1997 interview, Beckinsale said that “It was getting to the point where I wasn’t enjoying either thing enough because both were very high pressure. I was burning out and I knew I had to make a decision.”
Beckinsale also revealed that she wasn’t in school much, and was instead working on her studies from home. “The headmistress (at her school) was very tolerant, but there were a few teachers who were very pissed off that I got into Oxford - I don’t suppose they could take any credit for it.”
Beckinsale was still a student at Oxford when she started to land acting roles. In 1993, she starred in the film “Much Ado About Nothing”, receiving global recognition. Other movies where she starred while still a student included “Prince of Jutland” and “Uncovered”. The first role she took after leaving school was in 1995’s “Cold Comfort Farm”.
Beckinsale has shown great brilliance in her acting, as well as off the set. Not many actors and actresses are multilingual, but Beckinsale can speak a total of four languages. Born in with English, Beckinsale was also able to learn Russian and French while she was in school, which made her year abroad in Paris that much easier to enjoy.
It’s been reported that Beckinsale has an incredibly high IQ, estimated to be at 152. This would put Beckinsale into the “genius” category and one of the top percent of smartest people in the entire world. Her learning abilities and academic success were cited as the main reasons why the estimates were so high, and it would be hard to argue with someone that was accepted into Oxford University. Her reading level was years above where she was while growing up, and Beckinsale even added a little bit of German speaking ability to her resume.
Just a couple of years after leaving Oxford and getting some acting gigs in England, Beckinsale decided to head to the United States in an attempt to be a Hollywood star. She first appeared in minor roles before getting her big breakout role in 2001’s “Pearl Harbor”. The film wasn’t well received critically, but the epic blockbuster did have a lot of viewers. Since then, Beckinsale has gone on to star in films such as “Underworld”, “Total Recall” and “Click” among many others, cementing herself as one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood.
Beckinsale has been a versatile actress and has said that “I feel like I’m really lucky. I feel like I’ve done a bunch of (time period) stuff and then a bunch of romantic comedies. It was a big thing for me, suddenly, having been with that English royalty and, if you can imagine being out there, playing (similar roles)...I felt kind of like, I’m glad I’ve never been so successful that I couldn’t stop doing one thing. I’ve kind of been able to just kick it along and switch around.”
When looking back at her time at Oxford, she says that she couldn’t see her future in Hollywood coming as a young woman “If you’d asked me when I was at Oxford, ‘Do you think you’ll ever be running up and down holding a machine gun as a bad guy in a big American movie?’ I would have said, ‘God, no!’”
Now a mother to a daughter that is attending college herself, Beckinsale has said that she’s going to keep a keen eye on daughter Lily while she’s away at New York University. Maybe one day we’ll see Lily end up leaving school to pursue a successful acting career like her mother, but Kate Beckinsale says that she’d be happy with her daughter living a normal life in college. As for Kate, she’s going to be keeping busy for quite some time, starring in two upcoming movies that includes a sixth “Underworld” film.