Scotland have produced countless numbers of actors that have gone on to become internationally recognized for their appearances on the stage. The country’s association with drama goes way back and when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth it became known as the Scottish play with it being located in Scotland. One of the most famous faces of the black and white movies period was Alistair Sim. Even though he didn’t start his career until he was 30 he appeared in more than 50 British films from 1935. He started his career on the stage where he learnt his craft.
However, he achieved prominence in the films “Green for Danger” in 1946 and “Hue and Cry” in 1947. He is most probably best remembered for his performance in “Scrooge” in 1951. His facial expressions in that role in particular said more than a thousand words, and his performance is celebrated each Christmas as Scrooge is annually screened. Another famous actor of the black and white days was Gordon Jackson who started his career in films and also on the West End stage. One of his most famous roles was in the “Great Escape” in 1963. However, he made his break-through in British television in 1969 with his performances in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.
His face became internationally recognized with his portrayal of the Butler, Hudson, in “Upstairs Downstairs” between 1971 and 1975. His career was further extended in 1977 when he played George Cowley, the head of the MI5, in the ITV series The Professionals and he appeared in all 57 episodes. One of the biggest stars to appear in the 1960s was Sean Connery. From 1962 he played the first James Bond in seven films, and his Scottish accent was heard around the world as the movies achieved global success.
Since his last Bond role in 1983 his career as flourished with him winning an Oscar for best supporting actor in the 1987 film “The Untouchables”. He has also appeared in, and directed, countless other films picking up 3 golden globes along the way. One actor who shot to prominence in the 1990s was Ewan McGregor whose performance as the drug addict Renton, in the 1996 film Trainspotting achieved international acclaim. From this point he landed leading roles in many films, such as “Moulin’s Rouge” and “Angels and Demons”.
His has mixed his roles appearing in musicals in the West End, plus also appearing in low budget local Scottish films such as “Young Adam” in 2003. His career has progressed so rapidly that in 2004 he was voted as the 4th most influential person in British Culture. One of most Hollywood’s most famous faces in recent years has been Gerard Butler. His break though role came in 2007 when he starred as the Spartan King Leonidas in the film “300” and this was closely followed by his co-starring role with Hilary Swank in “PS I Love You”.
Since then he has continued to land a variety of leading roles including Erik the phantom in “The Phantom of The Opera” and he played a retired footballer in the 2012 film “Playing for Keeps”. His most recent performances have come in “Olympus Has Fallen” where he reportedly broke 2 bones in his neck during the filming of the production. One of Scotland’s most recent stars of National Television has been Robbie Coltrane. For many years Coltrane was well known for his performances in comedy series such as the “Young Ones” and “Blackadder”.
However he has been able to adapt into playing serious roles such as the police psychologist Fitz in the television series “Cracker”. From here he has now crossed over to films appearing both Bond and Harry Potter movies. In the Potter films he is famed for his performances as Hagrid. Scotland has produced many great actors over the years and its reputation has resulted in more and more people being attracted into the business.