Movie masters: Who makes it into Yorkshire’s top 20 film and TV superstars?

Sean Bean. Picture: PA
Sean Bean. Picture: PA
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Yorkshire has produced an impressive list of movie stars over the years. Movie database IMDB has ranked the 20 biggest stars who have come from the county. The list is based on the public’s interest in the stars, according to IMDB users’ activity. Here we look at who is on the list and what helped them to make it.

1 Sean Bean (Born Handsworth, 17 April 1959)

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench

Known for his varied performances on the big screen as a villain, a lover and a fighter. Recognised widely on the small screen for his appearances as Sharpe.

Famous for: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

2 Judi Dench (Heworth, 9 December 1934)

A ten-time BAFTA winner who has performed with the National Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and Old Vic. Became a Dame in 1988.

Dominic West. Picture: PA

Dominic West. Picture: PA

Famous for: Skyfall.

3 Dominic West (Sheffield, 15 October 1969)

An actor and director whose CV includes 300, The Wire and Chicago. Once spent time as a cattle herder in Argentina before his career took off.

Famous for: 300.

Georgie Henley, star of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Georgie Henley, star of The Chronicles of Narnia.

4 Georgie Henley (Ilkley, 9 July 1995)

Played Lucy Pevensie in her movie debut on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe then took on the same role in sequels.

Famous for: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

5 Ben Kingsley (Snainton, 31 December 1943)

Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley

Earned international fame for his performance in Gandhi, which led to an Oscar for Best Actor. His success continued as Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List.

Famous for: Schindler’s List.

6 James Frain (Leeds, 14 March 1968)

A versatile actor, who is respected for his intelligent performances. Starred on the small screen when he played Franklin Mott in True Blood.

Famous for: TRON: Legacy.

7 Toby Kebbell (Pontefract, 9 July 1982)

His potential shone in the role of Anthony in Dead Man’s Shoes. Went on to earn critical acclaim for his role in Control, the biopic of Ian Curtis.

Famous for: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

8 Sam Riley (Menston, 8 January 1980)

Has admitted that he misses bitter and Yorkshire puddings when away from home. Known for his roles in Control, Maleficent and On The Road.

Famous for: Control.

9 Patrick Stewart (Mirfield, 13 July 1940)

Awarded a knighthood in the 2010 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his services to drama. Played the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek.

Famous for: X-Men 2.

10 Matthew Lewis (Horsforth, 27 June 1989)

Played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. Having been a supporter of Leeds’ sports teams, he became vice-president of the Leeds Rugby Foundation charity.

Famous for: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

11 Malcolm McDowell (Horsforth, 13 June 1943)

Starred in the controversial A Clockwork Orange, which led to him becoming typecast as a psychopathic villain. Quoted as saying “being a northerner saved my life”.

Famous for: A Clockwork Orange.

12 Diana Rigg (Doncaster, 20 July 1938)

Classically-trained actress who became a Bond Girl and a Dame. Known for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Avengers and The Painted Veil.

Famous for: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

13 Joanne Froggatt (Littlebeck, 23 August 1980)

Starred in the movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth. Appeared in many popular television roles including in The Bill, Coronation Street and Downton Abbey.

Famous for: Filth.

14 Katherine Kelly (Barnsley, 19 November 1979)

Played Lee Middleton in the Kenny Everett biopic, while also performing in She Stoops to Conquer. Appeared as Becky McDonald in Coronation Street.

Famous for: Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story.

15 Sophie McShera (Holme Wood, 1 January 1985)

One of the wicked step-sisters in Cinderella. Played a very different role as part of the original Downton Abbey cast, featuring as Daisy since series one.

Famous for: Cinderella.

16 Ed Sheeran (Hebden Bridge, 17 February 1991)

Better-known for his stardom as a singer and songwriter, but has made the leap into acting this year. Performed a musical role for The Hobbit.

Famous for: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

17 Richard Griffiths (Thornaby-on-Tees, 31 July 1947)

As a Shakespearean clown, in several productions, Griffiths built an early reputation. Cast as Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter.

Famous for: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

18 Jodie Whittaker (Skelmanthorpe, 3 January 1982)

Rose to prominence with roles on Attack the Block, One Day and the St Trinian’s films. Her first major role was in Venus and she was more recently in Broadchurch.

Famous for: Attack the Block.

19 Tom Wilkinson (Leeds, 5 February 1948)

Starring in The Full Monty raised his profile and his credentials grew when appearing in Shakespeare in Love and The Patriot. Played Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins.

Famous for: Batman Begins.

20 Charles Laughton (Scarborough, 1 July 1899)

Became the first actor to play Agatha Christie’s detective Poirot. Appeared in Spartacus in 1960 and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during that year.

Famous for: Spartacus.


IMDB (Internet Movie Database) is an online database. Its star rankings represent who people are interested in, based on the behaviour of IMDB users. The total number of page views for a star is taken into account. If one user repeatedly clicks on one profile then those extra page views are not considered.

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