Bill Nighy

Despite decades on the British dramatic stage and in small, offbeat comedies, Bill Nighy remained one of England's best kept secrets until scene-stealing supporting roles in a number of mainstream American hits led to his remarkable success after the age of 50. Following his series role on the widely acclaimed British serial "State of Play" (BBC One, 2003), Nighy had his international breakthrough with his casting as the villainous Viktor in the "Underworld" horror-action series and earned critical acclaim for the spark he injected into "Love Actually" (2003) with his role of an aging rock star. His lean, elegant stature immediately found a niche in witty blockbusters like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005), while his portrayal of the cephalopod Davy Jones in the second and third installments of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise (2006-07) introduced him to a wider audience. He delivered strong performances in historical dramas as well, namely "The Constant Gardner" (2005) and "Valkyrie" (2008), and displayed his lighter side in whimsical comedies like "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2012). Staying true to his roots as both a dramatic and comedic performer, Nighy managed to stay relevant to contemporary audiences on both sides of the Atlantic without sacrificing his stature as one of Britain's finest performers.