Great Britain has always had a rich tradition in the dramatic arts. This is hardly surprising given the great playwrights it has produced over the years, like Middle English author Geoffrey Chaucer and the original bard William Shakespeare being just two of the more obvious examples. The current older generation of British actors is nothing short of formidable, boasting among its hordes English actor Patrick Stewart — of X - Men and Star Trek fame — and actress Dame Maggie Smith, popular for her performance as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter franchise, along with her roles in Keeping Mum and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
As well as Britain's fantastic array of actors and actresses who work predominantly in film, the United Kingdom is home to a wide range of hugely talented older Thespians who dabble in stage acting; Dame Judi Dench, for example, has a wide variety of stage acting credits and film credits, which span from her portrayals of Maria in Twelfth Night on Broadway in the late 1950s and Sally Bowles in the West End production of Cabaret in 1968 all the way up to her performance in the James Bond film Skyfall several years ago.
Although this generation of actors and actresses hailing from the UK is a force to be reckoned with, the newer and younger up-and-coming set should by no means be ignored. Young British actors and actresses have in recent years landed main roles in some of the biggest film series in the world, including the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises. These professionals are the new faces of Britain, representing the nation's youth worldwide. There has been a definite shift away from the older, more theatrical class of British actors, with the new generation appearing as more 'ordinary', down to earth and approachable characters, while simultaneously (and rather paradoxically) garnering more 'celebrity' status worldwide than their predecessors. This list counts seven of the current richest young British actors and actresses, and their various achievements and accolades.
5 Emma Watson — $40 million
4 Kiera Chaplin — $42 million
Number four is Northern Irish star Kiera Chaplin, worth in the vicinity of twenty eight million pounds. Born in Belfast in 1982 as Kiera Sunshine Chaplin, the actress' distinctive surname comes from the marriage of her grandmother Oonagh O'Neill to the world-famous actor Charlie Chaplin. She is also the great-granddaughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill, author of "Beyond the Horizon" and winner of four Pulitzer prizes.
3 Keira Knightley — $48 million
2 Robert Pattinson — $64 million
1 Daniel Radcliffe — $86 million
Topping the list of Britain's richest young actors is quintessential star of, surprise surprise, the Harry Potter franchise: Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe was born in 1989 in England, and landed his first acting job in the title role of David Copperfield in 1999. Two years later, Radcliffe was cast as the world's most famous bespectacled wizard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and the rest is history. In 2007 Radcliffe took his first stage role in Equus, which boasted worldwide acclaim but caused consternation as Radcliffe had to be naked on stage, which clashed with his squeaky clean schoolboy image as developed in the earlier Harry Potter movies. However, he proved unphased by his critics and has successfully shaken off his family-friendly image, engaging in somewhat racy scenes in his recent starring role as Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings.
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