Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life.
After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing (1993) while still a student at Oxford University. She then appeared in British costume dramas such as Prince of Jutland (1994), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Emma (1996), and The Golden Bowl (2000), in addition to various stage and radio productions. She began to seek film work in the United States in the late 1990s and, after appearing in small-scale dramas The Last Days of Disco (1998) and Brokedown Palace (1999), she had a break-out year in 2001 with starring roles in the war film Pearl Harbor and the romantic comedy Serendipity. She built on this success with appearances in the biopic The Aviator (2004) and the comedy Click (2006).
Beckinsale appeared in the Underworld film series and has since starred in many action films, including Van Helsing(2004), Whiteout (2009), as well as Contraband, and Total Recall (all in 2012). She also makes occasional appearances in smaller dramatic projects such as Snow Angels (2007), Winged Creatures (2008), Nothing but the Truth (for which she earned a Critic’s Choice Award nomination in 2008), and Everybody’s Fine (2009).