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Firth was born in Grayshott, Hampshire. He has been acting since 1983. He became well-known when he played Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. He played Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary and its sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. He received an Academy Award nomination for playing the lead role in A Single Man. He won an Academy Award, a BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor for his role as King George VI in The King's Speech.