December 10, 1960

On this day in 1960, actor Kenneth Branagh was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At the age of nine, he relocated to England with his family to escape the Troubles. He quickly picked up an English accent to avoid bullying in school. He attributes his love of words to his Irish heritage and has remarked “I don’t think you can take Belfast out of the boy.” Branagh is best known for his Shakespearean work, including such films as Henry V (1989) and Hamlet (1996). He won Academy Awards for both. He was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in his role as Laurence Olivier in last year’s My Week with Marilyn.

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