Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England on 10 September 1960. His father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester.
His first acting experience came at school when he played "Jack Frost" in a Christmas pantomime. Three of his four grandparents were Methodist missionaries and he spent his early childhood in Nigeria, returning to England at age five where he entered a comprehensive school in Winchester.
He spent two years at the Drama Centre in Chalk Farm where he was "discovered" while playing "Hamlet" during his final term. His first professional role was as "Bennet" in the West End production of "Another Country". From this performance, he went on to play a variety of character parts in both film and television. He received a BAFTA nomination for Mr. Darcy in the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice (1995). In 2011, he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his commanding leading role, playing British King George VI in The King’s Speech (2010).