Kristin Scott Thomas
Scott Thomas in 2017
Kristin Ann Scott Thomas

(1960-05-24) 24 May 1960 (age 64)
Redruth, Cornwall, England
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom • France
Alma materRoyal Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1984–present
(m. 1987; div. 2005)
RelativesSerena Scott Thomas (sister)

Dame Kristin Ann Scott Thomas[1] DBE (born 24 May 1960) is a British actress.[2] A five-time BAFTA Award and Olivier Award nominee, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) and the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2008 for the Royal Court revival of The Seagull. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in The English Patient (1996).

Scott Thomas made her film debut in Under the Cherry Moon (1986),[3] and won the Evening Standard Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer for A Handful of Dust (1988). Her work includes Bitter Moon (1992), Mission: Impossible (1996), The Horse Whisperer (1998), Gosford Park (2001), The Valet (2006), and Tell No One (2007). She won the European Film Award for Best Actress for Philippe Claudel's I've Loved You So Long (2008). Her other films include Leaving (2009), Love Crime (2010), Sarah's Key (2010), Nowhere Boy (2010), The Woman in the Fifth (2011), Only God Forgives (2013), Darkest Hour (2017), and Tomb Raider (2018).

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2003 Birthday Honours and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.[4][5] She was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by the French government in 2005.[6][7]

Early life

Scott Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall. Her mother, Deborah (née Hurlbatt), was brought up in Hong Kong and Africa, and studied drama before marrying Kristin's father,[8] Lieutenant Commander Simon Scott Thomas, a pilot in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, who died in a flying accident when Kristin was aged five.[9][10] She has three siblings, including Serena Scott Thomas. She is the niece of Admiral Sir Richard Thomas (a former Black Rod),[11] the granddaughter of William Scott Thomas (who commanded HMS Impulsive during World War II) and the great-great-niece of the polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott.[citation needed]

The childhood home of Scott Thomas was in Trent, near Sherborne, Dorset, England. Her mother remarried another Royal Navy pilot, Lieutenant Commander Simon Idiens (of Simon's Sircus aerobatic team flying Sea Vixens), who also died in a flying accident whilst flying a Phantom FG1 from RNAS Yeovilton off the North coast of Cornwall in January 1972. Scott Thomas was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College and St Antony's Leweston in Sherborne, Dorset, both independent schools.

On leaving school in 1978,[12] she moved to Hampstead, London, and worked in a department store. She began training to become a drama teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama, enrolling on a BEd in Speech and Drama.[13] During her time at the school, she requested to switch degree courses to acting but was refused.[14] After a year at Central, speaking French fluently, she decided to move to Paris to work as an au pair,[2] and studied acting at the École Nationale supérieure des arts et techniques du théâtre (ENSATT). When she was 25, she was cast as Mary Sharon in the film Under the Cherry Moon (1986).


Scott Thomas at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Kristin Scott Thomas's acting career garnered early attention when she was cast as Mary Sharon in Under the Cherry Moon, released in 1986, the first but widely panned film directed by and starring the already well-known musical artist, Prince. Her breakthrough role was playing Brenda Last in an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust (1988), winning her the Evening Standard British Film Award for the most promising newcomer. This was followed by roles opposite Hugh Grant in Bitter Moon and Four Weddings and a Funeral where she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1994, she starred in the Romanian–French film An Unforgettable Summer, in which she played Marie-Thérèse Von Debretsy. Rather than learn Romanian for the part, she read her lines phonetically.[15] She had all the lines translated into French, which she speaks fluently, so she knew what she was saying.[16] In an interview for Gloucester Citizen on 22 March 2015, she cited An Unforgettable Summer as one of the films that she is most proud of alongside The English Patient and Only God Forgives.[17]

1996 saw the release of the film with her most famous role as Katharine Clifton, The English Patient, which gained her Golden Globe and Oscar nominations as well as critical acclaim. This was followed by a brief period working in Hollywood on films such as The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford and Random Hearts with Harrison Ford. However, growing disillusioned with Hollywood, she took a year off to give birth to her third child.

She returned to the stage in 2003 when she played the title role in a French theatre production of Racine's Bérénice, and appeared on-screen as Lady Sylvia McCordle in Robert Altman's Gosford Park. This started a critically acclaimed second career on stage, in which she has received four nominations for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, including one win, for her performance of Arkadina in a London West End production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.[18] She reprised the role in New York in September 2008.[19] In summer 2014, Scott Thomas returned to London's West End to star as Emma in Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre. The revival was directed by Ian Rickson. Her husband was played by Ben Miles and the love triangle was completed by Douglas Henshall. In January 2013, she starred in another Pinter play, Old Times, again directed by Ian Rickson. In 2014, she appeared at The Old Vic in the title role of Sophocles's Electra.

Scott Thomas has also acted in French films. In 2006, she played the role of Hélène, in French, in Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One), by French director Guillaume Canet. In 2008, Scott Thomas received many accolades for her performance in Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long), including BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. In 2009 she played the role of a wife who leaves her husband for another man in Leaving.

In Sarah's Key (2010) – the story of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup – Scott Thomas starred as an American journalist in Paris who discovers that the flat her husband is renovating for them was once the home of an evicted Jewish family. Other roles include Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond, mother of Henry VIII's second wife Anne, in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), the role of a fashion magazine creator and editor in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), and as a love interest of George Duroy (played by Robert Pattinson) in the 2012 film Bel Ami, based on the 1885 Maupassant novel.[20]

She was also seen in The Woman in the Fifth (2011), a film adaption of Douglas Kennedy's novel of the same name, Lasse Hallström's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), Ralph Fiennes's The Invisible Woman (2013), Philippe Claudel's Before the Winter Chill (2013), and in Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, she voiced the narration of Kay Summersby, General Eisenhower's driver, in the documentary series D-Day Sacrifice. She appeared in Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady (2014) and Suite Française, the 2015 film adaptation of Irène Némirovsky's World War II novel directed by Saul Dibb.

In 2017 she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 71st British Academy Film Awards for portraying Clementine Churchill in Joe Wright's Darkest Hour. In May 2017, it was reported that Scott Thomas had signed on to star as BMW heiress Susanne Klatten in the thriller Paramour, directed by Alexandra-Therese Keining.[21][22]

In 2020, Scott Thomas played Mrs. Danvers in director Ben Wheatley's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Gothic romance Rebecca, with Armie Hammer and Lily James.[23] Also that year, she appeared in the BBC television remake of Alan Bennett's monologue series, Talking Heads, playing the role of Celia in the episode "Hand of God".[24]

In April 2022, Scott Thomas starred in the British spy thriller series, Slow Horses, based on the Slough House series of novels by Mick Herron. She appeared as Diana Taverner, Deputy Director General of MI5. Premiered on Apple TV+, there are a further two series with showrunner Will Smith stating that a fourth season should be released by the end of December 2024. In January 2024, it was renewed for a fifth series.

In June 2022, Thomas began filming her directorial debut, North Star, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Emily Beecham and Freida Pinto.[25][26]

Personal life

Scott Thomas is a Francophile. She is divorced from François Olivennes, a French gynaecologist, with whom she has three children. Scott Thomas had lived in France since she was 19, brought up her children in Paris,[2] and sometimes considers herself more French than British.[27] During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show on 2 December 2022, Scott Thomas said she now lives in London.


In 2009, Scott Thomas signed a petition in support of film director Roman Polanski, calling for his release after Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in relation to his 1977 sexual abuse case.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Charly Marie Short film
1986 Under the Cherry Moon Mary Sharon
1987 Agent trouble Julie
1988 Lounge Chair Marie
A Handful of Dust Brenda Last Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
1989 Force majeure Katia
Bille en tête Clara Also released as Headstrong
1990 Le bal du gouverneur Marie Forestier
The Bachelor Sabine
1991 Valentino! I Love You Short film
Aux yeux du monde L'institutrice French language film
1992 Bitter Moon Fiona Directed by Roman Polanski
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Fiona
An Unforgettable Summer Marie-Thérèse von Debretsy
1995 En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît Martine
The Confessional Alfred Hitchcock's assistant
Angels & Insects Matty Crompton Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Richard III Lady Anne of Lancaster
Les Milles Mary-Jane Cooper (The title refers to the Camp des Milles)
The Pompatus of Love Caroline
Plaisir d'offrir Short film
1996 Mission: Impossible Sarah Davies
Souvenir Ann
Microcosmos Narrator English version
The English Patient Katharine Clifton
1997 Amour et confusions Sarah
1998 The Horse Whisperer Annie MacLean
Sweet Revenge Imogen Staxton-Billing
1999 Random Hearts Kay Chandler
2000 Up at the Villa Mary Panton
2001 Play First Woman Short film
Life as a House Robin Monroe
Gosford Park Sylvia McCordle
2003 Small Cuts Béatrice French language film
2004 Arsène Lupin Joséphine, comtesse de Cagliostro
2005 Man to Man Elena van den Ende
Chromophobia Iona Aylesbury
Keeping Mum Gloria Goodfellow Nominated – London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actress of the Year
2006 The Valet Christine Levasseur French language film
Tell No One Hélène Perkins French language film
2007 The Walker Lynn Lockner
The Golden Compass Stelmaria (voice)
2008 I've Loved You So Long Juliette
The Other Boleyn Girl Lady Elizabeth Boleyn
Seuls Two L'antiquaire
Easy Virtue Mrs. Whittaker
Largo Winch Ann Fergusson
2009 Confessions of a Shopaholic Alette Naylor
2009 Leaving Suzanne Evening Standard British Film Awards 2011 Best Actress
Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Globe de Cristal Award for Best Actress
French language film
Nowhere Boy Mimi Smith
2010 Love Crime Christine
Sarah's Key Julia Jarmond Lumières Award for Best Actress
Globe de Cristal Award for Best Actress
Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
In Your Hands Anna Cooper French language film
2011 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Patricia Maxwell
The Woman in the Fifth Margit Kadar
2012 Bel Ami Virginie Walters
Looking for Hortense Iva Delusi French language film
In the House Jeanne Germain French language film
2013 Only God Forgives Crystal
Before the Winter Chill Lucie French language film
The Invisible Woman Frances Ternan
2014 My Old Lady Chloé Girard
Suite Française Madame Angellier
2017 The Party Janet
Darkest Hour Clementine Churchill
2018 Tomb Raider Ana Miller
Au bout des doigts Countess Elizabeth Buckingham
2019 Military Wives Kate
2020 Final Set Judith
Rebecca Mrs. Danvers
2022 Les Cyclades (Two Tickets to Greece) Bijou
2023 North Star Diana Also director and screenwriter[26]
As director
Year Title Notes
2023 North Star Also screenwriter[26]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Les enquêtes du commissaire Maigret Episode: "L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret"
1984 Mistral's Daughter Nancy Miniseries; 3 episodes
1987 Sentiments Nathalie Episode: "La tricheuse"
1987 Sentimental Journey Bettina Television film
1988 The Tenth Man Thérèse Mangeot Television film
1989 The Endless Game Caroline Miniseries; 2 episodes
1990 Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming Leda St Gabriel Television film
1990 Framed Kate Television film
1991 Titmuss Regained Jenny Sidonia Miniseries; 3 episodes
1992 Look at It This Way Victoria Rolfe Miniseries; 3 episodes
1992 Weep No More, My Lady Elisabeth Television film
1993 Body & Soul Sister Gabriel / Anna Miniseries; 6 episodes
1995 Belle Époque Alice Avellano Miniseries; 3 episodes
1996 Gulliver's Travels Immortal Gatekeeper Miniseries; episode 2
2003 Absolutely Fabulous Plum Berkeley Episode: "Book Clubbin'"
2019 One Red Nose Day and a Wedding Fiona Television short
2019 Fleabag Belinda Friers Series 2, episode 3
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2020 Talking Heads Celia Episode: "The Hand of God"
2022–present Slow Horses Diana Taverner Main cast


Olivier Awards

Year Category Play Result
2004 Best Actress Three Sisters Nominated
2008 The Seagull Won
2012 Betrayal Nominated
2013 Old Times Nominated
2015 Electra Nominated




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  16. ^ "Scott Thomas Recalls Romanian Film". Backstage. 8 January 2002. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
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  19. ^ What's on Stage. "Speeches: And the Laurence Olivier Winners Said". Retrieved 5 June 2011 Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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  22. ^ Lumholdt, Jan (5 February 2020). "Alexandra-Therese Keining • Director of The Average Color of the Universe". Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
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  38. ^ Limited, Alamy. "British actress Kristin Scott Thomas honored by French President Jacques Chirac with the medal of 'Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur', at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, on June 27, 2005. Photo by Bruno Klein/ABACA Stock Photo - Alamy". Retrieved 9 June 2022.