About Bill Nighy

Who is Bill Nighy? Here is short biography page with facts about this British actor.

The many faces of Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy in many of his Nighy poses

Get to know Bill Nighy : Some must read interviews

Hacking it with style (The Guardian)
Bill Nighy (Times Online)
Trying not to cringle (The Guardian Film)
Reasons to be cheerful (Sunday Herald)
That Bloke again (New York Daily news

Who is he?

You have probably seen him in Love Actually, where he stole all the attention with his performance as Billy Mack, the rocker singing a crappy Christmas Song, without a doubt the most fun parts of this film. If you are more into vampires you might have seen him in Underworld, as the powerful Viktor. Or maybe you thought Slartibartfast was a cool character in the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, well that was Bill Nighy too.
Or if you have been watching tv lately, you hopefully saw him in The Girl In The Cafe, as Lawrence, a performance to remember him for. But he has done so much more than that.

The facts

Some serious, and some, well not so serious.

  • Bill Nighy (or officially William Francis Nighy) was born the 12th of December, 1949, in Caterham, Surrey, England.
  • As a young boy Bill wanted to become a writer, Ernest Hemingway being his example. But a girl got him into Drama School, and he accidentally became an actor. Had she told him to become an astronaut, he would probably have done that. Luckily she didn’t.
  • Bill has a thing for Paris. He ran away to Paris when he was a boy, to write the great English novel.
  • Talking about that novel, Bill did attempt to write it but got never further than writing the title, and drawing a margin. The title is supposed to be The Golden Calf, according to an interview in the Guardian.
  • He is together with but not married to the actress Diana Quick. They have one daughter, Mary.
  • Bill Nighy has starred in many radio and television dramas, notably the BBC serial, The Men’s Room (1991), and more recently the thriller State of Play (2003) and costume drama He Knew He Was Right (2004). He played Sam in the 1981 BBC Radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings, and also appeared in the 1980s BBC radio versions of Yes, Minister episodes.
  • He has also done some audio books, and recently has been narrating a Meerkat soap on Animal Planet.
  • His films include Eye of the Needle, Curse of the Pink Panther, The Phantom of the Opera: The Motion Picture, Mack the Knife, The Little Drummer Girl, Being Human, True Blue, Indian Summer, Fairy Tale: A True Story, Still Crazy, Guest House Paradiso, Blow Dry, Lawless Heart, AKA, Lucky Break, I Capture the Castle, Underworld, Love Actually, Shaun of the Dead and The Girl in the Cafe.

    Check the filmography section for list of all his film and TV work, and his other work (far from complete) is under (well) Other Work.

  • In February 2004 he was awarded the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Love Actually, and followed this up at the BAFTA Television Awards in April with the Best Actor award for State of Play. In 2007 he won a Golden Globe for his role as Gideon Warner in Gideon’s Daughter.
  • In November 2006 Bill Nighy returned to stage and made his debut on Broadway. He is currently performing in David Hare’s The Vertical Hour together with Andrew Scott and Julianne Moore. The play can be seen in The Music Box theatre in New York until the end of March 2007. Do not miss it if you are a fan.
  • In January 2007 Bill Nighy got his Golden Globe for his performance in Gideon’s Daughter.
  • Bill’s hands : Bill Nighy suffers from Dupuytren’s Contracture, a
    hereditary condition that has left the two last fingers on both hands
    permanently bent back against the palms.
    Margareth Thatcher has it too, and Frank Sinatra made it cool, is what Bill said about it.
  • Bill has two dogs, Smokey a rescue dog and Nelly, a posh terrier
  • Bill has a cat too, Ziggy, who has only one eye.
  • Bill likes the Rolling Stones (and that’s the understatement of the year)
  • And Bob Dylan.
  • Bill loves Doctor Martin shoes
  • He has an iPod, and christens his trailer with Rolling Stones music whenever he starts filming on a new project.
  • He loves to read poems by Harold Pinter.
  • He generally loves to read books. Favourite writers : Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Madox Ford
  • Bill has once performed together with Radiohead
  • He loves acting because he can wear a lounge suit all the time
  • Talking about suits: Top button sometimes. Middle buttons always. Bottom one never. Cuff links : seldom
  • Bill made it to number 26 on the UK charts with his version of Christmas is all around (from the film Love Actually)
  • His favourite love story is The Worlds End by Ford Madox Ford.
  • Favourite films ? Performance (with Mick Jagger), Punch Drunk Love, Roxanne (Steve Martin), The man with the 2 brains.
  • Favourite actors ? Christopher Walken, Steve Martin
  • Bill is addicted to his mobile phone.
  • And to Yorkshire tea. Rowntree Fruitgums, all kind of English chocolate like Aero and Maltesers. And Marmite.
  • Bill loves rain and trains. Rain against the windows while travelling by train is even better.
  • A place Bill would like to see before he dies is Japan : “It’s such a foreign place. I’m fascinated by the style, the food and the countryside.”
  • Bill flies with the Eagles, also known as Chrystal Palace Football club, and is known to be a huge football/soccer fan. Champions League games being his favourite to watch, if England isn’t playing.