Following in the footsteps of her actor parents, Emma Thompson also made acting as her career. During her younger years, she was a member of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club. The Paddington, London-bred then began acting professionally in several comedy programs before finally rising to prominence through her starring roles on BBC series, "Tutti Frutti" and "Fortunes of War", both of which won her BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress.
Thompson's first film role was that as Kate Lemmon in the 1989 "The Tall Guy". This was followed by parts in such films as "Dead Again" (1991), "Peter's Friends" (1992), and "Much Ado About Nothing" (1993). Her next film "Howards End", which featured her as lady Margaret Schlegel, won her a Best Actress Oscar. In 1993, she received double Oscar nominations; for Best Actress for her acting in "The Remains of the Day" and for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a campaigning lawyer Gareth Peirce in "In the Name of the Father".
Writing and starring in "Sense and Sensibility", a film adaptation of Jane Austen novel of the same name, Thompson was nominated for Best Actress Oscar and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. She next acted in such notable films, as "Judas Kiss", "Love Actually", "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", "Nanny McPhee", "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang", "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2", "Men in Black 3", "Effie Gray", as well as "Men, Women & Children".
Thompson, who was born on April 15, 1959, has been married twice. Her first husband was actor-director Kenneth Branagh whom she married from 1989 through 1995. She afterwards married actor Greg Wise in 2003 and gave birth to a daughter, Gaia, in 1999 through IVF. The couple, moreover, also has informally adopted a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier named Tindyebwa Agaba.