Kathryn Bailey "Kate" Beckinsale (born 26 July 1973) is an English actress, known for her roles in the films Pearl Harbor (2001), Underworld (2003), Van Helsing (2004), and The Aviator (2004). Beckinsale has played a vampire in (Underworld (2003) and a vampire hunter (Van Helsing (2004).
Born in Finsbury Park, London, Beckinsale is the daughter of actor Richard Beckinsale, who died from a heart attack in 1979, and actress Judy Loe. She has a paternal half-sister, Samantha, who is also an actress. Beckinsale's paternal great-grandfather was Burmese, and Beckinsale has said that she was "very oriental-looking" as a child. Beckinsale attended the Godolphin and Latymer School, an all-girls independent school in London. In her teens, Beckinsale twice won the W. H. Smith Young Writers' competition — once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a rebellious adolescence, including a period of anorexia and starting a smoking habit, she followed in the footsteps of her parents and began her acting career. Her first role was in One Against the Wind, a television film about World War II that was first aired in 1991. Having gained three language A levels, Beckinsale studied French and Russian literature at New College, Oxford, though she did not finish her degree. She thought that having an academic background studying foreign language and literature would broaden her range of acting roles.
Spent her teens reading French, Russian and German novels because of her studies, and completed A-levels in Russian, German and French, which resulted in her admission to Oxford University. Beckinsale suffers from stomach ulcers, and was anorexic as a teenager.
Beckinsale and her ex-boyfriend Michael Sheen have a daughter, Lily Mo Sheen (born 31 January 1999). She reported in interviews that during her pregnancy with Lily was the only time she has ever stopped smoking. During the Underworld shoot, Beckinsale split from Sheen, who was also starring in the film. She became involved with the director of the film, Len Wiseman. In June 2003, Beckinsale became engaged to Wiseman, and the two were married on 9 May 2004 in Bel-Air, California. She is close friends with Victoria Beckham.