Editor's Picks: Hot British Actors We Love

Dapper, debonair, and downright handsome: These 20 hunks have our vote for sexiest guys on the British Isles. With looks this good, we might even go expat.

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Colin Firth

A Mr. Darcy for any century, Firth off-screen is the perfect gentleman: When Meryl Streep lost a shoe at an awards ceremony, guess who retrieved it and placed it on her foot? (Sigh.)



Photo courtesy Featureflash/ Shutterstock

Ewan McGregor

You can catch this becoming Scot March 9th in Salmon Fishing in Yemen, where he plays a "fisheries expert" asked to create the impossible.



Photo courtesy Helga Esteb/ Shutterstock

Tom Hardy

Not even the fake blonde hairpiece he donned in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy can make this tough Brit any less dreamy.



Photo courtesy Featureflash/ Shutterstock

Hugh Laurie

This spring Laurie will take his final bow as Gregory House, the difficult MD he portrayed for eight seasons on the hit medical drama. We're keeping our fingers crossed he has a change of heart.

Photographer: Chris Hatcher / PR Photos

Ricky Gervais

There’s nothing sexier than a guy who can make you laugh. Not a classic hunk? As his reluctantly romantic Ghost Town character would scream, “Irrelevant!”

Photographer: Bernadette Giacomazzo/PR Photos

Hugh Grant

Sure, he has a surly past, but Mr. Grant has rehabbed his image with an onslaught of rom-coms so sweet, we feel a cavity forming. 



Photo courtesy Vipflash/ Shutterstock

Kenneth Branagh

Did you know the My Week with Marilyn star was once married to Emma Thompson?

Photographer: Landmark / PR Photos

Sean Bean

The Sheffield born actor captured our hearts last spring as Eddark Stark, the do-good Lord of Winterfell on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Photographer: Graffiti Press / PR Photos

James McAvoy

American audiences swooned over the Glasgow-born actor in 2007's Atonement, but this Scot actually came to fame playing Steve McBride on the hit UK series Shameless years before. He even met his wife on set—and she's nine years his senior!

Photographer: Solarpix / PR Photos

Liam Neeson

Women have always been Taken with the Irish star—not only his late, lovely wife Natasha Richardson, but his previous love, Helen Mirren, 10 years his senior.

Photographer: Charles Norfleet / PR Photos

Daniel Craig

Whoa! Any wonder Rachel Weisz took one look at her costar and decided to move into this Dream House? No less an expert than Angelina Jolie called him one of Hollywood’s “best kissers.”



Photo courtesy Joe Seer/ Shutterstock

Matthew Goode

His boyish good looks took this actor from teen comedies (Chasing Liberty) to sharing the screen with some of Hollywood's biggest heavyweights (Match Point, A Single Man).

Photographer: Chris Hatcher / PR Photos

Gerard Butler

Talking about his looks, Butler once said, “In Scotland, I'm just like a lot of other guys.” We’ll book that one-way ticket now.

Photographer: Emiley Schweich / PR Photos

Henry Cavill

We’d take Cavill over fellow Tudors' actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers any day: Just as handsome, but half the drama.



Photo courtesy Featureflash/ Shutterstock

Jude Law

Fun facts: This handsome member of London’s Primrose Hill set once bunked with fellow actor Ewan McGregor and was named after the famous Beatles’ song “Hey Jude.”

Photographer: Solarpix / PR Photos

Brendan Coyle

Oh, Mr. Bates! As Downton Abbey’s tormented, lame valet, Coyle became TV’s unlikeliest sex symbol. But who wouldn’t want Irish-Scottish Coyle, 48, unbuttoning a dinner dress or serving breakfast in bed?

Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE.

Jack Davenport

Overshadowed by Johnny Depp in a trio of Pirates flicks, Davenport now takes center stage in TV’s Smash as charismatic director Derek Wills. Whether you win the role or not, it’s worth getting onto this Brit’s casting couch.

Photographer: Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos

Hugh Dancy

What we love most about this Brit is his steadfast support of wife Claire Daines on-- and off-- the red carpet.

Photographer: Andrew Evans / PR Photos

Jeremy Irons

At 63, the beautiful boy of Brideshead Revisited hasn’t lost his flair for seduction—just check out Showtime’s The Borgias. And that voice! We could even fall for The Lion King’s villainous Scar.

Photographer: Andrew Evans / PR Photos

Clive Owen

Call it the Barry White effect: We find Owen sexy not just because of his looks, but for his deep, baritone voice.



Check out 12 more men we love here.


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Photographer: Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

First Published February 10, 2012

Share Your Thoughts!


lindy petts03.21.2012

Could we clarify where Ben Cum rates in this? Lists will fall.

Valerie Myers02.28.2012

No you did not leave recent Golden Globe award winner Idris Elba off the list of hot British actors! More, you guys are good, but that glaring ommission is ALMOST unforgiveable. Look him up if you don't already know about Idris!

I can't believe you left out Alan Rickman. Gorgeous on stage and on the big screen. Even the hideous Professor Snape styling couldn't make him completely unattractive.

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