Keira Christina Knightley, OBE (/ˈkɪərə ˈnaɪtli/; born 26 March 1985) is an English actress. Her starring roles in independent films and period dramas have earned her nominations for two British Academy Film Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards. She has also worked in many Hollywood productions and was one of the highest paid actresses in the world in the late 2000s.
Knightley began acting as a child on television and made her feature film debut in 1995, before making her breakthrough with the 2002 sports film Bend It Like Beckham, for which she won the London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Newcomer. She gained wider recognition for playing Elizabeth Swann in the 2003 fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean. Knightley reprised the role in the subsequent films of the franchise; the second installment of the series made more than US$1 billion at the box-office, making it highest grossing film of her career.
Knightley received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for starring as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005) and later became known for starring in several other period dramas. She earned critical success for her roles as Georgiana Cavendish in The Duchess (2008) and the titular characters in Anna Karenina (2012) and Colette (2018). Knightley received her second Academy Award nomination for portraying Joan Clarke in the historical drama The Imitation Game (2014), as she continued to experiment with comedic and dramatic roles in the musical film Begin Again (2013), the adventure thriller Everest (2015), and the docudrama Official Secrets (2019).
On stage, Knightley has appeared on the West End in Martin Crimp's 2009 production of The Misanthrope, which earned her a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award. She also starred as the eponymous heroine in the 2015 Broadway production of Thérèse Raquin. Knightley is known for her outspoken stance on social issues, and has worked extensively with Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Comic Relief. She was appointed an OBE in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity.