January 3, 1996
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An exceptional performance as a Machiavellian young woman in "Lady Macbeth" (2016) elevated British actress Florence Pugh to the forefront of her craft with roles in "King Lear" (BBC, 2018), "The Little Drummer Girl" (BBC One, 2018- ) and "Little Women" (2019). Born January 3, 1996 in Oxfordshire, England, she was one of four children, three of whom who pursued acting: her older brother, Toby Sebastian, appeared on "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011-19), and her sisters, Arabella and Rafaella, were stage actresses. After living for a period and attending school in Andalusia, Spain, Pugh returned to England, where she began appearing in school productions. She made her screen acting debut at the age of 18, playing a girls' school student who becomes caught up in mass hysteria in "The Falling" (2014). Critical praise for her performance led to her first starring role in "Lady Macbeth" (2016), a chilling independent drama about a young woman who resorts to murder to contend with her loveless marriage to an older man. Pugh earned a BAFTA nomination and the British Independent Film Award for Best Actres for her tightly controlled turn, which in turn led to work in Hollywood films like the Liam Neeson thriller "The Commuter" (2018) and major British film and television productions, including "King Lear" with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, and "Outlaw King" (Netflix, 2018) with Chris Pine. Her busy year soon grew to encompass a starring role as a faux paranormal investigator in the Netflix chiller "Malevolent" (2018) and work on "Midsommar" (2019), director Ari Aster's follow-up to his "Hereditary" (2018). Pugh capped her remarkable 2018 with a starring role as an actress drawn into real-life spy games in "The Little Drummer Girl," and with her casting as Amy March in Greta Gertwig's adaptation of "Little Women" (2019).