1. His mother, Catherine Josephine Nighy , was a psychiatric nurse who was born in Glasgow,
2. Nighy attended the John Fisher School, a Roman Catholic grammar school in Purley, where he was a member of the school theatre group.
3. He left the school with two O-levels and then took a job with The Croydon Advertiser as a messenger boy.
4. He claimed that the serial, an Ann Oakley novel adapted by Laura Lamson, was the job which launched his career. More recently he has featured in the thriller State of Play .
5. He played Samwise Gamgee in the 1981 BBC Radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings , and appeared in the 1980s BBC Radio versions of Yes Minister episodes.
6. He had a starring role in the 2002 return of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, portraying crooked politician Jeffrey Grainger.
7. He has also made a guest appearance in the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi.
8. Nighy received some recognition by American audiences for his acclaimed portrayal of overaged rock star Ray Simms in the 1998 film Still Crazy.
9. In 1999 he gained further prominence in the UK with the starring role in “The Photographer”, an episode of the award-winning BBC-TV mockumentary comedy series People Like Us, playing Will Rushmore, a middle aged man who has abandoned his career and family in the deluded belief that he can achieve success as a commercial photographer.
10. In 2003, Nighy played the role of the Vampire Elder Viktor in the American production Underworld.
11. He returned in the same role in the sequel Underworld: Evolution in 2006, and again in the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans in 2009.
12. In February 2004, he was awarded the BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Billy Mack in Love Actually and followed this up at the BAFTA Television Awards in April with the Best Actor award for State of Play.