Kate Beckinsale was born on July 26, 1973, to two seasoned British television actors, and spent most of her life in London. Her half-sister, Samantha, is also an actress; they only met briefly when Kate was very young and didn't cross paths again until 1995.
Beckinsale attended the private 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.
Kate Beckinsale made her acting debut in a television WWII drama called One Against the Wind (1991), and was soon cast in a short corporate film about industrial accidents.
kate beckinsale at oxford
In 1991, Kate Beckinsale left for Oxford University's New College, where she majored in French and Russian literature. She already knew that she was going to be an actress, but in order to broaden her horizons, she decided to attend a regular university rather than drama school.
In 1993, she starred as Hero in the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Thanks to her role, she had the chance to travel to Tuscany, Italy, where the film was being shot. She eventually dropped out of her studies after winning the role in three other European productions.