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Lily James      

Actress, Best Known for "Downton Abbey," "Cinderella," and "Mamma Mia!"

Born in the London suburb of Esher as Lily Thomson, James took to performing at an early age, keen on following in the footsteps of her actress grandmother, Helen Horton. After her graduation from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, James quickly won notable parts on the British stage, including playing Desdemona opposite Clarke Peters’ Othello in a high-profile version of William Shakespeare’s tragic play. She also landed television roles, initially playing big sister to the young lead character on the English family comedy “Just William."

Moving to more adult-oriented fare, James portrayed Poppy, the nice-girl roommate of Billie Piper’s Belle on the final season of the decadent drama series “Secret Diary of a Call Girl." Soon thereafter, she won her first Hollywood role as a supporting character in the critically trashed blockbuster “Wrath of the Titans." The same year, she appeared in the lead part of highly competitive sprinter Lisa Temple in the British sports drama “Fast Girls," which proved to be a word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom.

With a starring film role under her belt, James had garnered enough attention to attract the interest of the producers of “Downton Abbey.” Cast as the troublemaking young Lady Rose MacClare, James succeeded in stirring things up on the esteemed hit drama during the show’s third season. After only a few appearances as the party-loving Rose, James made such an impression that Disney came knocking on her door. She played the lead in a major live-action reboot of the iconic, rags-to-riches “Cinderella” story, with Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother and Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair.

In 2018, she starred in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again as the younger version of Meryl Streep's character, Donna Sheridan. She also starred in Yesterday (2019), Rebecca (2020) and The Dig (2021).

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