Rex USA 1 / 50

Kate Beckinsale had a rough start in life. Her father, comedian and British sitcom star Richard Beckinsale, died in his sleep when the Oxford-educated beauty was only 5. The loss threw her into a deep depression that lasted well into her teen years when she also withered to just 70 pounds after developing anorexia. After four years of almost daily therapy, she'd healed enough to join the family business in the early '90s, focusing first on English projects like Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, Cold Comfort Farm and a TV adaptation of Emma before going abroad to work on projects like The Last Days of Disco, Brokedown Palace, Pearl Harbor, Click and Serendipity. But The Aviator's Ava Gardner imitator is perhaps at her personal best when she is kicking butt as she did in the four Underworld films, Van Helsing, Whiteout and 2012's Total Recall remake. Of course, when it comes to her only child Lily, a byproduct of her nine-year relationship with Michael Sheen, she's a big softie. A few months after breaking up with Sheen in early 2003, she started seeing their Underworld director Len Wiseman on her days off, stridently denying any earlier infidelity, and married him in 2004.