Scottish actor Ewan McGregor has forged an incredible career on both big and small screens over the last three decades. In honor of his milestone 50th birthday on March 31, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at his life and career in photos. Keep reading to take a walk down memory lane… starting with this vintage 1996 shot of Ewan early in his career… He was born on March 31, 1971, in Perth, Scotland to teachers Carol and James McGregor. Older brother Colin went on to become a Tornado GR4 pilot for the Royal Air Force. Just six months before Ewan graduated from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he landed a starring role in the six-part 1993 Dennis Potter series "Lipstick on Your Collar." A year later, he made his feature film debut in Bill Forsyth's 1994 film "Being Human." Keep reading for more…
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Ewan McGregor starred in the 1994 British crime-comedy "Shallow Grave," which was directed by Danny Boyle — who'd become a frequent collaborator.
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Wedding bells! In 1995, Ewan McGregor married French production designer Eve Mavrakis, whom he met filming an episode of the British crime series "Kavanagh QC" in 1995. The couple — seen here at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards — went on to welcome four daughters.
Ewan McGregor landed his breakout role — Mark "Rent Boy" Renton — in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed 1996 film "Trainspotting." The flick, which earned an impressive $72 million at the box office and garnered a cult following, is No. 10 on the British Film Institute's list of the top 100 British films of the 20th century. Ewan is seen here with co-stars Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle.
Ewan McGregor played an American rock star opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers' British rock star in the 1998 musical drama "Velvet Goldmine." Ewan caused quite a stir with this performance, which saw him strip down to nothing in the film, which is set in the glam rock scene of the early '70s.
From 1998 to 1999, Ewan McGregor took his talents to the stage! He's seen here alongside fellow actors Joe Duttine and Nicholas Tennant in a revival production of David Halliwell's "Little Malcolm and His Struggles Against the Eunuchs" at London's Hampstead Theatre. The production was directed by Ewan's uncle, Denis Lawson.
In 1999, Ewan McGregor starred as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first installment of George Lucas's space-opera prequel, "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace," which earned an impressive $1.02 billion against a $115 million budget! Ewan reprised the role in 2002's "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones" and 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith." While the "Star Wars" prequels weren't well-received critically, the Scottish actor was commended for his performance.
In 2001, Ewan McGregor starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann's lush musical drama "Moulin Rouge!" The film — considered the third installment of the filmmaker's "Red Curtain Trilogy" after "Strictly Ballroom" and "Romeo + Juliet" — earned $179.2 million on a $52 million budget. For his performance in the critically acclaimed movie, Ewan received his first-ever Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy.
Family night! Ewan McGregor brought mother Carol, father James, grandmother Phyllis Lawson and wife Eve Mavrakis to the afterparty following the London premiere of his film "Moulin Rouge!" in September 2001.
That same year, 2001, Ewan McGregor was part of the ensemble cast of Ridley Scott's war film "Black Hawk Down."
Ewan McGregor put on military attire again in February 2002, but this time it wasn't to do any acting: He took to the skies over Scotland in a Royal Air Force Tornado jet with his brother, Flight Lieutenant Colin McGregor, at the controls, as they kicked off a charity drive.
A darling pair! Ewan McGregor is seen here alongside Renee Zellweger in the 2003 romantic comedy "Down with Love." The flick, which earned $39.5 million at the box office, made its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
2003 proved to be quite a successful year for Ewan McGregor — in addition starring in "Down with Love," he also starred alongside Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman and Billy Crudup in "Big Fish." The widely praised Tim Burton-directed drama based on Daniel Wallace's 1998 novel of the same name earned $123.2 million on a $70 million budget and went on to earn an impressive four Golden Globe Award nominations including a nod for best picture.
Ewan McGregor, a longtime motorcycle enthusiast, embarked on an international motorcycle trip with best bud Charley Boorman in 2004. The duo, seen here at a news conference in London prior to embarking on their 20,000-mile, three-month trek, visited many UNICEF programs while traveling. In fact, their journey inspired the creation of a British television series and accompanying book entitled "Long Way Around."
In 2005, Ewan McGregor starred alongside Scarlett Johansson in Michael Bay's sci-fi flick "The Island." Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film ended up earning $162.9 million at the box office. That same year, he also starred in Marc Forster's thriller "Stay" with Ryan Gosling and Naomi Watts.
In 2005, Ewan McGregor made his return to the stage when he starred in a production of "Guys and Dolls" at the Donmar Warehouse in London's West End alongside Douglas Hodge, Jane Krakowski and Jenna Russell. The cast is seen here at the musical's photocall that same year.
Ewan McGregor continued to land notable roles throughout the late aughts. In 2007, he starred alongside Colin Farrell in the Woody Allen thriller "Cassandra's Dream" (pictured). In 2009, he starred opposite Jim Carrey in the dark comedy "I Love You Phillip Morris" and appeared alongside Hilary Swank in the biopic "Amelia." That same year, he also appeared in the feature film adaptation of "Angels & Demons," which was led by Tom Hanks.
From 2007 to 2008, Ewan McGregor appeared alongside British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor in a production of "Othello" in London's West End. Ewan portrayed Iago opposite Chiwetel's title character while Kelly Reilly played Desdemona.
In 2011, Ewan McGregor starred alongside Emily Blunt (pictured) and Kristin Scott Thomas in the acclaimed romantic comedy "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." For his performance, Ewan earned his second Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy.
Congratulations, Ewan McGregor! In September 2012, the Scottish actor was awarded the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award — he was its youngest recipient — at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. He's pictured here on stage accepting the accolade.
More awards! Ewan McGregor is seen here holding his OBE for services to drama and charity after he received the award, which made him an officer of the Order of the British Empire, from Prince Charles during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London in June 2013.
2013 marked the year in which Ewan McGregor starred opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the feature film adaptation of "August: Osage County," which is based on Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The film, which earned $74.2 million on a $25 million budget, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Ewan McGregor attended the GO Campaign Gala in Beverly Hills in November 2015 with wife Eve Mavrakis and their second oldest daughter, Esther Rose.
Ewan McGregor and eldest daughter Clara — a model-actress — attended a screening of his film "Miles Ahead" in New York City in March 2016.
In 2016, Ewan McGregor made his directorial debut with the crime-drama "American Pastoral" in which he also starred alongside Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, Rupert Evans, Peter Riegert, Uzo Aduba, Molly Parker and David Strathairn. He's seen here at its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie is based on Philip Roth's 1997 novel of the same name.
Be our guest! In 2017, Ewan McGregor voiced Lumière in the live-action adaptation of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." The film, which was directed by Bill Condon, featured an ensemble cast that included Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. "Beauty and the Beast" was a major box office success — the film grossed a cool $1.26 billion!
That same year, 2017, Ewan McGregor began starring on the FX's anthology series "Fargo," for which he earned a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his dual portrayal of Emmit and Ray Stussy. While working on the series, which was inspired by the Coen brothers' 1996 film of the same name, Ewan met actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. His personal life soon imploded.
In October 2017, Ewan McGregor was photographed kissing "Fargo" co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead in London. Their PDA made headlines and sparked allegations of a cheating scandal as the actor was still married to former production designer Eve Mavrakis. People magazine then reported that the Scottish actor and his wife of 22 years had quietly split the previous May — the same month Mary Elizabeth announced on Instagram that she and husband Riley Stearns had broken up, and the same month she and Ewan posed for this photo at an event promoting "Fargo." According to a late-2017 report in The Sun, the actor confessed to Eve in May that he was in love with his co-star "but insisted nothing had happened," the newspaper wrote. Ewan's lengthy divorce and custody battle with Eve was finalized in the summer of 2020.
In 2017, Ewan McGregor starred in the dark comedy "T2 Trainspotting," the sequel to 1996's "Trainspotting." He's seen here alongside co-star Jonny Lee Miller.
Winner! Ewan McGregor is seen in the press room at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2018 after being named best actor in a limited series or TV movie for his performance in "Fargo." His acceptance speech made headlines as things got pretty awkward — he mentioned both his girlfriend, co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and his estranged wife, Eve Mavrakis, at the podium. "I want take a moment to just say thank you to Ev who always stood by me for 22 years, and my four children, Clara, Esther, Jamyan and Anouk — I love you." He then praised his co-stars — and the final colleague he mentioned was his new love, Mary.
In 2018, Ewan McGregor played the titular character in the Disney's fantasy flick "Christopher Robin," which was inspired by A. A. Milne and E.H. Shepard's "Winnie-the-Pooh" books. (He's seen here at the film's world premiere in Los Angeles.) The movie went on to become Disney's highest grossing "Winnie the Pooh" movie thanks to a cool $197.7 million box office haul. Impressive!
Ewan McGregor brought his third daughter, Jamyan — who's now a college student — as his date to the October 2019 premiere of his film "Doctor Sleep" in Los Angeles. In 2006, reports revealed that the actor and then-wife Eve Mavrakis adopted Jamyan from Mongolia as a young girl.
In December 2019, Ewan McGregor and best friend Charley Boorman wrapped a three-month motorcycle journey from Patagonia to California. The pair, whose expedition was the subject of the AppleTV+ series "Long Way Up," which debuted on the streamer in September 2020, are seen here at the 2019 GEOX Rome E-Prix.
2019 also marked the year in which Ewan McGregor starred opposite Margot Robbie in the DC Comics superhero flick "Birds of Prey" as crime lord Roman Sionis (also known as Black Mask). The film grossed $201.8 million globally.
As for what's coming up? In addition to voicing characters in the films "Pinocchio" and "The Land of Sometimes," Ewan McGregor will appear in the film "The Cow" and will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the miniseries of the same name. In 2021, he'll star as the titular fashion designer in the Ryan Murphy limited series "Halston." Ewan is pictured here filming the buzzy project in in New York City in November 2020 alongside Kelly Bishop.