Firth finally became a household name through his role as the aloof and haughty aristocrat Mr.
Darcy in the 1995 BBC television adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Firth accepted the part as he saw it as an opportunity to lampoon his Mr. He had parts in light romantic period pieces such as Shakespeare in Love (1998), Relative Values (2000), and The Importance of Being Earnest (2002).
He appeared in several television productions, including Donovan Quick (an updated version of Don Quixote) (1999) which could be traced from Mr. Other films from this time included Then She Found Me (2007) with Helen Hunt and The Last Legion (2007) with Aishwarya Rai.
By the time he was 14, Firth had already decided to be a professional actor, having attended drama workshops from the age of 10.
Until further education, he was not academically inclined, later saying in an interview, "I didn't like school.
I just thought it was boring and mediocre and nothing they taught me seemed to be of any interest at all." However, at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College in Eastleigh, he was imbued with a love of English literature by an enthusiastic teacher, Penny Edwards, and has said that his two years at Barton Peveril were "among the two happiest years of my life".
After his sixth form years, Firth moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre.
At the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), On 16 January 2011, he won a Golden Globe for his performance in The King's Speech in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
He commissioned and co-authored a scientific paper on a study into the differences in brain structure between people of differing political orientations. His mother, Shirley Jean (née Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at King Alfred's College (now the University of Winchester), and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, was a history lecturer at King Alfred's and education officer for the Nigerian Government.
On returning to England, he attended the Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School (now Kings' School), which at the time was a state comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire.
There, he made many contacts in the acting world, from which he got a job in the wardrobe department at the National Theatre.
Playing Hamlet in the Drama Centre end of year production, Firth was spotted by playwright Julian Mitchell, who cast him as the gay, ambitious public schoolboy Guy Bennett in the 1983 West End production of Another Country.
He has campaigned for the rights of indigenous tribal people, and is a member of Survival International.