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Kate Beckinsale Recalls the Moment She Saw Her Dead Dad on TV

Showbiz CheatSheet logo: MainLogo Showbiz CheatSheet 11/28/2022 Produced by Digital Editors

For many actors, their craft runs in their blood. Showbiz abounds with stars with celebrity parents. That’s the case for Kate Beckinsale, but following her father into acting has been bittersweet. After losing her dad at a young age, Beckinsale reveals he has reappeared at pivotal times in her life. 

Kate Beckinsale began acting in the early 1990s

Kate Beckinsale | Toni Anne Barson/WireImage © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet Kate Beckinsale | Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

Born in London in 1973, Kate Beckinsale landed her first acting role when she was only a toddler. According to IMDb, she played an unnamed child in two episodes of the TV series Couples in 1975. However, she did not spend her childhood in the spotlight and didn’t return to professional acting until she was a young adult in 1991. Her early roles were mostly in TV movies. 

In 1993, Beckinsale got a big break in Much Ado About Nothing. From there, her career took off. She starred in the 1994 thriller Uncovered and played opposite Aidan Quinn in the 1995 horror Haunted

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But the early 2000s saw her successfully switch to the action genre. Appearing alongside Hugh Jackman in 2004’s Van Helsing and portraying the vampire warrior Selene in 2003’s Underworld solidified Beckinsale’s stardom. 

Kate Beckinsale’s dad was actor Richard Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale’s march into acting followed her father’s path. Richard Beckinsale was a British actor who played many parts in comedies throughout the 1970s. He was best known for recurring roles in sitcoms. Tragically, Richard Beckinsale died at just 31 from a heart attack. He went to bed instead of seeking help for chest pains and died during the night. Kate Beckinsale was only 5. 

Speaking with ES, she reflected on how her father’s death shaped her. Calling the experience “100% soul destroying,” Beckinsale nonetheless didn’t want to remember her dad in tragedy. “There were an awful lot of things to do with being my father’s daughter that weren’t just tragic.”

The loss at such a young age meant Beckinsale had to navigate fame without her dad’s presence. But she explained in a 2020 interview with Vulture that he has appeared to her at crucial moments.

“He was extremely beloved in England, and [for] every kind of major historical moment in my life, his show would be on the television. The morning I gave birth to my daughter, I turned on the TV and just happened to see my dad’s show,” Beckinsale explained. “There have been so many of those coincidences that it has felt like a special thing, like a wave from wherever he is.”

What is the ‘Underworld’ star doing now?

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Recent years have seen Beckinsale primarily on the small screen. Though she’s best known for her dramatic work, the actor has also tackled comedy. She starred in the Amazon Prime original series The Widow, which ran for one season in 2019. In 2021, she appeared in the Paramount+ original series Guilty Party, which skirts the line between crime drama and comedy.

And in 2022, she returned to the big screen in the father-daughter drama Prisoner’s Daughter.

Beckinsale’s upcoming projects include the comedy film El Tonto, which will see her star alongside heavy hitters Adrien Brody, Jason Sudeikis, and Katherine McNamara. Next up, the Serendipity actor will return to the action genre alongside Ben Miles and Rupert Friend. In Canary Black, Beckinsale will portray a woman blackmailed into betraying her country to save her husband. 

RELATED: Kate Beckinsale Says She Was Not ‘Neatly Pregnant,’ More Like ‘Jabba the Hutt’

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