The Top 5 Stealth Brits on U.S. TV

Stephen Graham in 'Boardwalk Empire'

So, that dude who plays the page on 30 Rock – is he really from Georgia, or is he secretly from some council estate in Sheffield? You never know these days; stealthy British thespians have learned our ways, assumed our identities, and have successfully infiltrated our TV shows. Call it the Hugh Laurie effect. It’s all quite seedy, really. Which undercover Brits caused the biggest stir on the small screen this year? Check out our top 5: - Kevin Wicks

5. Stephen Moyer, True Blood

When it comes to hot vampires, this English thespian leads the pack (watch it, Rob Pattinson) as the sexy Bill Compton on HBO’s True Blood. The Golden Globe-nominated show has totally turned the 41-year-old into a bonafide star, whose previous TV credits include The Starter Wife and Lilies. In August, he and his co-star, Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin, tied the knot. Let us not forget about their much-talked about Rolling Stone cover with castmate Alexander Skarsgård. Yowsa! Keep an eye out for him on the silver screen, too. Moyer is set to appear in the crime drama, The Double, and horror flick, Priest, in 2011. - MacKenzie Wilson

4. Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy

Over 3.6 million viewers tuned into the recent season finale of Sons of Anarchy, the violent biker gang drama that airs on FX. And the show’s star, British actor Charlie Hunnam, has become hotter than ever, in every sense. He’s grown up considerably since his days as a teenage jailbait twink on the original UK Queer As Folk, which aired from 1999 to 2000. The Newcastle native is now bulked and tatted up, and he’s sporting some pretty gnarly facial hair. And while his American accent is shaky, he more than holds his own against his co-stars Ron Perlman and the revelatory former Ms. Peg Bundy herself, Katey Sagal. - KW

3. Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

Blue-eyed looker Andrew Lincoln wowed American television fans this fall as Rick Grimes on AMC’s The Walking Dead. The show is based on Robert Kirkman‘s celebrated comic book series and the 37-year-old Londoner is the tough police officer who’s faced with insurmountable hardships due to a zombie outbreak in the U.S. Yikes! But we first fell in love with Lincoln when he played Mark in the 2003 romantic comedy, Love Actually. He’s the nice guy who secretly falls for his best friend Peter’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) girl, Juliet (Keira Knightley) and he tells her so via poster board on Christmas. Remember? UK fans will recognize him from Teachers and the BBC’s This Life. - MW

2. Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

The Emmys got it right when they handed Archie Panjabi the statuette for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama series. The British actress brings a sly humor to her role as Kalinda Sharma on CBS’ The Good Wife and says more in one flash of her sexy, Bette Davis eyes than most ingenues can with a monologue. Fans of UK film and TV know her as Maya on the original Life On Mars and for her roles in East Is East, Bend It Like Beckham, and The Constant Gardener. - KW

1. Stephen Graham, Boardwalk Empire

The guy who plays Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire is British? That tiny revelation has left many a viewer gobsmacked. Yes, Stephen Graham dropped his Scouser accent to tawk like a born-and-bred Brooklynite for the HBO series. He is one of Britain’s most celebrated character actors of our time: Graham won raves for his role as Combo in 2006′s This Is England, and more recently, for his part as drug-addled Corporal Danny Peterson in BBC America’s drama Occupation. – KW

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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