Lost in Translation: Five British Showbiz Icons Americans Adore

Picking up where my colleague Fraser McAlpine left off with his “Lost In Translation: Five Showbiz Underachievers The British Adore” list, it’s time to highlight five Brits who’ve gained huge respect and legions of fans here in the U.S. of A. Sure, some featured here have made an impression in their native Britain, but they’re totally well-loved (and then some) in the States.

Gavin Rossdale: The mega hot Englishman first got our attention nearly 20 years ago when his band Bush issued their multi-platinum debut, Sixteen Stone. You seriously could not turn on alternative rock radio without hearing “Glycerine” or “Swallowed” a gazillion times a day. From there, the grunge foursome’s three other albums, including the U.S. No. 1 Razorblade Suitcase, fared extremely well with American alt-rock fans. However, they were never really Britain’s cup of tea. But it’s ok, Rossdale married the gorgeous Gwen Stefani and together they have two gorgeous kids, Kingston and Zuma. And while he’s continued to rock on with other musical projects (Institute and his solo album Wanderlust), Rossdale has also tried his hand at acting. Some of his credits include Zoolander and The Game of Their Lives, and Criminal Minds. This fall, he’ll portray “a wealthy and powerful villain” named Armand on USA’s Burn Notice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVmOIWiSxSM

Kevin McKidd: Ah yes, we know this dashing Scottish actor best as Dr. Owen Hunt on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. For many Americans, he’s the real “McDreamy” thanks to his ruggedly handsome looks and flawlessly fake American accent. His character’s intense, yet emotional traits don’t work against him either (wink, wink). But aside from that, we’ve slowly gotten to know him in other acting roles such as Tommy in Trainspotting and Lucius Vorenus in HBO’s Rome. For more McKidd goodness, let’s swoon over his March appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson where he and CraigyFerg bond over being Scottish.

Sarah Ferguson: While she’s no longer a member of Britain’s royal family, Fergie is still royalty to us. Sure, our headlines have captured the Duchess York‘s many public gaffes, but we still adore her. We’ve watched her rub elbows with Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice, and she’s stepped in as a guest host on The View and CNN’s Larry King Live. Her various charitable efforts (American Cancer Society, Children in Crisis, Ronald McDonald House, etc.) should not go unnoticed either. But when the mother-of-two speaks candidly about her personal issues, which she’s doing in her new reality show, Finding Sarah, Americans tend to listen.

Hugh Laurie: Since debuting as the cantankerous Dr. Gregory House on Fox’s hit medical drama, House, Americans have become downright obsessed with the marvelously talented actor. The guy has earned numerous awards on this side of the pond (two Golden Globes, two Screen Actor Guild trophies, and five People Choice’s awards), plus five Emmy nominations. And come payday, Laurie picks up biggest TV check in Hollywood. He’s certainly come a long way since his days mugging about with his longtime friend and comedy cohort Stephen Fry. We’d like to point out that his seamless on-screen American accent even puts some of us Yanks to shame. The dude is just the epitome of cool. Below, on an old episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Laurie attempts defining some American slang words. Highly entertaining!

John Oliver: While this Liverpool-bred, Emmy-winning star paved his way through the UK comedy circuit for a few years, Oliver’s career really exploded once landing at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Thank goodness for his clever yet exasperated tirades, which surely ease the monotony of every-day political news here. It’s also a total bonus to see him bring a bit more Britishness to American TV when his character, psych professor Dr. Ian Duncan, pops up NBC’s Community. And let us not forget that Oliver is engaged to an American, Iraq war veteran Kate Norley.

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