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Judi Dench before she was a Dame: the actress as Titania in a staging of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in 1962. (AP)

Many of our favorite British actors only rose to international prominence well into middle-age. (Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench could almost order from the senior citizen menu when they scored their first Oscar nods.) Well, we’ve collected videos of these talented titans when they were young and hungry.

An early 20s Helen Mirren prancing in her knickers in 1967’s Herostratus

Julie Andrews singing at age 13 in 1948

A teenaged Daniel Day-Lewis in Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971 (he’s the third kid scratching the car)

Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson on a tennis court in 1982

A mid-20s Sir Ian McKellen at in 1964’s The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling

Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins in 1967’s The Lion in Winter

Judi Dench at age 29 in 1964’s The Third Secret

Dame Maggie Smith at 24 in 1958’s Nowhere to Go

Tom Wilkinson in 1983’s Spyship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3tgduGvcP0&t=3m40s

Bob Hoskins in Villains back in 1972

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um8zc30h8hY

Alan Rickman in Romeo & Juliet in 1978

Sir Patrick Stewart on Coronation Street in 1967

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWOLGj7qTjI#t=24m00s

Sir Christopher Lee in 1948’s Penny and the Pownall Case

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aRXvidnbaI&t=1m58s

Sir Ian Holm in 1968’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Diana Rigg, Helen Mirren, and David Warner (Sir Ian pops up at 1:59 as Puck)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl2SyZa7N7g

Imelda Staunton in 1986’s Ladies in Charge

Juliet Stevenson in 1980’s The Mallens

Which ‘younger version of a famous British star’ surprised you? Tell us below:

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Filed Under: Before They Were Stars
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.