Famous Actors Behind William Darcy of 'Pride and Prejudice'

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of "Pride & Prejudice," a story retold dozens of times in novels, films, TV shows and now a popular Internet video series.

It's often said that women like Jane Austen because they LOVE Mr. Darcy, the unlikely romantic hero of "Pride and Prejudice."

He's the opposite of an action hero. The anti-James Bond.

Brooding. Aloof. And socially awkward. A rich, slightly finicky, older man, imprisoned by good manners. But inside lurks a smoldering romantic flame others just don't notice.

For the past 200 years, Fitzwilliam Darcy has been the Thinking Woman's Dream Guy, stealing the heart not just of Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet but generations of young women.

So…. who's your favorite Mr. Darcy?

(The Kobal Collection)

Laurence Olivier was the first actor to take the role of Mr. Darcy to the screen. He starred in the 1940 "Pride & Prejudice" with Greer Garson as his Elizabeth Bennet. Secretly, Olivier never liked the character.


Colin Firth took on Fitzilliam Darcy in the BBC's television adaptation of "Pride & Prejudice," appearing in this country on Masterpiece Theatre. Firth's Darcy inspired author Helen Fielding to write "Bridget Jones's Diary," a story serialized in a British newspaper while the BBC series was playing in the U.K.

(The Kobal Collection)

Colin Firth agreed to play Mark Darcy in the movie version of "Bridget Jones's Diary," opposite Rene Zellweger. Women swooned.

(The Kobal Collection)

Martin Henderson smoldered as Mr. Darcy in the 2004 Bollywood adaptation, "Bride & Prejudice."

(The Kobal Collection)

Matthew Macfadyen took a stab at playing Mr. Darcy in the 2005 adaption of "Pride & Prejudice," opposite Keira Knightley. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical.


Daniel Vincent Gordh stars as William Darcy in "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries," an internet series that takes Mr. Darcy into the digital age, with Lizzie Bennet narrating her life in a video blog.

Why does Mr. Darcy set YOUR heart aflutter? Or, if you dislike Mr. Darcy (as many people do) why is that? Share your comments below: