Kathryn Bailey “Kate” Beckinsale (born 26 July 1973) is an English actress, known for her roles in the films Pearl Harbor (2001), Underworld (2003), Van Helsing (2004), and The Aviator (2004).
Her first major American film, Brokedown Palace (1999), was not a commercial success. Soon after, Beckinsale was cast in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor as the female lead, after actress Charlize Theron turned down the part. The film was one of the highest grossing films of its year. In the years following, she appeared in a series of American films that were high-profile, but were given a somewhat poor critical reception, including Serendipity (2001), Underworld (2003) and Van Helsing (2004). In 2005, she portrayed Ava Gardner in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, a role for which she gained 20 pounds.
Beckinsale and her ex-boyfriend Michael Sheen have a daughter, Lily Mo Sheen (born 31 January 1999). She reported in interviews that during her pregnancy with Lily was the only time she has ever stopped smoking. During the Underworld shoot, Beckinsale split from Sheen, who was also starring in the film. She became involved with the director of the film, Len Wiseman. In June 2003, Beckinsale became engaged to Wiseman, and the two were married on 9 May 2004 in Bel-Air, California. She is close friends with Victoria Beckham.
source : Wikipedia