Like many of his British contemporaries, this dashing actor started out on stage. In fact, his big break came when he unexpectedly replaced Daniel Day-Lewis as Hamlet in the National Theatre's 1989 production. Northam worked on the BBC before making his first big impression stateside as an alluring villain opposite Sandra Bullock in 1995's The Net. While the classically trained player appeared in numerous British period pieces (Emma, The Winslow Boy, An Ideal Husband), he occasionally popped up in big-budget Hollywood fare (Mimic, The Invasion). He also proved he could hide his upper-crust British accent when he played crooner Dean Martin in the TV biopic Martin and Lewis. Being cast in a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama sounds like a healthy deal but his part was short-lived when the CBS drama Miami Medical was quickly cancelled.