He's handsome, charming and quintessentially English — and on Sept. 10, Colin Firth is also 55!
As the actor celebrates his big day, we're taking a look back at his work and celebrating his most swoon-worthy moments.
1. Stepping out of the lake
In 1995, Colin Firth brought Jane Austen's ultimate leading man, Mr. Darcy, to life for a six-part BBC miniseries that many still consider the ultimate "Pride and Prejudice" adaptation — in no small part due to Firth's memorable performance. And there was no moment more memorable than when he stepped out of the lake in his clinging wet shirt. Suddenly, everyone knew how Elizabeth Bennet felt.
2.' Just as you are'
Of course, that wasn't the only time he played Mr. Darcy. Firth reprised a reimagined version of the character when he played Mark Darcy in two "Bridget Jones" movies. He even delivered a spin on the original Darcy's doomed proposal speech. Except this time, instead of causing offense, he caused a major case of flattery. After telling his ladylove all the reasons she wasn't quite right for him, he admitted he loved her anyway — "just as you are."
We can't wait to see what he gets up to in the newly announced third film in the "Bridget Jones" franchise, in which Patrick Dempsey will likely be standing in for Firth's usual romance rival, Hugh Grant.
3. Stepping into the lake
And his original run as Darcy wasn't the only time Firth made a splash in a lake. In 2004, he got all wet again in "Love Actually," when his character jumped in after his housekeeper (and his manuscript). By the time he hopped out of the water, he was well on his way to a new romance.
4. 'I know I seems an insane person ..."
Firth had more than one swoony scene in that particular film. Toward the end, he plucked up the courage to propose to his love. But given the language barrier between them, he had to do it in broken Portuguese. The resulting captions made for what might be the funniest, sweetest onscreen marriage plea ever: "I know I seems an insane person because I hardly knows you, but sometimes things are so transparency, they need no evidential proof!"
5. The whole movie
But the ultimate Firth swoons can be had by watching him in 1989's "Valmont." And not just one scene, mind you. The then-29-year-old played the Vicomte de Valmont, a man with a passion for seduction, in the racy drama. Trust us, every minute of this movie makes the list!