Simon Pegg—real name Simon John Beckingham—is an award-winning English actor, comedian, writer and director.
Born in Gloucester, England on February 14, 1970, he graduated from the University of Bristol with a major in drama. He started as a stand-up comedian in London, eventually staging a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival in 1995. This led him to stage the show in different comedy festivals around the world. He also appeared in different television comedy shows, and also did work on radio, notably the BBC’s The 99p Challenge.
In 1999, Pegg was nominated for Best Male Comedy Newcomer by the British Comedy Awards for his work on the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced. The sitcom, which he co-wrote with fellow star Jessica Hynes, is about two strangers who meet and conspire to become a professional couple to be able to get an apartment. The series ended in 2001.
In 2004, after appearing on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, Pegg co-wrote and starred in the “romantic zombie comedy” film Shaun of the Dead. He plays an ordinary young man who copes with a zombie invasion—whose beginnings he is oblivious to—while dealing with his ex-girlfriend. He won three awards for the script: the Peter Sellers Award, the British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay, and the Bram Stoker Award. In 2007, he reunited with his writing partner Nick Frost, who also collaborated with Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, for the action comedy Hot Fuzz. Here, Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a London policeman who is moved to Scotland, where grisly crimes were committed.
Pegg also attempted to break the American film industry. In 2006, he played the role of Benji in the film Mission Impossible: III, and also appeared in a fake movie trailer for the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse. His most recent American film project is the remake of Star Trek, which is directed by J.J. Abrams. He is set to play the role of Montgomery Scott, originally played by James Doohan in the original 1970s television series.