Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in Hounslow, Middlesex, England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series Rising Damp (1974), Porridge (1974) and The Lovers (1970). He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.
Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition - once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia - cured - and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.