1. Richard Armitage: He is inevitably brooding and smoldering like a Bronte character. Probably something to do with his eyebrows? Hmm, maybe. Sorry, I have to just sit down for a second now. It's a little swoony in here.
Where to see him: The best is North and South, but he's had major roles on Robin Hood and MI-5 as well. Also, he shows up at the end of the series The Vicar of Dibley. Well done, Dawn French. If I had my own television series, that is how I would end it, too: with Richard Armitage as my hunky accountant love interest.
Where to see him: As Steve Taylor in Coupling, Jack Davenport got to be the likable, put-upon, fictional version of the show's creator.* As D.S. Michael Colefield in Ultraviolet (Rec. #212), he got to be a likable, put-upon, miserable man . . . who has to contend with vampires.
*Coupling was created by Steven Moffat, who is currently best known as the man behind Sherlock and the newest incarnation of Doctor Who.
3. Colin Firth: The modern classic. It's a comfort to know that every year, I get that much closer to how old Firth was when he filmed the revered Pride and Prejudice miniseries and took a memorable dip in a pond.
Where to see him: Pride and Prejudice, obviously. Everything else (Valmont, Fever Pitch, The Importance of Being Earnest, Love Actually, St. Trinian's, A Single Man, The King's Speech) is just icing.
[Continue with Part Two here and Part Three here.]