Simon Pegg (born Simon John Beckingham; 14 February 1970) is an English actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director. He is best known for his starring roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, the comedy series Spaced, Benji in Mission Impossible III and his portrayal of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the 2009 Star Trek film. Much of his major work has been in collaboration with some combination of Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes, Dylan Moran and Edgar Wright.Pegg was born in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England, the son of Gillian Rosemary (née Smith), a civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician and keyboard salesman. His parents divorced when he was seven and he took on the surname "Pegg" after his mother re-married. He attended many schools, including Castle Hill Primary School, Brockworth Comprehensive Secondary School, King's School Gloucester, and later Stratford-upon-Avon College to study English literature and performance studies. Pegg studied drama at the University of Bristol and wrote his undergraduate thesis on "A Marxist overview of popular 1970s cinema and hegemonic discourses". At Bristol he appeared in a Drama Society production of Howard Barker's Victory alongside Sarah Kane and David Greig.
In 1993, he moved to London and performed on the stand-up comedy circuit. In 1995, he took his acclaimed one-man show to the Edinburgh Festival, which led to his being invited to perform at festivals in Adelaide and Melbourne in Australia and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand, which he did in 1996 and 1997. His work as a stand up attracted the attention of several TV producers, leading to appearances in Asylum, Six Pairs of Pants, Faith in the Future, Big Train and Hippies. From 1998 to 2004, Pegg regularly featured on BBC Radio 4's The 99p Challenge. In 1999, he created and co-wrote the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced with Jessica Stevenson. For this project Pegg brought in Nick Frost, his best friend. For his performance in this series, Pegg was nominated for a British Comedy Award as Best Male Comedy Newcomer. Pegg co-wrote (with Spaced director Edgar Wright) and starred in the "romantic zombie comedy" film Shaun of the Dead, released in April 2004. At George A. Romero's invitation, Pegg and Wright made cameo appearances in Romero's film, Land of the Dead. In 2004, Pegg also starred in a spin-off of the television show Danger! 50,000 Volts! called Danger! 50,000 Zombies!, in which he played a zombie hunter named Dr. Russel Fell.
Pegg's other credits include the World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, guest appearances on Black Books, Brass Eye Special, I'm Alan Partridge, The Parole Officer and in the Factory Records story 24 Hour Party People. He also played the mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog, in a series of Big Finish Productions audio plays based on the character from British comic 2000 AD and featured in Guest House Paradiso, a film based on the sitcom Bottom. Pegg appeared in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio story Invaders From Mars as Don Chaney, and portrayed the Editor in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Long Game". He also narrated the first series of the documentary series Doctor Who Confidential. Upon completion of Shaun of the Dead, Pegg was questioned on whether he would be abandoning the British film industry for bigger and better things, to which he replied "It's not like I'm going to run off and do Mission: Impossible III!" He then promptly went on to do just that, playing Benji Dunn, an I.M.F. technician who assists Tom Cruise's character, Ethan Hunt. In 2006 he played an American character, Gus, in Big Nothing alongside David Schwimmer. In 2006, Pegg and Wright completed their second film, Hot Fuzz, released in February 2007. The film is a police-action movie homage and also stars Nick Frost. Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a London policeman who is transferred to rural Sandford, a fictional village situated in Pegg's home county of Gloucestershire, where grisly events take place. In 2007, Pegg starred in The Good Night (directed by Jake Paltrow) and Run Fatboy Run directed by David Schwimmer and co-starring Thandie Newton and Hank Azaria.
In 2008, Pegg wrote the dialogue for an English language re-release of the cult 2006 animated Norwegian film, Free Jimmy. Pegg received screenwriting credit for this, and Pegg also voiced one of the main characters in the English language version, which has an international range of actors including Woody Harrelson. Pegg is co-writing and starring with Nick Frost in an upcoming film entitled Paul, with production expected to begin in June 2009. The plot revolves around characters played by Pegg and Frost road tripping across America. Pegg also announced that he and Wright had the idea for "the concluding part in what we are calling our 'Blood and Ice Cream' trilogy" (the first two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). It is provisionally called The World Ends. In those films and in Spaced, Pegg typically plays the leading hero while Frost plays the sidekick. However, he has revealed that Paul will reverse this dynamic. Pegg has also stated that Wright will not direct, Paul not being part of their 'Blood and Ice Cream' trilogy. The completed script appeared on the 2008 Black List, a film-industry-compiled list of the best unproduced screenplays. Paul received two votes. Pegg played engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the eleventh Star Trek film, released 8 May 2009. He told Jo Russell's show on Absolute Radio that he is waiting for a Scotty action figure to add to his collection of Simon Pegg action figures from Dr. Who, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead. In 2010 he appeared as William Burke in Burke and Hare, a film directed by John Landis about the Ulster men who were notorious murderers and bodysnatchers in early nineteenth-century Edinburgh. His likeness was also used for the character of Wee Hughie in the comic book series The Boys; while this was done without Pegg's permission, he quickly became a fan of the title, and even wrote the introduction to the first bound volume. He is also set to voice Reepicheep, the heroic mouse in Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Pegg will be reprising the role of Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, making him the only actor from the film series other than Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames (who portrayed their characters in every film) to appear in more than one of the films.
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Simon Pegg with handsome pose