Bill Nighy's mother was a nurse and his father owned a garage. When he left school, he worked as a messenger at a magazine. He wanted to become a journalist but ended up in Paris, trying and failing to write a novel. He returned home and studied at The Guildford School of Dance and Drama. He has gone on to have an eclectic career working on stage, screen and radio. He is well known for supporting roles in movies such as Shaun Of The Dead and Love Actually.
Bill Nighy suffers from Dupuytren's contracture. It is a condition which causes certain fingers to be permanently bent inwards towards the palm.
His song, Christmas Is All Around, from Love Actually reached number 26 on the UK music charts.
He played the part of Sam Gangee in the original BBC radio production of The Lord Of The Rings, alongside Ian Holm. When director Peter Jackson made his movie version, he gave the radio recording to members of his cast who hadn't read the book.
His daughter, Mary Nighy, is also an actress. Her movies include Tormented and Marie Antoinette.
He is a huge fan of The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. He also supports Crystal Palace Football Club.