|Date of birth||23 July 1966|
|Place of birth||Westminster, London, England|
Beckinsale is the daughter of actor Richard Beckinsale and his first wife Margaret Bradley. They split up when Samantha was three and both re-married. He had another daughter named Kate, who would also become an actress, and it was not until Samantha was 11 that she learned that he was her real father. Tragically, he died just 18 months later. She later changed her surname to Beckinsale.
Her first big television break came when she was cast as Lesley in the ITV sitcom Shelley. In 1990 she won the role of Kate Stevens in London's Burning after being spotted in a play by casting director Corinne Rodriguez. By own her admission, she struggled to cope with the fame and attention that the show brought her, and found it a "relief" when she left the show in 1992. She has also appeared in Coronation Street, Bugs, Holby City, Murder in Mind, Doctors and Heartbeat. For a time she was romantically involved with her London's Burning co-star Ross Boatman.