Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Ewan McGregor rocketed to fame over a short period of time, thanks to a brilliant turn as a heroin addict in Trainspotting and the good fortune of being selected by George Lucas and co. to portray the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace. Because Menace arrived amid concomitant fanfare and massive prerelease expectations in early summer 1999, McGregor's appearance in the new trilogy drew a whirlwind of media attention and elicited a series of roles in additional box-office blockbusters, launching the then 28-year-old actor into megastardom.
Born on March 31, 1971, in the Scottish town of Crieff, on the southern edge of the Highlands, McGregor joined the Perth Repertory Theatre after high school graduation and subsequently trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His studies at Guildhall led to a key role in Dennis Potter's 1993 Lipstick on Your Collar, a made-for-television musical comedy set during the Suez Crisis. That same year, McGregor received first billing in the British television miniseries Scarlet & Black, an adaptation of Henri Beyle Stendhal's 1830 period novel about a young social climber in post-Napoleonic, late 19th century Europe.