Hugh Grant's career as a film star was launched in Oxford.

The actor is best known for his roles in romantic comedies Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill.

But as our archive photo shows, the star was already honing his craft when he was a student at Oxford University.

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In 1979, he won the Galsworthy scholarship to New College.

He studied English literature and graduated with a 2.1.

At the time he viewed acting as nothing more than a creative outlet, and joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society and was Fabian in a production of Twelfth Night.

He also appeared in the student film Privileged.

Oxford Mail: Hugh GrantIt's a story about a group of Oxford undergraduate acting students and their troubled lives while producing a different version of the classic play The Duchess of Malfi.

Love, friendship and rivalry are all part of this intricate project, filmed on actual location in the Oxford University - the very first to achieve such a feat.

There were also screen debuts for Imogen Stubbs, Mark Williams, and James Wilby.

Directed by Michael Hoffman with John Schlesinger, produced by Rick Stevenson, as Richard Stevenson, the film is about a group of Oxford student partygoers.

READ MORE: Hugh Grant drinks from a shoe at Oxford college 

Following graduation the actor wrote and occasionally performed in radio commercials and attempted to write a novel before turning once again to acting.

Oxford Mail: Hugh Frant with his wife AnnaIt was not until 1987 that Mr Grant's career as a film star was properly launched when he appeared in the Merchant-Ivory film Maurice.

He won a best actor award for his role at the Venice Film Festival.

It was his performance in Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994 that really brought him to the attention of the public.

He won a Golden Globe Award for best actor and was named best actor by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 

Mr Grant is an honorary fellow of New College.

In 2017, he was filmed drinking out of a shoe at the college.

He spoke about press ethics at a reception before joining rugby club members in the college bar.

Oxford Mail: Hugh Grant with Marisa Tomei in The RewriteIn 2018 the film star settled his phone-hacking damages claim against Mirror Group Newspapers at the High Court.

The star was at the London court to hear his lawyer give details of the settlement at a hearing before Mr Justice Mann.

It was understood that it involved payment of a six-figure sum, which he donated to the campaigning group Hacked Off.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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