As the Brit actor is tipped for an Oscar, look back at his career history here
What: Pride and Prejudice
Following the huge success of Pride and Prejudice, Colin surfaced in period costume once again, appearing alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Judi Dench for his next big role, in Oscar-winning flick, Shakespeare In Love.
2001 was a great year for the Brit star, after he landed a role alongside Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant in hilarious hit Bridget Jones's Diary. Starring as the aptly named Mark Darcy lovely Mr Firth proved brooding wasn't the only look on his list, and had us on the floor in stitches.
With roles coming in thick and fast, Colin's next hit came in the form of star-studded flick The Importance of Being Earnest, alongside Reese Witherspoon and Rupert Everett. Earning himself a place as one of the most bankable male stars in Hollywood, the film was a huge hit, as women flocked in their thousands to see the star on screen once again.
No one can make great movies all the time. Ropey rom-com What a Girl Wants was next on Colin's list, starring Amanda Bynes as his long lost daughter, whose sudden appearance threatens his career as a politician. And while it may not have set audiences alight, it did do well at the box office, earning the star a cool sum.
Come the end of 2003, Colin had another sure-fire hit up his sleeve - star-studded Christmas flick, Love Actually. Sharing the lead with Hugh Grant for a second time, we fell in love with him all over again, as haphazard romantic, Jamie Bennett.
A hit with children and adults alike, Mr Firth showed his funny side, with a role Cedric Brown in Emma Thomson's hit, Nanny McPhee.
How we love a man in uniform. Colin turned mean and moody in 2007, to play Roman legionnaire Auralias in The Last Legion, but it seems he wasn't too keen on his getup. 'Whether you have the build or not, you can be killed in a costume,' he joked at the time. 'Russell Crowe didn't look ridiculous, but even if you have the most incredible physique there is still the danger of looking comical flaunting it in a skirt.'
Colin's role in this 2007 flick - playing husband to radio presenter Uma, who inexplicably discovers she's been married before (and never knew!) was not his finest hour. The flick was panned by critics, and quickly consigned to the back of our memories.
By the time Mamma Mia hit screens, Colin was well and truly back on top form, and on a path to superstardom. He had us in stitches during the hilarious hit, proving he's never one to take himself too seriously. 'It was just one long humiliation really,' he joked when we caught up with him at the time. 'I think wed been subjected to so much by then and the dignity had been left at the door on our way in. I quite looked forward to wearing spandex and suddenly wondered if thats why I took the job in the first place.'
2008 was a busy year for Mr Firth. Fresh from Mamma Mia success, he went on to star in period flick Easy Virtue, alongside Jessica Biel, Kristen Scott Thomas and Kimberley Nixon.
Colin donned period costume once again in 2009, to star as Lord Wotton in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's famous tome.
Colin narrowly missed out on an Oscar last year, for his portrayal of George in Tom Ford's directorial debut, A Single Man. The art house flick - which charts the journey of a gay English professor struggling to come to terms with the death of his lover - opened to huge critical acclaim, but Mr Firth was pipped to the Academy Award post by Jeff Bridges and Crazy Heart.
Could 2011 finally be Colin's year? Following a roaring reception from critics, huge box office sales, and already with a Golden Globe and Critic's Choice award under his belt, Mr Firth made the Academy Award list of Best Actor nominees once again. A sure fire winner...