Hugh Laurie has been part of the British comedy establishment for nearly 20 years as the star of series including Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, in which he has played very British characters.
Now he is making a splash in the US in the new hit series House, playing the grumpy-yet-brilliant Doctor Gregory House.
So convincing has been his performance as a US TV doctor that casting directors, critics and audiences were stunned to discover he was British.
The medical drama - set in an infectious diseases hospital ward - sees Dr House solve a different baffling case each week. The Fox network has already signed up a 22-episode second series.
While the show is being heaped with praise, Laurie has found himself becoming a heart-throb at the age of 46.
The influential US magazine TV Guide put his face on the cover with the headline "TV's sexiest man".
Laurie was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he was a member of the famous Footlights theatre review troupe.
It was there he met actress Emma Thompson, who introduced him to Stephen Fry who was to become his longterm comedy partner.
The pair's first sketch show, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, aired in 1986, and ran on and off for nine years.
Laurie appeared in three Blackadder series, playing various posh but dim-witted characters.
As well as appearing in successful TV series, Laurie also notched up a number of film roles including Peter's Friends, 101 Dalmatians, Maybe Baby and Stuart Little.
His most recent British TV outings were in Fortysomething, which he starred in and directed, and The Young Visiters.
He was also one of the stars of the remake of Flight of the Phoenix, about survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert who work together to build a new plane.
Adding another string to his bow, Laurie has also penned a comic thriller novel called The Gun Seller, for which he has also written a screenplay.
During the filming of House, Laurie rented an apartment in Los Angeles and travelled back to the UK to see his wife and three children when filming would allow.
But he says he may relocate the family to the US for the filming of the second series.