A combination of beauty, brains and talent, English actress Rosamund Pike began her ascent to stardom even as she was in the process of earning a degree from Oxford College. Pike vaulted directly from university and a handful of minor roles on U.K. television to a breakout role opposite Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in the 007 action-adventure “Die Another Day” (2002). Unlike so many “Bond girls” before her who quickly sank into obscurity, Pike continued to hone her craft and garner attention in such period pieces as “The Libertine” (2004) and “Pride and Prejudice” (2005), starring alongside established talents like Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley. In addition to making a name for herself on the stages of London’s West End, the burgeoning actress received critical acclaim for supporting turns in several independent features, “An Education” (2009) and “Barney’s Version” (2010), among them. Balancing the smaller budget projects with more blockbuster fare, she took on significant roles in the Greek mythology fantasy-adventure “Wrath of the Titans” (2012) and the action-packed Tom Cruise thriller “Jack Reacher” (2012). Determined to establish herself as more than a pretty face, Pike shrewdly bolstered her artistic reputation even as she continued to build a solid profile in mainstream entertainments.