Kate Beckinsale abandoned her native Britain for Los Angeles, because she feared her late father RICHARD BECKINSALE's acting legacy would colour her own onscreen ambitions.

Richard, the star of hit UK sitcoms RISING DAMP and PORRIDGE, died of a heart attack aged just 32, when Kate was only 5.

In a bid to escape his shadow, the brunette beauty fled to the US determined to prove her acting talents by winning roles where she was unknown.

She says, "Part of the reason I came to America was to escape just being my father's daughter, which I was quite worried about."

And after starring roles in blockbusters The Aviator and Pearl Harbor, the 32-year-old actress is finally ready to return to her native Britain with six-year-old daughter LILLY and husband Len Wiseman, and has even signed to take on the genre her father loved, playing opposite Adam Sandler in new comedy CLICK.

She adds, "I had to steer clear of comedy because of my father. But last year I was the age he was and LILLY was the age I was and I felt I was blossoming and 'Ooh, I've made it'."