Lara Croft

Lara Croft
Tomb Raider character
Lara Croft (2013).png
Image released by Square Enix for promotional purposes.
First appearanceTomb Raider (1996)
Created byToby Gard
Portrayed by
Voiced by
Motion capture
  • Heidi Moneymaker (2008)
  • Camilla Luddington (2013–2018)

Lara Croft is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the video game franchise Tomb Raider. She is presented as a highly intelligent and athletic English archaeologist who ventures into ancient tombs and hazardous ruins around the world. Created by a team at British developer Core Design that included Toby Gard, the character first appeared in the video game Tomb Raider in 1996.

Core Design handled the initial development of the character and the series. Inspired by strong female icons, Gard designed Lara Croft to counter stereotypical female characters. The company modified the character for subsequent titles, which included graphical improvements and gameplay additions. American developer Crystal Dynamics took over the series after the 2003 sequel Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was received poorly. The new developer rebooted the character along with the video game series. The company altered her physical proportions and gave her additional ways of interacting with game environments. Croft has been voiced by six actresses in the video game series: Shelley Blond (1996), Judith Gibbins (1997–98), Jonell Elliott (1999–2003), Keeley Hawes (2006–14), Camilla Luddington (2013–present), and Abigail Stahlschmidt (2015).

Lara Croft has further appeared in video game spin-offs, printed adaptations, a series of animated short films, feature films, and merchandise related to the series. The promotion of the character includes a brand of apparel and accessories, action figures, and model portrayals. She has been licensed for third-party promotion, including television and print advertisements, music-related appearances, and as a spokesmodel.

Critics consider Lara Croft a significant game character in popular culture. She holds six Guinness World Records, has a strong fan following, and is among the first video game characters to be successfully adapted to film.[3] Lara Croft is also considered a sex symbol, one of the earliest in the industry to achieve widespread attention. The character's influence in the industry has been a point of contention among critics; viewpoints range from a positive agent of change in video games to a negative role model for young girls.[4][5][6]


Lara Croft is depicted as an athletic woman with brown eyes and reddish-brown hair, frequently kept in a plait or ponytail. The character's classic costume is a turquoise tank top, light brown shorts, calf-high boots, and tall white socks. Accessories include fingerless gloves, a backpack, a utility belt with holsters on either side, and two pistols. The video game sequels introduced new outfits designed for different environments, such as underwater and cold weather. In the later games, Croft wears a crop top, camouflage pants and black or light brown shirts. When exploring, she often carries two pistols, but has used other weaponry throughout the series. She is fluent in several languages.[7][8][9]

Lara's backstory has changed dramatically over the course of the series. During the first era, game manuals describe the character as the Wimbledon, London-born daughter of Lord Henshingly Croft[10] (Lord Richard Croft in Legend and its sequels).[11] She was raised as an aristocrat and betrothed to the fictitious Earl of Farringdon. Lara attended the Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun and a Swiss finishing school. At the age of twenty-one, she survived a plane crash, which left her stranded in the Himalayas for two weeks; the experience spurred her to shun her former life and seek other adventures around the world. Croft published books and other written works based on her exploits as a mercenary, big-game hunter, and master thief.[12][13] These provided her with a replacement source of income after her father disowned her over her change in lifestyle.[14]

During the second era, Lara's story was changed to be the daughter of archaeologist Lord Richard Croft, the Earl of Abbingdon, and someone who was quickly identified as a highly talented individual while attending the Abbingdon Girls School.[15][16] The plane crash was changed to when Lara was nine years old,[15] and with her mother, Amelia Croft. While searching for shelter, Lara and her mother took refuge in an ancient Nepalese temple, where Lara witnesses her mother vanish after tampering with an ancient sword. Her father later disappears in search of his wife.[17][18] This spurs Lara on to seek the reason for her mother's disappearance.

The third era deviates from the original plot considerably. When Lara was young she travelled with her parents on many of their archaeological expeditions which helped to shape the woman she was becoming. It was on one of these expeditions that her mother vanished and was presumed dead and when her father presumably took his own life a few years later, she was then left in the care of Conrad Roth. Even though she inherited a vast fortune, giving her the means to attend Cambridge with ease, Lara chose to study at University College London. Though this was a much tougher choice, it helped her become more grounded and level-headed than she might otherwise have been. She also ended up meeting her best friend, Samantha Nishimura, during her time at UCL. It was because of Sam's free spirit and a wild streak that Lara was able to experience much more of London than just the universities and museums that she loved so much. After travelling the world, both Lara and Sam end up on an expedition to the Dragon's Triangle off the Japanese coast in search of the lost civilization of Yamatai. It is on this expedition that Lara is stranded on a remote island full of natural, human and supernatural dangers, which enables her to develop from a vulnerable girl to a survivor. And after experiencing the supernatural powers of the ancient world, she comes to realise her father was right about his theories and her hunger for adventure awakens.[19] Although Lara had an independent life, including much international work, she was also able to maintain an active social life and healthy relationship.

Other Languages
العربية: لارا كروفت
български: Лара Крофт
bosanski: Lara Croft
català: Lara Croft
čeština: Lara Croft
dansk: Lara Croft
Deutsch: Lara Croft
eesti: Lara Croft
Ελληνικά: Lara Croft
español: Lara Croft
Esperanto: Lara Croft
français: Lara Croft
galego: Lara Croft
hrvatski: Lara Croft
Bahasa Indonesia: Lara Croft
italiano: Lara Croft
lietuvių: Lara Croft
македонски: Лара Крофт
Nederlands: Lara Croft
پنجابی: لارا کروفٹ
polski: Lara Croft
português: Lara Croft
română: Lara Croft
русский: Лара Крофт
Scots: Lara Croft
slovenčina: Lara Croft
slovenščina: Lara Croft
српски / srpski: Лара Крофт
suomi: Lara Croft
svenska: Lara Croft
Türkçe: Lara Croft
українська: Лара Крофт
ייִדיש: לארא קראפט