THE BEST BRITISH BLACK MALE ACTORS WHO ARE MAKING WAVES AT HOME AND IN HOLLYWOOD.
Idrissa Akuna "Idris" Elba
(born 6 September 1972) is a British television, theatre, and film actor who has starred in both British and American productions. He grew up in Canning Town, East London. One of his first acting roles was in the soap opera Family Affairs. He is known for playing Russell "Stringer" Bell, a Baltimore drug lord and aspiring businessman, in HBO's critically acclaimed show The Wire. Elba is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, and a hip-hop soul recording artist.
Some of his other most known roles have come in American Gangster, Takers, The Losers, Thor and Prometheus. Besides a prominent role on The Wire, Elba's other television roles include Ultraviolet and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, recurring roles in The Office andThe Big C, and the title role of Detective John Luther in Luther, which airs on BBC One. Elba has won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of DCI Luther.
He has just finished filming, Pacific Rim as the role of Stacker Pentecost, Thor the dark world, and he is playing the role of Nelson Mandela in upcoming movie, Mandela Long walk to freedom.
Rumours are circulating of Elba to be the first Black James Bond.
Chiwetelu Umeadi "Chiwetel" Ejiofor, OBE
Ejiofor was born in London's Forest Gate, to Nigerian parents who belonged to the Igbo ethnic group. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, and his mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist. In 1988, when Ejiofor was 11, tragedy occurred during a family trip to Nigeria for a wedding. After the celebrations, Ejiofor and his father were driving to Lagos, when their car was involved in a head-on crash with a lorry. His father was killed, but Ejiofor survived despite being badly injured, receiving the scars on his forehead. Ejiofor began acting in school plays at the age of thirteen at Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theatre. He played the title role in Othello at the Bloomsbury Theatre in September 1995, and again at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow in 1996 when he starred opposite Rachael Stirling, who played Desdemona.
Ojiofor has just completed the movie Twelve years a slave, playing the role of Solomon Northup.
And Half of a yellow sun, playing the role of Odenigbo.
David Harewood, MBE
(born 8 December 1965), is an English actor. Having trained at RADA, he is best known to international audiences for playing David Estes, the Deputy Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, in the Showtime series Homeland.
Harewood was born and grew up in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, England, where he attended St. Benedict's Junior School andWashwood Heath Comprehensive School. As a schoolboy, he excelled at all sports, from sprinting through basketball to rugby and especially football. If it were not for acting, it is likely that he would have followed a career as a professional goal-keeper. In his youth, he worked in a wine bar, Albert's in Dale End, in Birmingham City Centre.
David is currently filming alongside, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Olivia Wilde in the romantic movie, Third Person, where he will be playing the role of Jake Long.
Born 4 November 1968, London, England, UK
Clint has acted for 20 years in film, TV and theatre, starring in films such as SUS, The Trail, Cherps, Mr Inbetween, Everybody Loves Sunshine aka Busted, Love Me Still and appearing in the likes of Unknown, Sahara, Agora, Mr Bean 2, Shopping etc. TV includes Fallout, Trial & retribution, Dalziel & Pascoe, Inspector Linley, The Commander, Lock Stock, Theif Takers, Prime Suspect etc.
Adrian Anthony Lester, OBE
(born 14 August 1968) is a British actor, director, and writer.
In 1993, he played Anthony Hope in the Royal National Theatre's production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Lester is known for playing a big-time con artist named Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone in the BBC TV series Hustle between 2004 and 2012. The character was written out of the fourth series and replaced by Ashley Walters, although he returned from the fifth series onwards. In the United States, he played campaign manager Henry Burton in Mike Nichols's 1998 film Primary Colors, based on the novel by Anonymous (Joe Klein). His character is believed to represent George Stephanopoulos. This part earned him a Chicago Film Critics Association award nomination for "Most Promising Actor".
(born 1 April 1976) is an English actor.
Oyelowo was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, to Nigerian parents.He first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted. He then studied theatre studies for A level at City and Islington College and his teacher suggested he should become an actor. After A levels Oyelowo enrolled for a year on an art foundation course, before winning a place and scholarship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), finishing his three year training in 1998. His Movie credits include, Jack Reacher alongside Tom Cruise.
Ashley Anthony Walters
(born 30 June 1982), also known as Asher D, is an English rapper and actor.
Musically, he is best known as Asher D in the group So Solid Crew. He enjoyed relative success as a lyricist, particularly for their number 1 hit "21 Seconds".
For the BBC Learning project "Off By Heart Shakespeare", Walters delivered one of Shakespeare’s best known speeches, "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" from Romeo and Juliet. In October 2011, Walters starred in the Arjun Rose slasher Demons Never Die. From 31 October 2011, he played Dushane in one-off drama Top Boy. In February 2012, he played Chris in the BBC drama Inside Men.
(Born 1979) is a British actor who has worked on stage, film, and television.
In the summer of 2002 he played the title role in William Shakespeare's King Lear, and won the Ian Charleson Award in 2004 for his performance in Othello. Anozie played small roles as Think Tank in Guy Ritchie's film RocknRolla and Frank Mace in Joe Wright's Atonement. He played the lead in Cass a 2008 British crime drama film recreating the life of Cass Pennant. In 2009, he appeared in the supporting cast of the BBC TV three part 2003 Iraq War drama, Occupation, where he played a US Marine turned private military contractor. In 2011, he played Artus, a Zamoran pirate and close friend of Conan, in Conan the Barbarian. That year, he was also cast to play the role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the HBO series Game of Thrones and was cast as Jackson Burke in The Grey. He also plays the role of Samson in the History Channel's television miniseries The Bible. Nonso will be playing the role of Sergeant Dap in the movie Enders Game 2013
(born 11 October 1965) is an English actor, screenwriter, and playwright.James was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. His Afro-Trinidadian parents originate from Nigeria. He lived in South London and went to school at Ernest Bevin College.
James graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1988. He has appeared in over 20 films, including Les Misérables(1998), Snatch (2000), 24 Hour Party People (2002), Sahara (2005), and Outlaw (2007). He wrote the play The Sons of Charlie Paora, which was performed at London's Royal Court Theatre. James appeared in the short-lived Channel 4 prison drama Buried. He appeared in the BBC terrorism drama The State Within, the BBC spy drama Spooks, and starred as Robert Hawkins in the CBS post-apocalyptic drama series Jericho.
Lennie is currently filming the new movie Swelter, were he will be playing the Role of Bishop alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme.
(born 24 June 1973, Kilburn, London, England) is an English actor, best known for two television roles, in both of which he played footballers: Curtis Alexander in Sky One's Dream Team and Tremaine Gidigbi in Footballers' Wives.
Born in London, he grew up on the tough Mozart estate, which was at the time a notorious inner-London sink estate. As a boy his passion was for athletics, and he didn't catch the acting bug until he was eighteen. He took a variety of roles as a jobbing actor, using the surname Venice. He got his big break in 2003 when he was cast as Curtis Alexander in the footballing drama Dream Team on the satellite channel Sky One. Initially only contracted to appear in two episodes, he became part of the regular cast, appearing in 98 episodes in all until the character was killed off in 2005. He is currently play the role of Ray Dixon in TV series Eastenders.
Aml Eysan Ameen
(born 30 July 1985) is an English actor best known for his roles as Trife in Kidulthood, Lewis Hardy inThe Bill and Malcolm in Harry's Law. Ameen was born in London. He learned his acting craft at the Barbara Speake stage school in London. As a child he appeared in West End in shows such as Oliver! and Jolson.
At the age of 11 he performed on stage with Michael Jackson at the 1996 BRIT Awards, in a performance famously invaded by Pulp's singer Jarvis Cocker.
Ameen's first acting role was in 2004's Bella and the Boys, in which he played the character Terry.
His next role was a one-off appearance in an episode of the BBC television series Holby City. He also starred in the British youth-centred film Kidulthood as the central character Trife and now he's starring again in Second Chance and Red Tails for a special appearance. Aml is currently filming the Maze Runner Movie as the role of Alby.
- Delroy George Lindo
- (Born November 18, 1952) is an English actor, theatre director. Lindo has been nominated for the Tony andScreen Actors Guild awards and has won a Satellite Award. He is perhaps best known for his roles as West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X, Catlett in Get Shorty, Detective Castlebeck in Gone in 60 Seconds and Woody Carmichael in the Spike Lee film Crooklyn. He is currently known for having starred as Alderman Ronin Gibbons in the The Chicago Code. He is currently filming A TV Movie Believe, where he will be playing the role of Winter.
- Born November 15, 1970 in London, England, UK Danny was born in November 1970 to Ghanaian parents who had moved to the UK in the late 60s and set up home in Hackney, East London. He is one of six children and attended a boys comp, formerly a Jewish Grammer school with such inspiring alumni as Harold Pinter, Stephen Berkoff and Arnold Wesker. He was first influenced by one of his primary school teachers who put him in the school play. Danny has built a reputation of bringing intelligence, focus and a maverick energy to his work. More recently, he has been seen on the big screen, bringing this work ethic and style to play in such performances as Lionel in Hard Boiled Sweets, Danny in Singham 2 (a Tamil speaking film) and Nate in Danny Boyle’s Trance.
- Arinze Kene
- is a British actor and playwright. Kene has appeared in stage productions such as playing Simba in The Lion King, Daddy Cool, and in June 2009 played strutting lothario Raymond LeGrendre in the musical Been So Long, based on Ché Walker's 1998 play, which opened at the Young Vic. Kene also plays the lead in 2010 UK Film Council feature Freestyle. In 2010, he joined the cast of the BBC's EastEnders as Connor Stanley, for which he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2011 All About Soap Bubble Awards. In April 2011, his casting as Rocco in Hollyoaks was announced. He plays the role of Ashley in TV series Youngers.
- Bueka Uwemedimo
- Born in Lagos Nigeria. Bueka is an English Actor, Singer, and Writer. He moved to London with his mum and sister at an early age, where he discovered his passion for acting and drama at Crofton Park school. He landed his first major role in the hit musical, Sweet soul music, followed by another hit show, Motown's Dancing in the streets, were he played the role of troubled temptations front man David Ruffin. Bueka caught the attention of London's fashion Brand, Gordon Bennett becoming the face of their 2010 campaign. In 2012 Bueka landed the leading role of King Mufasa in Disney's multi award winning show the Lion King, directed by director Julie Taymor and Elton John.
- Daniel Kaluuya
- (Born 8 May 1989) is an English actor, comedian and writer, who is best known for playing Posh Kenneth in the E4 teen-drama Skins. He also appeared in the BBC dark comedy series Psychoville playing Michael Fry (a.k.a. Tealeaf) and Mac in the newBBC Three's horror drama The Fades. In 2011, Kaluuya starred as Agent Tucker in the film Johnny English Reborn alongside Rowan Atkinson. Daniel plays the role of Black Death in Kick Ass 2
- Joseph Marcell
- Born 18 August 1948) is a St. Lucian-born English actor, best known for his role as Geoffrey the English butler on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Marcell moved from St. Lucia with his family to England when he was nine years old. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He has now been in the acting profession for more than 37 years.
Noel Anthony Clarke
(Born 6 December 1975) is an English actor, director and screenwriter from London. He is best known for playing Wyman Norris in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Mickey Smith in Doctor Who. Clarke appeared in and wrote the screenplay for Kidulthood and wrote, directed and starred in the sequel, Adulthood, which gained £1,209,319 from the opening weekend of its release. Clarke won the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003 and was awarded a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2009. He is the voice of snowy in the 2013 movie, Saving Santa, and he is playing the role of Carter in the action war movie, I Am Soldier.
- (born 12 June 1962) is an English film, television and theatre actor. In the United States, he is known for playing Kareem Said in the HBO television series Oz, for which he won a CableACE Award, and elsewhere as Winston, the gay, black thorn in Alf Garnett's side in In Sickness and in Health and John Othello in the 2001 ITV1 production of Othello. In 2011 Walker appeared on FX series Lights Out as trainer Ed Romeo, former trainer of Lights Leary's last opponent, Death Row Reynolds.Walker appeared in an episode of BBC One's "Inspector George Gently" playing the father of a murder victim in 2012. Most recently, Walker stars as Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, Battalion 25, in the new NBC drama Chicago Fire.
- Jimmy Akingbola
- is a British television, theatre and film actor. Born in 1978 in Plaistow, London to Nigerian parents, he was the youngest of four children (two brothers and one sister). His eldest brother Sola Akingbola is head percussionist to British jazz funk band Jamiroquai and also lead vocalist to African funky roots band Critical Mass. Akingbola started his career on stage at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in “The Nativity” for Bill Alexander. He continued to develop his art in theatre in a production of “Baby Doll” at the Royal National Theatre, then appearing in “Naked Justice” by playwright John Mortimer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, opposite Leslie Phillips.
- (born 22 August 1967) is a British actor and former fashion model, Akinnuoye-Agbaje was born in Islington, London. His parents are Nigerian, of Yoruba origin. He has a law degree from King's College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London. His best known acting roles have been as the imposing convict Simon Adebisi in the 1990s HBO prison series Oz, and as Mr. Eko on ABC's survivor drama Lost. He was also in an episode of New York Undercover. He has numerous film credits since he began acting in 1994 and has appeared in many top films, including The Bourne Identity, in which he played a deposed African dictator, Hitu the police officer in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns, and Heavy Duty in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In 2009, Akinnuoye-Agbaje told MTV that he was in talks with Marvel Studios to play Black Panther in the film of the same name.
- Colin Salmon
(born 6 December 1962) is a British actor best known for playing Charles Robinson in three James Bond films and James "One" Shade in the Resident Evil film series. He currently has a recurring role as Walter Steele in the CW series Arrow. Salmon was born in Bethnal Green, London, England, the son of Sylvia Ivy Brudenell Salmon, a nurse. He grew up in Luton and attended Ramridge Primary School and Ashcroft High School. He is best known for his role as Charles Robinson, a character in the James
Bond films Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.
(born 24 March 1964) is a British actor, best known for his Desmond's character "Lee Stanley", and for appearing in Guy Ritchie's crime caper Snatch. He also appeared in the movie Mean Machine playing "Trojan". He hosted, alongside Eddie Nestor, the Imperial College Indian Society's annual "East Meets West" charity show in 2007 and 2008. The show in both years was one of the most successful and popular charity shows in the UK, drawing over 1,750 people to the prestigious London Palladium in 2008.
is a British actor, best known for playing Moses in the 2011 science fiction film Attack the Block. Boyega was born in Peckham, South London, and his first role was that of a leopard in a play at his primary school at the age of 5. Boyega trained at the Identity Drama School, Hackney, and appeared in the plays Six Parties at the National Theatre and Category B at the Tricycle Theatre prior to being offered the role in Attack the Block. In September 2011, HBO announced that Boyega had been cast in the boxing drama pilot Da Brick, loosely based on Mike Tyson's life. Boyega was expected to play Donnie, who is released from a juvenile detention centre on his 18th birthday and begins to examine what it means to be a man. The pilot was scripted by John Ridley, but was passed upon by HBO. In March 2012, Boyega was cast in the film version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book Half of a Yellow Sun.
Hugh Anthony Quarshie
(born 22 December 1954) is a Ghanian-born British actor who has achieved international popularity for his appearances in a whole range of media including theatre, television and cinema. Some of his best known roles include appearances in the films Highlander (1986) and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), and for his long-running role of Ric Griffin in the popular BBC medical drama Holby City (2001–present).
Raymond "Ray" Fearon
- (born 1 June 1967) is a British actor who has worked extensively in theatre, and is known for playing garage mechanic Nathan Harding on ITV's long-running soap opera Coronation Street. Fearon was born in London, England, the son of West Indian parents, with 7 brothers and sisters. He was a promising junior tennis player in his early teens.After studying drama at Rose Bruford College of speech and drama, Fearon went on to make his reputation as a stage actor, working at Liverpool Everyman Theatre; Manchester Contact Theatre; Manchester Royal Exchange; Oxford Playhouse; Barn Theatre, Kent; The Almeida; The Crucible, Sheffield; The Donmar Warehouse; The Royal Shakespeare Theatres in Stratford and the National Theatre. He has also toured in the United States and Europe and the far east.
was born on 8 October 1986 in North-West London to Nigerian-Igbo parents. As a 6 year old, Obiora was determined to become an entertainer like his idol Michael Jackson and his mother enrolled him in drama lessons. At age 9, he became the youngest actor to have appeared in Grange Hill; he played Max Abassi on the programme for five years. Just before his eighteenth birthday Obiora landed a role playing the part of Gunner Jackson Clarke, a soldier in ITV’s eight-part seriesBombshell, starring opposite Footballers Wives star Zöe Lucker. Shortly after filming Bombshell, Obirora started a seven-month run in the play Elmina’s Kitchen written by Kwame Kwei-Armah, at the Garrick Theatre.
(born 11 December 1986) is an English stage, film and television actor, dancer and musician. Gary Carr started training at the National Youth Music Theatre in England, then trained at the Arts Educational Performing Arts College from 2003 through 2005, and then at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) from 2005 to 2008 with a scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust. It was in his first year of training that he was offered a role in the play Yerma written by Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca, in which he acted alongside Olivier Award winning actress Kathryn Hunter, at the Arcola Theatre. "Downton Abbey" has cast Gary Carr to play the show's first black character, a jazz singer named Jack Ross.
is a British actor from Oldham, Greater Manchester. He is best known for his role as Calvin in the Channel Four soap Hollyoaks, he came second to Chris Hollins in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009. Ricky is the son of former Royal Air Force serviceman Harry Whittle, he grew up travelling with his father's career around the world. At university, Whittle began modelling, becoming the face of a Reebok campaign in 2000. This brought him to the attention of casting agents for Sky One's Dream Team. Cast as Ryan Naysmith, Whittle left university to pursue an acting career. In March 2013 Whittle appeared in hit US show NCIS, He played Lincoln, a criminal involved in a kidnapping.
is a Nigerian-born British actor best known for his role as Sir Elyan in the television show Merlin. Edun was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 11. Where he attended Eton College, before reading Classics at Christ's College, University of Cambridge. In his final year at Christ's College, he won the dissertation prize for his thesis on Homer's Odyssey. His father, a financier, encouraged Edun to enter banking as a career, and he interned with Citigroup. He considered studying for a Master of Philosophy degree, but decided to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) instead.