Idris Elba (full name Idrissa Akuna Elba) was born 6 September 1972 in Hackney, London, England, to a Ghanaian mother and a Sierra Leonean father. As a child he discovered a love of acting, but success was slow to come. In the 90's he landed a few bit roles on British shows, but eventually decided to move to the United States in hopes of more prospects. (In interviews, Idris jokes that he came over and promptly didn't find work for a few years, and not to follow his path.)
In 2002, Idris landed the role of Stringer Bell on HBO's The Wire, which would come to be one of the roles he's most known for, and one he's still asked about to this day. The Wire could be called the most critically acclaimed show that no one ever watched while it was on the air, largely due to its predominately black cast and indepth look at urban America, but in more recent years word of mouth has given it more of the accolades that it didn't get when it was running. Indeed, Idris's Wire role helped land him more roles for years to come.
While Idris continued to get more TV work through the decade, one of the more bigger ones is his turn on the American sitcom The Office, which he appeared in for a six-episode arc in 2009. In 2009 he landed the role as the star of the BBC drama Luther, which received critical acclaim throughout its run, including multiple Golden Globe nominations and one win for Idris.
Idris has appeared in a number of films throughout his career, and in recent years his career has turned more to film than television. Films he's appeared in include (but are not limited to) 28 Weeks Later, RocknRolla, Obsessed, The Losers, Takers, Thor, Prometheus, Pacific Rim, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Beasts of No Nation.
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