English Actor Idris Elba Builds a Career

English actor Idris Elba was born in London on this date in 1972 and left college early after winning a Prince’s Trust grant to study at the National Music Theatre.

Elba began to book television roles in his early twenties, including a notable cameo on “Absolutely Fabulous”. Following a supporting turn on “Law and Order,” Elba broke through for American television audiences in the HBO dramatic series “The Wire” as Stringer Bell between 2002 and 2004.

In 2009, he began playing the lead character on the BBC series “Luther,” and since 2007 has
become a major film actor, appearing in roles as varied as Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long
Walk to Freedom” and Heimdall in Marvel’s “Thor” movies.

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