Idrissa Akuna "Idris" Elba (born 6 September 1972) is an English television, theatre, and film actor who plays the titular role of John Luther in the BBC hit crime drama Luther. He has starred in both British and American productions.
Idris Elba grew up in Canning Town, East London. One of his first acting roles was in the soap opera Family Affairs. He has worked in a variety of TV roles including Ultraviolet and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. He is also known for playing Russell "Stringer" Bell, the drug dealer who aspired to become a high powered businessman, in HBO's The Wire. Elba is also a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis / Big Driis the Londoner, and a hip-hop soul recording artist.
In 2009, Elba began playing a character in NBC's American version of the television hit series The Office. He was in six episodes playing Charles Miner, a new boss at the company. In 2010, he appeared in Dark Castle Entertainment's adaptation of DC/Vertigo’s The Losers, under the direction of Sylvain White in the role of Roque, the second-in-command of a black-ops team out for revenge against a government that did them wrong. The same year, he also appeared in the thriller Takers, co-starring with actors Hayden Christensen, T.I., Chris Brown and Paul Walker. In September 2009, Elba took on the lead role in Luther, and has remained on the show for four series.
Elba was married. Elba says his ex is a beautiful person, but they wanted different things out of life. The two have a daughter named Isan, born in 2002. Though the two split four years after the birth of their child, it is rumored that they are still very good friends. They have been photographed out together on many occasions since the divorce, but neither care to comment on speculations. Elba is a friend of rappers such as Diddy and Ludacris, and spends much of his time in Atlanta, in the United States, where he owns a house and lives close to his daughter. He is represented by ICM. In April 2009, it was announced that Elba had become an Anti-Crime Ambassador. Elba is a fan of London football team Arsenal FC, despite his father being a Manchester United fan.
He was featured as one of the "Ten Hottest Men on the Planet" in the April 2004 issue of Essence magazine and again in the November 2005 issue. Idris was chosen as one of People Magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World, in May 2007. Elba appeared on the August 2009 cover of Essence magazine.
|Year||Film/Television||Role||Notes and Awards|
|1995||Absolutely Fabulous||Gigolo||Episode: Sex|
|1997||Family Affairs||Tim Webster|
|In Defence||PC Paul Fraser||(Segment 3)|
|2002||The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||Robert Gabriel||Episode: Payment in Blood|
|The Wire||Russell 'Stringer' Bell|
|2005||Sometimes in April||Augustin Muganza||Nominated – Black Reel Award, Best Actor Network/Cable|
Nominated – Image Award, Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie/Mini-Series
|The Gospel||Charles Frank||Nominated – Black Reel Award, Best Actor- Film|
|2007||Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls||Monty James||Nominated – BET Award for Actors of the Year|
|28 Weeks Later||General Stone|
|American Gangster||Tango||Nominated – Screen Actors' Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|This Christmas||Quentin Whitfield|
|2008||The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency||Charles Gotso|
|Prom Night||Detective Winn|
|The Human Contract||Larry|
|2009||The Unborn||Arthur Wyndham|
|The Office||Charles Miner||Appeared in several Season 5 episodes|
|Obsessed||Derek Charles||Nominated - Image Award, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture|