Idris Elba. Toronto film festival announces line-up with Mark Wahlberg drama premiering. Published: 30 Jul
Elba was born to immigrant working-class parents his father was from Sierra Leone , and his mother was born in Ghana. Beginning in his late teens, he worked as a disc jockey under the name DJ Big Driis later Big Driis the Londoner while auditioning for acting roles. From the mids he appeared often on British TV, his roles including recurring characters on Insiders , Family Affairs , and Dangerfield He branched out into comedy on the American version of the sitcom The Office and into romance on the comedy-drama The Big C.
Revisit " Sister, Sister " and more '90s TV throwbacks that need a revival now. See our picks list. If he wasn't acting, that is.
He made his directorial debut in with an adaptation of the novel Yardie by Victor Headley. He credits The Stage with giving him his first big break, having seen an advertisement for a play in it; he auditioned and met his first agent while performing in the role. In , he landed his first significant role on a series called Bramwell , a medical drama set in s England. He played a central character in an episode of Season 1, an African petty thief named Charlie Carter, who lost his white wife to childbirth and had to figure out how to support his newborn daughter. His first named role arrived earlier in , when he was cast as a gigolo on the "Sex" episode of Absolutely Fabulous. He joined the cast of the soap opera Family Affairs  and went on to appear on the television serial Ultraviolet and later on Dangerfield. From to , Elba portrayed Russell "Stringer" Bell in the series, perhaps his best-known role in the United States. In , Elba signed on as the lead role of the film Daddy's Little Girls , playing Monty, a blue-collar mechanic who falls in love with an attorney helping him gain custody of his kids, and finds the relationship and his custody hopes threatened by the return of his former wife. Elba's next film was Legacy ,  in which he portrayed a black ops soldier who returns to Brooklyn after a failed mission in Eastern Europe, where he has undertaken a journey looking for retribution.