Ben Kingsley

Actor
Exuding an air of gravitas in whatever role he played, Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley made a specialty of playing historical characters, ranging from Dmitri Shostakovich in "Testimony" (1987) to mobster Meyer ... Read more »
Born: 12/31/1943 in Yorkshire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (141)

Coronation Street 1960 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Knight of Cups 2016 (Movie)

(Voice)

Autobahn 2015 (Movie)

Geran (Actor)

Guys Choice 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Guest

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Learning to Drive 2015 (Movie)

Darwan (Actor)

Robot Overlords 2015 (Movie)

Robin Smythe (Actor)

Self/Less 2015 (Movie)

Damian (Actor)

The Jungle Book (Disney) 2015 (Movie)

Bagheera (Voice)

The Walk 2015 (Movie)

Papa Rudy (Actor)

Tut 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

2013 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Conan 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Convention 2014 (Movie)

Bobby Schroedinger (Actor)

Exodus: Gods And Kings 2014 (Movie)

Nun (Actor)

Heaven Above Us 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Life 2014 (Movie)

Jack Warner (Actor)

Little Mizz Innocent 2014 (Movie)

Sergei (Actor)

Mary 2014 (Movie)

King Herod (Actor)

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 2014 (Movie)

Merenkahre (Ahk's Father) (Actor)

Stonehearst Asylum 2014 (Movie)

Silas Lamb (Actor)

The Boxtrolls 2014 (Movie)

Archibald Snatcher (Voice)

The Devil's Harvest 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Physician 2014 (Movie)

Ibn Sina (Actor)

Walking with the Enemy 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

War Story 2014 (Movie)

Albert (Actor)

A Common Man 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ender's Game 2013 (Movie)

Mazer Rackham (Actor)

Iron Man 3 2013 (Movie)

The Mandarin (Actor)

A Birder's Guide to Everything 2012 (Movie)

Lawrence Konrad (Actor)

The 17th Annual Critics' Choice Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Dictator 2012 (Movie)

Tamir (Actor)

Hugo 2011 (Movie)

George Melies (Actor)

The Desert of Forbidden Art 2011 (Movie)

(Voice)

Guys Choice 2010 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 2010 (Movie)

Nizam (Actor)

Shutter Island 2010 (Movie)

Dr. Cawley (Actor)

Teen Patti 2010 (Movie)

Perci Trachtenberg (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2008, 2010 (Tv Show)

Guest

Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny 2010 (Movie)

(Narrator)

81st Annual Academy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Fifty Dead Men Walking 2009 (Movie)

Fergus (Actor)

Elegy 2008 (Movie)

David Kepesh (Actor)

The Love Guru 2008 (Movie)

Guru Tugginmypuddha (Actor)

The Wackness 2008 (Movie)

Dr. Squires (Actor)

Transsiberian 2008 (Movie)

Grinko (Actor)

War, Inc. 2008 (Movie)

Walken/The Viceroy (Actor)

The Last Legion 2007 (Movie)

Ambrosinus/Merlin (Actor)

The Ten Commandments 2007 (Movie)

Voice of Narrator (Actor)

You Kill Me 2007 (Movie)

Frank Falenczyk (Actor)

Bloodrayne 2006 (Movie)

Kagan (Actor)

Lucky Number Slevin 2006 (Movie)

The Rabbi (Actor)

A Sound of Thunder 2005 (Movie)

Charles Hatton (Actor)

Oliver Twist 2005 (Movie)

Fagin (Actor)

Suspect Zero 2004 (Movie)

Benjamin O'Ryan (Actor)

The 9th Annual Critics' Choice Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Thunderbirds 2004 (Movie)

The Hood (Actor)

House of Sand and Fog 2003 (Movie)

Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani (Actor)

AFI Awards 2001 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Spooky House 2002 (Movie)

The Great Zamboni (Actor)

The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The 74th Annual Academy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The 7th Annual Critics' Choice Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Triumph of Love 2002 (Movie)

Hermocrates--The Philosopher (Actor)

Tuck Everlasting 2002 (Movie)

Man in the Yellow Suit (Actor)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 (Movie)

of Specialist (Voice)

Burning Sands -- The Living Sands 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

Islam: Empire of Faith 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

Sexy Beast 2001 (Movie)

Don 'Malky' Logan (Actor)

Millennium: A Thousand Years of History 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Religions of the World 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Rules of Engagement 2000 (Movie)

Ambassador Mourain (Actor)

What Planet Are You From? 2000 (Movie)

Graydon (Actor)

A Force More Powerful 1999 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Alice in Wonderland 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Parting Shots 1998 (Movie)

Renzo Locatelli (Actor)

Photographing Fairies 1998 (Movie)

Reverend Templeton (Actor)

Roman Polanski: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Nazi Hunters: Stalking Evil 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Assignment 1997 (Movie)

Amos (Actor)

47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Twelfth Night 1996 (Movie)

Feste (Actor)

Inside the Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Species 1995 (Movie)

Fitch (Actor)

Death and the Maiden 1994 (Movie)

Roberto Miranda (Actor)

Dave 1993 (Movie)

Vice-President Nance (Actor)

Liberation 1993 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Living Shakespeare: A Year With the RSC 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Schindler's List 1993 (Movie)

Itzhak Stern (Actor)

Searching for Bobby Fischer 1993 (Movie)

Bruce Pandolfini (Actor)

The King and I: Recording a Hollywood Dream 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Freddie as F.R.O.7 1992 (Movie)

of Freddie the Frog (Voice)

Michael Caine: Breaking the Mold 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Sneakers 1992 (Movie)

Cosmo (Actor)

Bugsy 1991 (Movie)

Meyer Lansky (Actor)

L' Amour Necessaire 1991 (Movie)

Ernesto (Actor)

The Fifth Monkey 1990 (Movie)

Cunda (Actor)

Una Vita Scellerata 1990 (Movie)

Governor (Actor)

Romeo-Juliet 1989 (Movie)

of Father Capulet (Voice)

Slipstream 1989 (Movie)

Avatar (Actor)

The Children 1989 (Movie)

Martin Boyle (Actor)

Pascali's Island 1988 (Movie)

Basil Pascali (Actor)

Testimony 1988 (Movie)

Dimitri Shostakovich (Actor)

Without A Clue 1988 (Movie)

Dr John Watson (Actor)

Maurice 1987 (Movie)

Lasker-Jones (Actor)

Our Finite World: India 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Narrator

Turtle Diary 1986 (Movie)

William Snow (Actor)

Camille 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Harem 1985 (Movie)

Selim (Actor)

Betrayal 1983 (Movie)

Robert (Actor)

Sleeps Six 1983 (Movie)

Geoff Craven (Actor)

Gandhi 1982 (Movie)

Mahatma Gandhi (Actor)

Fear Is the Key 1973 (Movie)

Royale (Actor)

Anne Frank (TV Show)

Actor

China's Stolen Children (TV Show)

Narrator

Joseph (TV Show)

Actor

Last Images of War (TV Show)

Narrator

Moses (TV Show)

Actor

Mrs. Harris (TV Show)

Actor

Number Thirteen (Movie)

(Actor)

Oxbridge Blues (TV Show)

Actor

Silas Marner (TV Show)

Actor

Survivors of the Holocaust (TV Show)

Actor

The Confession (TV Show)

Actor

The Tale of Sweeney Todd (TV Show)

Actor

The Tiger and the Brahmin (TV Show)

Narrator

Weapons of Mass Distraction (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Exuding an air of gravitas in whatever role he played, Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley made a specialty of playing historical characters, ranging from Dmitri Shostakovich in "Testimony" (1987) to mobster Meyer Lansky in "Bugsy" (1991). His most acclaimed performance, however, was in Sir Richard Attenborough's epic biopic "Gandhi" (1982), in which he played the title role of one of the 20th Century's most revered and influential figures. Thanks to that Oscar-winning performance, Kingsley went from being a relatively obscure character actor to an international star overnight. In the 1990s, Kingsley dramatically reinvented himself by taking on shadier, more morally ambiguous characters, such as the smarmy bad guy in "Sneakers" (1992), a trusted associate of Oskar Schindler in "Schindler's List" (1993), and the physician-torturer of "Death and the Maiden" (1994). Kingsley later delivered one of the most explosive performances of his career as the uninhibitedly ferocious criminal Don Logan in the British gangster feature "Sexy Beast" (2001), a role that transformed his image while earning a ton of award buzz. He went on to a variety of roles in the dark character drama "House of Sand and Fog" (2003), Roman Polanski's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (2005), the high-energy crime thriller "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006), and Martin Scorsese's psychological thriller "Shutter Island" (2010). By the time he co-starred in the fantastical "Hugo" (2011), Kingsley was long established as one of Hollywood's most gifted and esteemed performers.

Relationships

Rahimtulla Bhanji

Father
Ismaili Muslim; born in Kenya of Indian Khoja Gujarati descent; moved to England at the age of 14

Anna Bhanji

Mother
Daughter of an English East London garment worker and a father who was believed by the family to have been a Russian or German Jew

Alexandra Christmann

Wife
Married Oct. 3, 2003 Separated in 2005 after 15 months of marriage, after pictures of her kissing another lover surfaced on the Internet Divorced Feb. 8, 2005

Edmund Kingsley Actor

Son
Born July 5, 1982; mother, Alison Sutcliffe Acted together in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" (2011)

Ferdinand Kingsley Actor

Son
Acted together in "The Last Legion" (2007)

Jasmine Kingsley

Daughter
Mother, Angela Morant

Daniela Lavender Actor

Wife
Married Sept. 3, 2007 in Oxfordshire, England; Lavender was 31 years Kingsley's junior

Angela Morant Actor

Wife
Married in 1966 Divorced in 1972

Alison Sutcliffe

Wife
Married July 1, 1978 Divorced Feb. 1, 1992

Kate Townsend

Companion
Lived together c. 1993

EDUCATION

Pendleton College

The school later became home to the Ben Kingsley Theatre

University of Salford

Manchester Grammar School

Fallowfield , Manchester

Milestones

2015

Co-starred as studio head Jack Warner in Anton Corbijn's "Life"

2014

Starred opposite Patricia Clarkson in indie drama "Learning to Drive"

2014

Co-starred in Ridley Scott's Biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings"

2014

Starred in animated hit "The Boxtrolls"

2013

Featured in "Iron Man 3"

2013

Appeared in the sci-fi movie "Ender's Game"

2012

Acted opposite Sacha Baron Cohen in political satire "The Dictator"

2011

Cast in the family adventure "Hugo"; again directed by Scorsese

2010

Played the chief physician at a hospital for the criminally insane in Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island"

2010

Co-starred opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

2008

Co-starred opposite Penélope Cruz in "Elegy"

2008

Co-starred with Famke Janssen and Josh Peck in "The Wackness"

2007

Played an alcoholic hit man in the dark comedy "You Kill Me"

2006

Played 'The Rabbi,' a crime boss after Josh Hartnett in the thriller "Lucky Number Slevin"

2006

Played famed cardiologist Herman Tarnower who was murdered by his jilted lover Jean Harris (Annette Bening) in the HBO movie "Mrs. Harris"

2005

Cast as pickpocket kingpin Fagin in Roman Polanski's adaptation of "Oliver Twist"

2004

Starred opposite Aaron Eckhart in the thriller "Suspect Zero"

2004

Cast as The Hood in "Thunderbirds," based on the cult British television show from the 1960s

2003

Portrayed an Iranian immigrant opposite Jennifer Connelly in Vadim Perelman's "House of Sand and Fog"

2002

Cast in the family drama "Tuck Everlasting"

2001

Played Otto Frank in the ABC miniseries "Anne Frank"; received Emmy nomination

2001

Co-starred with Fiona Shaw and Mira Sorvino in "The Triumph of Love"

2000

Delivered a scene-stealing turn as a British gangster in "Sexy Beast"

2000

Landed supporting role in "What Planet Are You From?"

2000

Appeared as the Yemeni ambassador in "Rules of Engagement"

1999

Acted the part of Major Caterpillar in NBC's movie adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland"

1998

Appeared in the NBC telefilm "Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'" as Magistrate Porfiry

1998

Portrayed the titular Demon Barber in Showtime's "The Tale of Sweeney Todd"

1997

Appeared as Estragon in a West End stage production of "Waiting for Godot"

1997

Starred as Mossad commander Amos in Christian Duguay's "The Assignment"

1996

Played the title role in the TNT miniseries "Moses"

1995

Cast in the Emmy Award winning TNT miniseries, "Joseph"

1994

Portrayed a physician who once tortured Sigourney Weaver in Roman Polanski's "Death and the Maiden"

1993

Played the mentor of a young chess prodigy in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

1993

Portrayed the trusted associate Itshak Stern to Liam Neeson's Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List"

1992

Delivered villainous turn as Cosmo in the high-tech thriller "Sneakers"

1991

Narrated Showtime's "The Tiger and the Brahmin"

1991

Co-starred as gangster Meyer Lansky in "Bugsy"

1989

Essayed the title role of "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story" (HBO)

1988

Acted opposite Helen Mirren in James Dearden's "Pascali's Island"

1988

Starred in first American film, "Without a Clue" playing Dr. Watson to Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes

1987

Portrayed a flaky hypnotist in James Ivory's "Maurice"

1987

Starred as Russian composer Dimitri Shostokovitch in "Testimony"

1985

Starred in the title role of "Silas Marner" (PBS)

1985

Re-teamed with screenwriter Pinter (opposite Glenda Jackson) for John Irvin's "Turtle Diary"

1984

Debuted on Broadway in the one-man show "Edmund Kean"

1984

Starred in first TV-movie, "Camille" (CBS)

1983

Acted in the film version of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal"

1982

Breakthrough role as Mohandas Gandhi in the Academy Award-winning film "Gandhi"

1979

Originated the role of Squeers in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Nicholas Nickleby"; unable to reprise role on Broadway due to film commitments

1977

Played Mosca in Peter Hall's production of Ben Jonson's "Volpone" for the Royal National Theatre

1975

Appeared in the BBC miniseries "The Love School"

1973

Made film debut in "Fear is the Key"

1969

Cast in Peter Brook's acclaimed production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1967

Became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

1966

Cast as Ron Jenkins on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" (ITV)

1964

Turned down by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, accepted into the Children's Theatre

Co-starred opposite Catherine Keener in "War Story"

Moved to the Royal Court Theater in London in the early 1970s

Bonus Trivia

.

After seeing Kingsley sing and play guitar in the 1966 stage musical "A Smashing Day," produced by Brian Epstein, The Beatles' music publisher Dick James offered him a contract, but the young actor chose to enter the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Kingsley was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000.

.

The actor was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during the 2001 New Years Honours list.

.

In 2008, Kingsley was awarded the Cinema for Peace Honorary Award for the portrayal of the humanitarian role models Simon Wiesenthal, Itzhak Stern and Gandhi.

.

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010

.

"I auditioned for Rada and I remember sitting in the waiting room with the chap with the list of auditionees, if that’s the word. He called out "Kristina Blange!" and nobody moved, and then I thought "Oh gosh, that’s me!" Because my name, Krishna Bhanji, in my awful handwriting, looked like Kristina Blange. So up gets Kristina Blange out of his/her chair and with a breaking, sinking heart does quite a passable bit from Richard III, but doesn’t get in. I told this story to my dad, who was very pragmatic, and he said "change your name", and I did. So I got Ben from dad’s nickname, Bhanji-Benjy-Benjamin-Ben. He was called Ben by all his pals at school and beyond. And Kingsley from his dad’s nickname because his dad was a spice trader in East Africa, so successful that he was called Clove King, or King of the Cloves, so I got Kingsley from that. It’s in there, my heritage." -- The Telegraph, December 2, 2011

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"I like to have a phrase, or a piece of invented mythology that catalyses my whole performance. With Gandhi it was to do with anger, rage and indignation. My key scene in the film was being thrown off a train and my little bit of mythology was "Once upon a time they threw a man off a train. Big mistake". Be very careful who you bully because sometimes that person can intellectually manoeuvre themselves with such brilliance into being a very, very serious adversary." -- The Telegraph, December 2, 2011

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