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The high runs of Captain Muganza, Elba

Published by Guardian on Mon, 17 Sep 2012

IDRISSA Akuna Elba is a television, theatre and film actor, who has starred in both British and American productions.Born on September 6, 1972 to a Sierra Leonean father, Winston, who worked at a Ford factory, and mother, Eve, a Ghanaian clerical officer, Elba grew up inEast Ham.Anonly child, Idris, as he is popularly called, while in school atCanning Town, East London, first became involved in acting early in life.Also a DJ under the moniker, DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, he helped his uncle with his wedding through his DJ business in 1986, and within a year, he had started his own DJ company with some of his best friends.Leaving school in 1988, he won a place in the National Youth Music Theatre ' thanks to a 1,500Prince's Trust grant, but later ended up having to do everything from tyre-fitting to cold-call advertising sales to pay the rent between roles inCrimewatch murder reconstruction.He landed his first role on a series calledBramwell, a medical drama set in 1890s England, in 1995. Thereafter, he has starred in many supporting roles on British television such asThe Bill, Law & Order The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.He joined the cast of the soap opera, Family Affairs, and rose to prominence in the acclaimed serial,Ultraviolet. He went on to appear in a more established television series such as Dangerfield, in 1999, playing a forensic scientist.He has also worked in a variety of TV roles includingTroilus & Cressida, The Office, The Big C andThe Inspector Lynley Mysteries but his role asRussell 'Stringer' Bell, aBaltimore drug lord and aspiring businessman, in the critically acclaimed The Wire shot him to the limelight.Some of his other most known roles have come in Prom Night, Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls, 28 Weeks Later, Obsessed, This Christmas, American Gangster,Takers,The Losers,Legacy, Thor, Prometheus, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.AN avid Arsenal Football Club fan, Elba was featured as one of the Ten Hottest Men on the planet in the April 2004 and November 2005 issues ofEssence magazine.In 2005, he played the role ofCaptain Augustine Muganza inSometimes in April, a film about theRwandan genocide.He was selected as one ofPeople Magazine's yearly 100 Most Beautiful People in the World, in May 2007. Elba appeared on the August 2009 and November 2011 covers of Essence magazine, and on Ebony magazine cover, August 2010 edition.At the69th Golden Globe Awards held in January, Elba won the Best Actor in a series, mini-series, or motion picture made for television for his portrayal of DCI Luther in the BBC crime thriller series, Luther.
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