Ben Kingsley was born in England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was of Gujrati descent. Ben began to act in stage plays during the 1960s. He soon became a successful stage actor, and also began to have roles in films and TV. His birth name was Krishna Bhanji - but he changed his name to "Ben Kingsley" soon after gaining fame as a stage actor, fearing that a foreign name could hamper his acting career.
Ben Kingsley first earned international fame for his performance in the 1982 movie, Gandhi (1982). His performance as "Mahatma Gandhi" earned him international fame. He won many awards - including an Oscar for Best Actor. He also won Golden Globe, BAFTA and London Film Critics' Circle Awards. After acting in Gandhi (1982), Ben was recognized as one of the finest British actors.
After his international fame for appearing in Gandhi (1982), Kingsley appeared in many other famous movies. His success as an actor continued. In 1993, his performance as "Itzhak Stern" in the movie, Schindler's List (1993) earned him a BAFTA nomination. Schindler's List (1993) won seven Oscars, including Best Picture. During the late 1990s, Kingsley acted in many successful movies. He played "Sweeney Todd" in the 1998 TV movie, The Tale of Sweeney Todd (1997) (TV). For his performance in this movie, he was nominated for the Screen Actors' Guild Award. His other notable role was as "Otto Frank" in the TV movie "Anne Frank: The Whole Story" (2001), for which he won a Screen Actors' Guild Award.
Ben Kingsley lives in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire, in England.
|Daniela Lavender||(3 September 2007 - present)|
|Alexandra Christmann||(3 October 2003 - 8 February 2005) (divorced)|
|Alison Sutcliffe||(1 July 1978 - 1 February 1992) (divorced) 2 children|
|Angela Morant||(1966 - 1972) (divorced) 2 children|
Educated at Manchester Grammar School.
Son of a doctor.
He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2002 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.
Derived his stage name from his grandfather's nickname, "Clove King." His grandfather was a spice trader in Zanzibar.
Is of half Indian and half English descent. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born physician of Indian descent while his mother, Anna Lyna Mary Bhanji, was an English fashion model and actress; she appeared in films in the 1920s and 1930s.
Ben Kingsley's paternal family was from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same state Mohandas K. Gandhi was from.
Made his London stage debut in 1966 as the narrator of "A Smashing Day" produced by The Beatles manager, Brian Epstein. He wrote the music for the production as well as sang and played guitar for same. After one performance, John Lennon and Ringo Starr came backstage and told him that he should go into music and that if he didn't, "he would regret it for the rest of his life." He was subsequently offered a deal by the same publishers who handled The Beatles, but he chose to remain an actor. The next year, he was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and his choice was made.
Was listed as a potential nominee on both the 2005 and 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballots. He was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actor category on the 2005 ballot for his role in the film Thunderbirds (2004). And he was suggested again the next year in the Worst Supporting Actor category of the 2006 Razzie nominating ballot for his performance in the film A Sound of Thunder (2005). He failed to receive either nomination. The very next year (2007) though, he got a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie Nomination for his performance in the film BloodRayne (2005).
Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998
Was originally cast as Ephraim in Munich (2005), but later had to withdraw from the project due to scheduling conflicts.
His performance as Don Logan in Sexy Beast (2000) is ranked #97 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
At the age of ten he went busking outside a cinema in Llanelli, South Wales, with his friend Shirley Edwards.
Married his fourth wife Daniela Lavender at a country house in North Leigh in Oxfordshire in September 2007.
One of eight actors of Asian descent nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category. The others are Miyoshi Umeki, Sessue Hayakawa, Mako, Haing S. Ngor, Pat Morita, Ken Watanabe, and Rinko Kikuchi.
The initials of his professional name are a reversal of the initials of his birth name.
Awarded a "star" (#2410) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Offering their support at the event were his son Edmund Kingsley, wife Daniela Lavender, friends Bruce Willis and Jerry Bruckheimer. [27 May 2010]
Was awarded the Grammy Award for "Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording" in 1985 for "The Words Of Gandhi.".
In an ideal way, in an ideal world, myself and the director are one. And as you rightly say, in an ideal world, you can't see the horizon between sky and sea. I felt that the times with Spielberg [Steven Spielberg] on Schindler's List (1993), we were moving as one creature.
on Winning the Oscar for Best Actor in Gandhi (1982): "If I knew I was going to win, I would not have gone dressed as a waiter.
As an actor there's no autonomy, unless you're prepared to risk the possibility of starving.
Hopefully, as I get older in the business, I make my choices more accurately, and I perhaps know from either the script or the first meeting that it isn't going to work.
All the great writers root their characters in true human behavior.
As a singer, I might have fallen among thieves. I wonder if I'd still be alive by now.
Being a leading man on a film set under the direction of somebody like Dickie Attenborough [Richard Attenborough, director of Gandhi (1982)] is very empowering, and you have to be extremely careful how you use that power.
But comedy I'd love to do as much as humanly possible.
[about the holocaust] It's like a big, hulking monster squatting in the middle of our history and it won't go away.
About actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: "It was a pleasure working with Aishwarya in The Last Legion (2007), and her fans are in for a big surprise. She is an excellent and outstanding actor. She is a shining example of beauty from India, and I'm sure we will be seeing her in more Hollywood movies real soon " (August, 2006)
(July 2008) He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus, degree ceremony on the July 18, 2008.
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