1. Idrissa Akuna “Idris” Elba, OBE Detective John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the 2013 biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
2. He has been nominated five times for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, winning one, and was nominated four times for a Primetime Emmy Award.
3. In addition to his acting work, Elba is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis and hip hop soul musician.
4. His father, Winston, was a Sierra Leonean who worked in the Ford motor factory at Dagenham, and his mother, Eve, was a Ghanaian who had a clerical job. and shortened his first name from Idrissa to Idris at school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting.
5. He credits The Stage with giving him his first big break; having seen an advertisement for a play in the newspaper, Elba auditioned and met his first agent while performing in the role.
6. In 1995, Elba landed his first significant role on a series called Bramwell, a medical drama set in 1890s England.
7. 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.
8. His first named role arrived earlier in 1995, cast as a gigolo on the “Sex” episode of Absolutely Fabulous.
9. Many supporting roles on British television followed, including series such as The Bill and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.
10. He joined the cast of the soap opera Family Affairs He returned to England occasionally for a television role, such as a part in one of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
11. In 2001, Elba played Achilles in a stage production of Troilus and Cressida in New York City.
12. From 2002 to 2004, Elba portrayed Russell “Stringer” Bell in the series, perhaps his best-known role in the US.
13. In 2005, he portrayed Captain Augustin Muganza in Sometimes in April, an HBO film about the Rwandan Genocide.