Ben Kingsley
Overview
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji; (Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

:કૃષ્ણા પંડિત ભાનજી); 31 December 1943) is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

. He is also known for his performances in the films Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

(1993), Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast is a 2000 British-Spanish crime drama film directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was Glazer's debut feature film, who had previously been a music video director for videos such as Rabbit in Your Headlights for...

(2000) and House of Sand and Fog (2003).
Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in Snainton
Snainton
Snainton is a village and civil parish in the Scarboroughdistrict of North Yorkshire, England.According to the 2001 UK census, Snainton parish had a population of 891.-Notable people:The actor Ben Kingsley was born in Snainton....

, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, England, the son of Anna Lyna Mary (née Goodman), an actress and model, and Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, a medical doctor.

Kingsley's father, born in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, is of Gujarati
Gujarati people
Gujarati people , or Gujaratis are an ethnic group that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking and can trace their ancestry to the state of Gujarat in western India...

 Indian
British Indian
The term British Indian refers to citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in India. This includes people born in the UK who are of Indian descent, and Indian-born people who have migrated to the UK...

 descent; Kingsley's paternal grandfather was a spice trader who had moved from India to Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

, where Kingsley's father lived until moving to England at the age of 14.
Encyclopedia
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji; (Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

:કૃષ્ણા પંડિત ભાનજી); 31 December 1943) is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

. He is also known for his performances in the films Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

(1993), Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast is a 2000 British-Spanish crime drama film directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was Glazer's debut feature film, who had previously been a music video director for videos such as Rabbit in Your Headlights for...

(2000) and House of Sand and Fog (2003).

Early life

Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in Snainton
Snainton
Snainton is a village and civil parish in the Scarboroughdistrict of North Yorkshire, England.According to the 2001 UK census, Snainton parish had a population of 891.-Notable people:The actor Ben Kingsley was born in Snainton....

, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, England, the son of Anna Lyna Mary (née Goodman), an actress and model, and Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, a medical doctor.

Kingsley's father, born in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, is of Gujarati
Gujarati people
Gujarati people , or Gujaratis are an ethnic group that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking and can trace their ancestry to the state of Gujarat in western India...

 Indian
British Indian
The term British Indian refers to citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in India. This includes people born in the UK who are of Indian descent, and Indian-born people who have migrated to the UK...

 descent; Kingsley's paternal grandfather was a spice trader who had moved from India to Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

, where Kingsley's father lived until moving to England at the age of 14. Kingsley's mother, born out of wedlock, was "loath to speak of her background". Kingsley's maternal grandfather was believed by the family to have been a Russian or German Jew, while his maternal grandmother was English and worked in the garment district of East London
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

.

Kingsley grew up in Pendlebury
Pendlebury
Pendlebury is a suburban town in the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies to the northwest of Manchester city centre, northwest of Salford, and southeast of Bolton....

, near Salford. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School
Manchester Grammar School
The Manchester Grammar School is the largest independent day school for boys in the UK . It is based in Manchester, England...

, where one of his classmates was the actor Robert Powell
Robert Powell
Robert Powell is an English television and film actor, probably most famous for his title role in Jesus of Nazareth and as the fictional secret agent Richard Hannay...

. He later studied at the University of Salford
University of Salford
The University of Salford is a campus university based in Salford, Greater Manchester, England with approximately 20,000 registered students. The main campus is about west of Manchester city centre, on the A6, opposite the former home of the physicist, James Prescott Joule and the Working Class...

 and at Pendleton College, which later became home to the Ben Kingsley Theatre.

Film and television career

Kingsley began his acting career on stage, but made a transition to film roles early on. Despite this focus on film, he continued to act on the stage, playing Mosca in Peter Hall's 1977 production of Ben Jonson's Volpone
Volpone
Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy, black comedy and beast fable...

for the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

, and in Peter Brook
Peter Brook
Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH, CBE is an English theatre and film director and innovator, who has been based in France since the early 1970s.-Life:...

's acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta...

. At about this time, he changed his name from Krishna Pandit Bhanji to Ben Kingsley, fearing that a foreign name would hamper his career; he took his stage surname from his paternal grandfather's nickname, "King Clove".

Kingsley's first film role was a supporting turn in Fear Is the Key
Fear is the Key
Fear Is the Key is a 1961 thriller novel by Scottish author Alistair MacLean, and a 1972 British film based upon it.-Plot introduction:In the prologue, set in May 1958, Talbot, owner of "Trans Carib Air Charter Co" was in radio contact with one of his planes en route to Tampa, Florida, as it is...

, released in 1972. Kingsley continued starring in bit roles in both film and television, including a role as Ron Jenkins on the soap opera Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

from 1966 to 1967 and regular appearances as a defence counsel in the long-running British legal programme Crown Court
Crown Court (TV series)
Crown Court was an afternoon television courtroom drama produced by Granada Television for the ITV network that ran from 1972, when the Crown Court system replaced Assize courts and Quarter sessions in the legal system of England and Wales, to 1984....

. In 1975, he starred as Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement,...

 in the BBCs historical drama The Love School
The Love School
The Love School is a BBC television drama series originally broadcast in 1975 about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, written by John Hale, Ray Lawler, Robin Chapman and John Prebble. It was directed by Piers Haggard, John Glenister and Robert Knights. It was shown during January and February 1975...

. He found fame only years later, starring as Mohandas Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 in the Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

-winning film Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

in 1982, his best-known role to date. The audience agreed with the critics, and Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

was a box-office success. Kingsley won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for his portrayal.

Kingsley has since appeared in a variety of roles. His credits included the films Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary is a 1985 British drama about "people rediscovering the joys of life and love," based on a screenplay adapted by Harold Pinter from Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary, directed by John Irvin, and starring Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, and Michael Gambon.-Synopsis:Two lonely Londoners -...

, Maurice
Maurice (film)
Maurice is a 1987 British film based on the novel of the same title by E. M. Forster. It is a tale of homosexual love in early 20th century England, following its main character Maurice Hall from his school days through university until he is united with his life partner.It was produced by Ismail...

, Pascali's Island
Pascali's Island (film)
Pascali's Island is a 1988 British drama film, based on the novel by Barry Unsworth. It was written and directed by James Dearden. It stars Ben Kingsley, Charles Dance and Helen Mirren...

, Without a Clue
Without a Clue
Without a Clue is a 1988 British comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Lysette Anthony.-Plot:...

(as Dr. Watson alongside Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

's Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

), Suspect Zero
Suspect Zero
Suspect Zero is a 2004 thriller film directed by E. Elias Merhige. It opened to decidedly mixed reviews, and failed to earn back half of its estimated $27 million production costs at the box office.-Plot:...

, Bugsy
Bugsy
Bugsy is a 1991 American crime-drama film which tells the story of mobster Bugsy Siegel. It stars Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna, Bebe Neuwirth, and Bill Graham....

(nominated for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

), Sneakers
Sneakers (film)
Sneakers is a 1992 caper film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, written by Robinson, Walter F. Parkes, and Lawrence Lasker and starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn...

, Dave
Dave (film)
Dave is a 1993 comedy-drama film written by Gary Ross, directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Co-stars include Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, and Ben Kingsley. Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay...

, Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer is a 1993 film based on the life of prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin, played by Max Pomeranc. Adapted from the book of the same name by Joshua's father Fred, the film was written and directed by Steven Zaillian...

, Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

, Silas Marner
Silas Marner
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is a dramatic novel by George Eliot. Her third novel, it was first published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a reclusive weaver, in its strong realism it represents one of Eliot's most sophisticated treatments of her attitude to religion.-Plot summary:The...

, Death and the Maiden, Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast is a 2000 British-Spanish crime drama film directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was Glazer's debut feature film, who had previously been a music video director for videos such as Rabbit in Your Headlights for...

, for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and House of Sand and Fog, which led to an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He won a Crystal Globe
Crystal Globe
Crystal Globe is the main award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, first given in the city of Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic, in 1948.In the international competition of films, IFFKV presents the following awards:...

 award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema
World cinema
World cinema is a term used primarily in English language speaking countries to refer to the films and film industries of non-English speaking countries. It is therefore often used interchangeably with the term foreign film...

 at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is a film festival held annually in July in Karlovy Vary , Czech Republic. The Karlovy Vary Festival gained worldwide recognition over the past years and has become one of Europe's major film events....

 in 2001.

In 1997, he provided voice talent for the video game Ceremony of Innocence
Ceremony of Innocence
Ceremony of Innocence was a Windows CD ROM based game created in 1997. It used a mystery narrative based on the Griffin and Sabine novel by Nick Bantock...

. In July 2006, he received an Emmy nomination for his performance in the made-for-TV film Mrs. Harris
Mrs. Harris (film)
Mrs. Harris is a 2005 American drama film written and directed by Phyllis Nagy. The teleplay, based on the book Very Much a Lady by Shana Alexander, focuses on the tempestuous relationship between Herman Tarnower, noted cardiologist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Complete Scarsdale...

, in which he played famed cardiologist Herman Tarnower
Herman Tarnower
Herman Tarnower was a cardiologist and the author of the bestselling diet book The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet...

, who was murdered by his jilted lover, Jean Harris
Jean Harris
Jean Harris was the headmistress of The Madeira School for girls in McLean, Virginia who made national news in 1980 as the defendant in a high-profile murder case of her lover Dr...

. Later that year, Kingsley appeared in an episode of The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

entitled "Luxury Lounge", playing himself. In the show, Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher "Chris" Moltisanti, played by Michael Imperioli, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He was Tony Soprano's protégé and a Capo in the Soprano crime family.-Biography:...

 and Carmine Lupertazzi
Carmine Lupertazzi
Carmine Lupertazzi, Sr., played by Tony Lip, was the fictional Boss of the Brooklyn-based Lupertazzi crime family on the HBO TV series, The Sopranos.-Biography:...

 offer him a role in the fictional slasher film
Slasher film
A slasher film is a type of horror film typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe...

 Cleaver
Cleaver (The Sopranos)
Cleaver is a metafictional film within a tv-series that serves as an important plot element toward the end of the HBO television drama series The Sopranos. Although very little film material is actually shown in the series, its planning and development are discussed at large throughout multiple...

, which he turns down. Lupertazzi offers him the role on the basis of Kingsley's real-life performance in Sexy Beast.

In 2007, Kingsley appeared as a Polish American
Polish American
A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

 mobster in the Mafia comedy
Mafia Comedy
Mafia comedy films are a sub-genre hybrid of comedy films and crime/gangster films.Mafia comedies revolve around the mafia and a comedic plot line, usually a chase or a complicated situation involving the Mafia...

 You Kill Me
You Kill Me
You Kill Me is 2007 crime comedy film directed by John Dahl, and starring Ben Kingsley, Luke Wilson, Téa Leoni, Philip Baker Hall, Dennis Farina, and Bill Pullman.-Plot:...

, and a hitman in War, Inc.
War, Inc.
War, Inc. is a 2008 American political satire film starring John Cusack and directed by Joshua Seftel. Cusack also co-wrote and produced the film.- Plot :...

In 2010, Kingsley has worked voicing a character named Sabine in Lionhead Studios
Lionhead Studios
Lionhead Studios is a British computer game development company led by industry veteran Peter Molyneux, and acquired by Microsoft Game Studios in April 2006. Lionhead started as a breakaway from the developer Bullfrog, which was also founded by Molyneux. Lionhead's first game was Black & White, a...

 game Fable III
Fable III
Fable III is the third video game in the Fable series of action role-playing games . The game was developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. The story focuses on the player character's struggle to overthrow the King of Albion by...

, and starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

 in Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

. He appeared in Scorsese's next film, Hugo, and has signed up to appear in the new feature by Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

 and John Boorman
John Boorman
John Boorman is a British filmmaker who is a long time resident of Ireland and is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Zardoz, Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, The General and The Tailor of Panama.-Early life:Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey,...

 entitled Broken Dream.

Kingsley's SBK-Pictures has been planning to bring the story of the Native American Conley Sisters to the big screen in Whispers Like Thunder, with Kingsley playing the role of Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States...

, the first part-Native American to become vice-president of the United States.

Honours

Kingsley was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (CBE) in 2000. He was made a knight bachelor
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 in the 2002 New Year's Honours (the award was announced on 31 December 2001, which happened to be Kingsley's 58th birthday). His demand to be called 'Sir' was documented by the BBC, to some criticism. Since then, Kingsley appears to have altered his stance; credits for his latest films refer to him as Ben Kingsley. Co-star Penelope Cruz
Penélope Cruz
Penélope Cruz Sánchez is a Spanish actress. Signed by an agent at age 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year in Jamón, jamón , to critical acclaim...

 was reportedly unsure what to call him during the filming of Elegy
Elegy (film)
Elegy is a 2008 drama directed by Spanish director Isabel Coixet and based on a Philip Roth novel, The Dying Animal. Staring Penélope Cruz and Ben Kingsley. The film is set in New York City, but was filmed in Vancouver.-Plot:...

as someone had told her she needed to refer to him as "Sir Ben". One day it slipped out as such, and she called him that for the remainder of the shoot.

In 1984, he won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word or Nonmusical Recording for The Words of Gandhi. He was awarded the Indian civilian honor Padma Shri
Padma Shri
Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan...

 in 1984.

In May 2010, Kingsley was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

.

Personal life

Kingsley has been married four times and has four children: Thomas Bhanji and artist Jasmin Bhanji, with actress Angela Morant
Angela Morant
Angela Morant is a British actress.She is remembered for playing Octavia Minor in the 1976 BBC television adaptation of I, Claudius and Barbara Harrison in the soap opera Brookside....

, and Edmund Kingsley and Ferdinand Kingsley, both of whom became actors, with theatrical director Alison Sutcliffe
Alison Sutcliffe
Alison Sutcliffe is a prolific British theatre director who until 2011 was Artistic Director of The Bridge Project at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, during which time she created an ensemble theatre company which produced eleven productions...

. In 2005, he divorced German-born Alexandra Christmann, having been "deeply, deeply shocked" after pictures of her kissing another man surfaced on the internet. On 3 September 2007, Kingsley married Daniela Lavender
Daniela Lavender
Daniela Lavender, Lady Kinsley is a Brazilian actress, appearing on Brazilian television, and English-language television, film and stage, including touring with the British Shakespeare Company.-Early life:...

, a Brazilian actress, in North Leigh
North Leigh
North Leigh is a village and civil parish about northeast of Witney in Oxfordshire. The parish includes the hamlet of East End, and since 1932 has also included the hamlet of Wilcote.-Early history:...

, Oxfordshire.

He currently lives in Spelsbury
Spelsbury
Spelsbury is a village and civil parish about north of Charlbury and about southeast of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Spelsbury stands on a narrow hill between the Coldron and Taston brooks overlooking the River Evenlode and the ancient Wychwood Forest to the north.-History:The toponym is...

, Oxfordshire, England, where he has resided for more than ten years.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1972 Fear Is the Key
1973 Hard Labour
Hard Labour (film)
Hard Labour is a 1973 television film, directed by Mike Leigh and produced by Tony Garnett which aired as part of the BBC anthology series Play for Today. The film stars Liz Smith in her first major role. The film is the most clearly drawn in all Leigh's work from the background in Higher and...

Naseem Television film
1982 Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

Mohandas Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 
1983 Betrayal
Betrayal (1983 film)
Betrayal is a film adaptation of Harold Pinter's 1978 play of the same name. With a semi-autobiographical screenplay by Pinter, the film was produced by Sam Spiegel and directed by David Jones. It was critically well received, praised notably by New York Times film critic Vincent Canby and by...

Robert
1984 Oxbridge Blues
Oxbridge Blues
Oxbridge Blues is a British television mini-series, produced by the BBC and first shown in 1984. It is an anthology of seven 75-minute teleplays, most of which focus on relationships of one kind or another...

Geoff Craven
1985 Silas Marner
Silas Marner
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is a dramatic novel by George Eliot. Her third novel, it was first published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a reclusive weaver, in its strong realism it represents one of Eliot's most sophisticated treatments of her attitude to religion.-Plot summary:The...

: The Weaver of Raveloe
Silas Marner
Silas Marner
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is a dramatic novel by George Eliot. Her third novel, it was first published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a reclusive weaver, in its strong realism it represents one of Eliot's most sophisticated treatments of her attitude to religion.-Plot summary:The...

 
Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
- 1950s :*1955 Paul Rogers — *1956 Peter Cushing — *1957 Michael Gough — *1958 Michael Hordern — *1959 Donald Pleasence — - 1960s :*1960 Patrick McGoohan — *1961 Lee Montague —...

1985 Harem
Harem (film)
Harem is a 1985 French film starring Nastassja Kinski and Ben Kingsley. Directed by Arthur Joffe, the film was not rated in the U.S., but contained nudity, violence, and profanity. The film also starred Dennis Goldson....

Selim
1986 Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary is a 1985 British drama about "people rediscovering the joys of life and love," based on a screenplay adapted by Harold Pinter from Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary, directed by John Irvin, and starring Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, and Michael Gambon.-Synopsis:Two lonely Londoners -...

William Snow Screenplay by Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

1987 Sholomon Television film
1987 Maurice
Maurice (film)
Maurice is a 1987 British film based on the novel of the same title by E. M. Forster. It is a tale of homosexual love in early 20th century England, following its main character Maurice Hall from his school days through university until he is united with his life partner.It was produced by Ismail...

Lasker-Jones
1988 Pascali's Island
Pascali's Island (film)
Pascali's Island is a 1988 British drama film, based on the novel by Barry Unsworth. It was written and directed by James Dearden. It stars Ben Kingsley, Charles Dance and Helen Mirren...

Basil Pascali
1988 Without a Clue
Without a Clue
Without a Clue is a 1988 British comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Lysette Anthony.-Plot:...

Dr. John Watson
1988 Testimony — The Story of Shostakovich
Testimony (film)
Testimony: The Story of Shostakovich is a 1987 British musical drama film directed by Tony Palmer and starring Ben Kingsley, Sherry Baines and Robert Stephens. The film is based on the memoirs of Shostakovich as dictated in the book Testimony and filmed in Panavision...

Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

 
1989 Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal KBE was an Austrian Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter....

 
1990 Cunda
1991 Bugsy
Bugsy
Bugsy is a 1991 American crime-drama film which tells the story of mobster Bugsy Siegel. It stars Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna, Bebe Neuwirth, and Bill Graham....

Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky , known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Polish-born American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States...

 
1992 Sneakers
Sneakers (film)
Sneakers is a 1992 caper film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, written by Robinson, Walter F. Parkes, and Lawrence Lasker and starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn...

Cosmo
1992 Freddie as F.R.O.7
Freddie as F.R.O.7
Freddie as F.R.O.7 is a 1992 British animated film written and directed by Jon Acevski. It is a parody of James Bond. The film was inspired by bedtime stories Acevski told to his son about his favourite toy frog working as a secret agent. -Plot:...

Freddie The Frog Voice
1993 Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer is a 1993 film based on the life of prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin, played by Max Pomeranc. Adapted from the book of the same name by Joshua's father Fred, the film was written and directed by Steven Zaillian...

Bruce Pandolfini
Bruce Pandolfini
Bruce Pandolfini is a chess author, teacher and coach. He was famously portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fischer, based on the book of the same name by Fred Waitzkin...

 
1993 Dave
Dave (film)
Dave is a 1993 comedy-drama film written by Gary Ross, directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Co-stars include Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, and Ben Kingsley. Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay...

Vice President Gary Nance
1993 Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

Itzhak Stern
Itzhak Stern
Itzhak Stern was a Jewish accountant to German industrialist Oskar Schindler. He worked alongside Schindler as the accountant for his enamelware company in Kraków and greatly helped in running the company...

 
1994 Death and the Maiden Dr. Roberto Miranda
1995 Species
Species (film)
Species is a 1995 science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, and Natasha Henstridge...

Xavier Fitch
1995 Joseph
Joseph (film)
The Bible: Joseph is a German/Italian/American television movie from 1995, which tells the story of Joseph from the Old Testament.- Plot :Joseph, a Canaanite Hebrew, is an Egyptian slave to Potiphar, chief of Pharoah's palace guard. When Joseph is placed under the charge of Ednan, Potiphar's...

Potiphar
Potiphar
Potiphar or Potifar is a person in the Book of Genesis's account of Joseph. Potiphar is said to be the captain of the palace guard and is referred to without name in the Quran. Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar as a household slave...

 
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
1995 Moses
Moses (film)
Moses is an American-German-Italian biblical-drama film from 1995. It was directed by Roger Young, written by Lionel Chetwynd, starring Ben Kingsley and Frank Langella.- Cast :* Ben Kingsley : Moses* Christopher Lee – Ramses II* Anton Lesser – Eliav...

Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 
1996 Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night: Or What You Will (1996 film)
Twelfth Night or What You Will is a 1996 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play, directed by Trevor Nunn and featuring an all-star cast. The adaptation is given a northern Central European feel, set in the late 19th century, with Orsino and his followers shown wearing Czapka...

Feste
Feste
Feste is a jester in the Shakespeare comedy Twelfth Night or: What You Will. He is attached to the household of the Countess Olivia. Apparently he has been there for some time, as he was a "fool that the Lady Olivia's father took much delight in"...

 
From the play by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

1997 Weapons of Mass Distraction
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Weapons of Mass Distraction is a 1997 film starring Gabriel Byrne, Ben Kingsley, Mimi Rogers, Jeffrey Tambor, and other stars in an ensemble cast, about two media moguls and their fight over ownership of a professional football team...

Julian Messenger Television film
1997 Amos
1997 Photographing Fairies
Photographing Fairies
Photographing Fairies is 1997 fantasy film based on Steve Szilagyi's 1992 novel Photographing Fairies.- Themes :This film explores some of the themes of folk religion such as: possession, paganism, animism, hallucinogens, parapsychology and fairy...

Minister Templeton
1998 Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as then antagonist of the Victorian penny dreadful The String of Pearls and he was later introduced as an antihero in the broadway musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and its film adaptation...

 
1999 Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland (1999 film)
Alice in Wonderland is a television film first broadcast in 1999 on NBC and then shown on British television on Channel 4. It is based upon Lewis Carroll's books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass....

Major Caterpillar Television film
1999 Harry Fertig
2000 What Planet Are You From?
What Planet Are You From?
What Planet Are You From? is a 2000 comedy film starring Garry Shandling and Annette Bening. It was directed by Mike Nichols.-Plot:A denizen of a faraway planet occupied only by highly evolved males is ordered to find a female human, impregnate her and bring the baby back to the planet...

Graydon
2000 Rules of Engagement
Rules of Engagement (film)
Rules of Engagement is a 2000 American film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays Marine Colonel Terry Childers, who is brought to court-martial on charges of disobeying the rules of engagement in a military incident at an American embassy...

Ambassador Mourain
2000 Islam: Empire of Faith
Islam: Empire of Faith
Islam: Empire of Faith is a documentary series, made in 2000, that details the history of Islam, from the birth of the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad to the Ottoman Empire...

Narrator Voice
2000 Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast is a 2000 British-Spanish crime drama film directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was Glazer's debut feature film, who had previously been a music video director for videos such as Rabbit in Your Headlights for...

Don Logan
2001 Anne Frank: The Whole Story
Anne Frank: The Whole Story
Anne Frank: The Whole Story is a mini-series based on the book Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller. The mini-series aired on ABC on May 20 and 21, 2001. The series starred :Ben Kingsley, :Brenda Blethyn, :Hannah Taylor-Gordon, and :Lili Taylor...

Otto Frank
Otto Frank
Otto Heinrich "Pim" Frank was a German-born businessman and the father of Anne Frank and Margot Frank...

 
2001 AI: Artificial Intelligence
A.I. (film)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a 2001 science fiction drama film directed, produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg. Based on Brian Aldiss' short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long", the film stars Haley Joel Osment, Frances O'Connor, Jude Law, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas...

Specialist Voice
2002 Hermocrates Marivaux's play
2002 Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting (2002 film)
Tuck Everlasting is a 2002 film based on the children's book of the same title by Natalie Babbitt published in 1975. This Disney version was directed by Jay Russell.- Plot summary :...

Man in the Yellow Suit
2003 House of Sand and Fog Massoud Behrani
2004 Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds (film)
Thunderbirds is a 2004 science-fiction adventure film loosely based upon the television series of the same name of the 1960s, directed by Jonathan Frakes....

"The Hood" loosely based on the super-marionation
Supermarionation
Supermarionation is a puppetry technique devised in the 1960s by British production company AP Films. It was used extensively in the company's numerous Gerry and Sylvia Anderson-produced action-adventure series, the most famous of which was Thunderbirds...

 programme created by Gerry Anderson
Gerry Anderson
Gerry Anderson MBE is a British publisher, producer, director and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving specially modified marionettes, a process called "Supermarionation"....

 and Sylvia Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Sylvia Anderson , born 25 March 1937, is a British voice artist and film producer, most notable for collaborations with Gerry Anderson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1975....

2004 Suspect Zero
Suspect Zero
Suspect Zero is a 2004 thriller film directed by E. Elias Merhige. It opened to decidedly mixed reviews, and failed to earn back half of its estimated $27 million production costs at the box office.-Plot:...

Benjamin O'Ryan
2005 Charles Hatton
2005 Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist (2005 film)
Oliver Twist is a 2005 British drama film directed by Roman Polanski. The screenplay by Ronald Harwood is based on the 1838 novel of the same title by Charles Dickens....

Fagin
Fagin
Fagin is a fictional character who appears as an antagonist of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, referred to in the preface of the novel as a "receiver of stolen goods", but referred to more frequently within the actual story as the "merry old gentleman" or simply the "Jew".-Character:Born...

 
2005 Mrs. Harris
Mrs. Harris (film)
Mrs. Harris is a 2005 American drama film written and directed by Phyllis Nagy. The teleplay, based on the book Very Much a Lady by Shana Alexander, focuses on the tempestuous relationship between Herman Tarnower, noted cardiologist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Complete Scarsdale...

Herman Tarnower
Herman Tarnower
Herman Tarnower was a cardiologist and the author of the bestselling diet book The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet...

 
2005 BloodRayne
BloodRayne (film)
BloodRayne is a 2005 action and horror film, set in 18th century Romania, and directed by Uwe Boll. The film stars Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Meat Loaf and, Matthew Davis...

Kagan Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2006 Himself
2006 Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin, renamed for the German/USA DVDs as Lucky # Slevin , is a 2006 crime thriller film written by Jason Smilovic, directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, and Lucy Liu...

2007 You Kill Me
You Kill Me
You Kill Me is 2007 crime comedy film directed by John Dahl, and starring Ben Kingsley, Luke Wilson, Téa Leoni, Philip Baker Hall, Dennis Farina, and Bill Pullman.-Plot:...

Frank Falenczyk
2007 Ambrosinus
Merlin
Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures...

 
2007 Narrator Voice
2008 Elegy
Elegy (film)
Elegy is a 2008 drama directed by Spanish director Isabel Coixet and based on a Philip Roth novel, The Dying Animal. Staring Penélope Cruz and Ben Kingsley. The film is set in New York City, but was filmed in Vancouver.-Plot:...

David Kepesh Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award Best British Actor of the Year
2008 War, Inc.
War, Inc.
War, Inc. is a 2008 American political satire film starring John Cusack and directed by Joshua Seftel. Cusack also co-wrote and produced the film.- Plot :...

Walken Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2008 Guru Tugginmypudha Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2008 Dr. Squires Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2008 Transsiberian
Transsiberian (film)
Transsiberian is a 2008 thriller directed by Brad Anderson, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and began its theatrical release on July 18, 2008 in New York City....

Grinko
2008 China's Stolen Children Narrator Voice
2008 Fifty Dead Men Walking
Fifty Dead Men Walking
Fifty Dead Men Walking is a 2008 English-language crime thriller film written and directed by Kari Skogland. It is a loose adaptation of Martin McGartland's 1997 autobiography of the same name...

Fergus
2009 Noah's Ark: The New Beginning
Noah's Ark: The New Beginning
Noah's Ark: The New Beginning is an upcoming animated film featuring an ensemble voice cast. It is a retelling of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark, told from the point of view of the animals on the ark, and is the second in the Promenade Pictures Epic Stories of the Bible film series, following on...

Narrator Voice
2009 Journey to Mecca
Journey to Mecca (2009 film)
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta is an award-winning IMAX dramatised documentary film charting the first real-life journey made by the Islamic scholar Ibn Battuta from his native Morocco to Mecca for the Hajj , in 1325.-Background:The 20 year old Muslim religious law student Ibn...

Narrator Voice
2010 Shutter Island Dr. John Cawley Nominated — Scream Award
2010 Scream Awards
The Scream Awards is an award show dedicated to the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres of feature films, hosted and sponsored by Spike TV. The show was created by executive producers Michael Levitt, Cindy Levitt, and Casey Patterson...

 for Best Supporting Actor
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (film)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 sword-and-sorcery action film written by Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard; directed by Mike Newell; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures...

Nizam
2010 Teen Patti
Teen Patti (film)
Teen Patti is a 2010 Bollywood film directed by Leena Yadav. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan, Raima Sen, Shraddha Kapoor and is produced by Ambika Hinduja under the banners Hinduja Ventures and Serendipity Films...

Perci Trachtenberg
2011 Hugo Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès , full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects...

 
2011 A Common Man
A Common Man
A Common Man is an upcoming psychological thriller film starring Oscar Award winner Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross and directed by veteran film maker Chandran Rutnam...

TBA post-production
2012 TBA filming

Video games

Year Video game Role Notes
2010 Fable III
Fable III
Fable III is the third video game in the Fable series of action role-playing games . The game was developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. The story focuses on the player character's struggle to overthrow the King of Albion by...

Sabine

External links

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