December 31, 1943
Born In: Yorkshire, England
Best known for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film ‘Gandhi’, Sir Ben Kingsley is one of the finest actors in the world. He has been honored with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and has been presented many awards for the portrayal of humanitarian role models in cinema. He won an Academy Award for the portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi and proved his acting skills with many other films like Bugsy, Schindler’s List, Species, Twelfth Night, The Tale of Sweeny Todd, Sexy Beast, etc.
Childhood and Early Years
Ben Kingsley was born in Yorkshire, England on December 31, 1943 to an actress and a doctor. His mother, Anna Lyna Mary was a model and actress and father Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji was a doctor. His father was of Indian Gujarati descent and was born in Kenya after his paternal grandfather moved here due to his job as a spice trader. He was named Krishna Bhanji but changed his name when he began to take acting seriously. Ben grew up in Pendlebury in Salford and studied at the University of Salford. He got enrolled in Pendleton College and moved to Lancashire. He began his career on stage at the Manchester Grammar School and jumped on to films quite early. Even then, he never left acting on stage and gave a stellar performance in Peter Brook's acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ben’s first movie role was in Fear is the Key, (1972) in which he had a supporting role. He also came on television in the soap opera Coronation Street as Ron Jenkins and also in the British legal program, Crown Court. Years later, in 1982, he got his record breaking role as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the movie Gandhi. The movie went on to become the top grosser and till date is known to be one of most acclaimed roles. Critics and fans gave him standing ovation for his portrayal of the great humanitarian figure. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor that year.
After that, he appeared in a number of films and won Academy Award nominations for his role in films like Bugsy, Sexy Beast, House of Sand and Fog. He has also been honored with the Crystal Globe award for his Outstanding Artistic Contribution to cinema at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the year 2001. He has exhibited his talent for voice-over as well in the video game Ceremony of Innocence and movies like The Ten Commandments and A.I: Artificial Intelligence. In the year 2008, Ben Kingsley was presented the “Cinema for Peace Honorary Award” for his portrayal of famous humanitarians like Simon Wiesenthal, Itzhak Stern and Gandhi.
Ben Kingsley is a member of the Religious Society of Friends and presently lives in Spelsbury, England, where he has been living since the past 10 years. He has four children namely Jasmin Bhanji, Thomas Bhanji, Edmund Kingsley and Ferdinand Kingsley. In the year 2007, Ben Kingsley married Daniela Barbosa de Carneiro, a Brazilian actress, in North Leigh, Oxfordshire. He has been married thrice and his ex-wives are actress Angela Morant, Alison Sutcliffe and Alexandra Christmann. He divorced Alexandra Christmann after pictures of her going out with another man were circulated over the internet.