Idris Elba

Idris Elba Headshot

Actor

Birth Name: Idrissa Akuna Elba

Birth Date: September 6, 1972

Age: 51 years old

Birth Place: Hackney, England, UK

British actor, Idris Elba became known for playing the Baltimore drug dealer Stringer Bell on HBO's widely-acclaimed drama "The Wire" (HBO, 2002-08), in addition to countless other high profile television and film roles. Elba was born in Hackney, London in 1972. His parents were immigrants (his father was born in Sierra Leone, while his mother was from Ghana), and moved to London by way of Sierra Leone shortly before Elba was born. Elba grew up in East Ham and Hackney, and first got interested in acting after seeing an advertisement in a London-based entertainment publication.

The advertisement was asking newbie actors to audition for a new play. Elba jumped at the opportunity, and showed up at the audition. On his first try, Elba landed the part, and would later meet his first agent while performing in the play. Performing in the play was an eye-opening experience for Elba, who decided quickly after that he wanted to be an actor. At the age of 16 he was able to land a huge break by landing a spot in the National Youth Music Theater, thanks to a grant from the Prince's Trust charitable organization. While a member of the National Youth Music Theater, Elba was able to hone his acting craft, while developing the necessary skills he needed to make it as a performer. It was also around this time that Elba began working for his uncle's wedding D.J. company and found that he absolutely loved scratching records.

His love grew so strong that by his late teens Elba embarked on a career as a D.J. He would go on to play music in London nightclubs in the evening, while working a number of odd jobs by the day. In his early 20s Elba made a serious attempt at launching his acting career. In addition to working his D.J. jobs, in which he went by the name of Big Driis, he began auditioning for film and TV roles. By the mid-1990s, Elba was landing steady acting work in the U.K. He nabbed guest spots on the children's sitcom "2point4 Children" (BBC One, 1991-99) and the British comedy series "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC Two/BBC One, 1992-2012), before landing a recurring role on the crime series "The Ruth Rendell Mysteries" (ITV, 1987-2000).

By the late 90s and early 2000s Elba was nabbing recurring parts on a number of British television shows, including "Insiders" (BBC One, 1997), "Ultraviolet" (Channel 4, 1998), and "Dangerfield" (BBC One, 1995-99). Then in 2002 Elba landed his first big break across the pond when he was cast as Stringer Bell, a Baltimore-based drug kingpin, on David Simon's multi-layered crime drama series "The Wire." Elba played Stringer Bell for 37 episodes of the widely-acclaimed series, before his character was killed off in season 3.

After playing Stringer Bell for three years, Idris Elba's acting career in both the U.K. and the United States flourished. In addition to nabbing parts in high-profile films like "28 Weeks Later" (2007) and "American Gangster" (2007), he starred as the title character in the BBC crime series "Luther" (BBC One, 2010 - ). He also landed a recurring role on the beloved American sitcom "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013) in 2009. By the early 2010s Elba's acting profile continued to grow at a rapid pace. He appeared in blockbuster films like "Thor" (2011), "Prometheus" (2012), and "Pacific Rim" (2013), and was also cast as Nelson Mandela in the 2013 bio pic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (2013). In 2016 Elba was nominated for a Golden Globe for his captivating performance in the drama "Beasts of No Nation" (2015), and appeared in the films "Molly's Game" (2017) and "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018).

2019 also proved to be a big year for Idris Elba. In addition to co-creating and starring in the Netflix series "Turn Up Charlie" (Netflix, 2019- ), a partially autobiographical show that was based on his experiences as a D.J., Elba appeared alongside The Rock and Jason Statham in the blockbuster action film "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw" (2019). When "Hobbs and Shaw" was released in the summer of 2019 the film made over $700 billion, making it one of the highest grossing films of the year-just another reason why Idris Elba had certified his status as one of Hollywood's most bankable actors of the 2010s.

Credits

Erased: WW2's Heroes of Color

Executive Producer
Docuseries
2024

Erased: WW2's Heroes of Color

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Docuseries
2024

KnucklesStream

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Miniseries
2024
75%

KnucklesStream

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Knuckles
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2024
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너클즈

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2024

The 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Self
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2024

Phi vụ động trời

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2024

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Voice
Knuckles
Movie
2024

KISSTORY All Stars with Idris Elba

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2023

Best of Kisstory All Stars with FBS

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2023

Kisstory All Stars with Fatboy Slim

Self
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2023

HijackStream

Actor
Sam Nelson
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2023
88%

HijackStream

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2023
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Oscars 2023: Highlights

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2023

Luther: The Fallen SunStream

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John Luther
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2023
68%

Luther: The Fallen SunStream

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2023
68%

Zootopia+Stream

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Chief Bogo
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2022

Human PlaygroundStream

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Docuseries
2022

Human PlaygroundStream

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Docuseries
2022

Strijelcevo iskupljenje

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Show
2022

Idris Elba's Fight School

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2022

An Audience With Adele

Self
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2022

Sonic the Hedgehog 2Stream

Voice
Knuckles
Movie
2022
69%

Three Thousand Years of LongingStream

Actor
The Djinn
Movie
2022
71%

BeastStream

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Dr. Nate Samuels
Movie
2022
69%

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the HorseStream

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Fox
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2022
78%

A New Diva's Christmas CarolStream

Executive Producer
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2022

CBS Mornings

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News
2021

The Suicide Squad: Extras

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2021

What If...?Stream

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Heimdall
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2021
94%

MTV 월드스테이지 Africa Day 2021 Highlights

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2021

The Suicide SquadStream

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Bloodsport
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2021
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The Harder They FallStream

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Rufus Buck
Movie
2021
88%

Idris Elba Meets Paul McCartney

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2020

The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Simisola

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2020

A World of CalmStream

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2020

A World of Calm 06

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The Drew Barrymore ShowStream

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2020

Africa Day Benefit Concert 2020

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2020

GMA3: What You Need to Know

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2020

One World: Together at Home

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2020

Elba vs. Block

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2020

Elba vs. Block

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Reality
2020

Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert

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2020

Oprah Talks COVID-19

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2020

Concrete CowboyStream

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Harp
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2020
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Concrete CowboyStream

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2020
80%

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

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2019

Today With Hoda & Jenna

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2019

Turn Up CharlieStream

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Charlie
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2019
52%

Turn Up CharlieStream

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2019
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Turn Up CharlieStream

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2019
52%

Desus & Mero

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2019

Strahan & Sara

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2019

Wiley Feat. Sean Paul, Idris Elba, Stefflon Don: Boasty

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2019

Afrobeats

Music Performer
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2019

Wiley Feat. Sean Paul, Idris Elba, Stefflon Don: Boasty (Alternate Version)

Music Performer
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2019

MC MAX MIX

Music Performer
Show
2019

Backyard BBQ

Music Performer
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2019

Jay Sean SummerFine

Music Performer
Show
2019

Sarkodie Feat. Idris Elba and Donae'O: Party & Bull...

Music Performer
Show
2019

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & ShawStream

Actor
Brixton
Movie
2019
67%

CatsStream

Actor
Macavity
Movie
2019
19%

Luther: Extras

Actor
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2018

Today 3rd Hour

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2018

Beyond Long Walk To Freedom

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2018

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

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2018

The Big Narstie Show

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2018

The Jess Cagle Interview

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2018

In The Long Run

Actor
Walter Easmon
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2018

In The Long Run

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2018

Avengers: Infinity WarStream

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Heimdall
Movie
2018
85%

Yardie

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2018

Access

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2017

Complex X Fuse

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2017

The Sunday Project

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2017

Live with Kelly and Ryan

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2017

GuerrillaStream

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Kent
Series
2017
75%

GuerrillaStream

Executive Producer
Series
2017
75%

Five by Five

Actor
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2017

Five by Five

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2017

Idris Elba: Fighter

Actor
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2017

Idris Elba: Fighter

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2017

Thor: RagnarokStream

Actor
Heimdall
Movie
2017
93%

The Dark TowerStream

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Roland
Movie
2017
15%

The Mountain Between UsStream

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Ben Bass
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2017
38%

Molly's GameStream

Actor
Charlie Jaffey
Movie
2017
82%

Bolshaya igra

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2017

Madonna: Rebel Heart TourStream

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2016

SYFY Presents: Live From Comic-Con

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2016

The Met: Fashion in an Age of Technology

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2016

Mandela, Me and My Dad

Actor
Show
2016

Celebrity PageStream

Guest
News
2016

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Feat. Idris Elba: Dance Off

Music Performer
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2016

Macklemore Feat. Idris Elba: Dance Off

Music Performer
Show
2016

The Jungle BookStream

Voice
Shere Khan
Movie
2016
94%

Star Trek BeyondStream

Actor
Krall
Movie
2016
86%

ZootopiaStream

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Chief Bogo
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2016
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Finding DoryStream

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Fluke
Movie
2016
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Bastille Day

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Sean Briar
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2016

100 StreetsStream

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Max
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2016
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100 StreetsStream

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2016
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Krutye mery

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2016

Mandela, My Dad And Me

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2015

Luther: The Journey So Far

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2015

The Daily Show with Trevor NoahStream

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Talk
2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

Playhouse Presents: Pavement Psychologist

Director
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2015

Playhouse Presents: Pavement Psychologist

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2015

The Late Late Show With James Corden

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2015

Hot OnesStream

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2015

The Gunman

Actor
DuPont
Movie
2015

Avengers: Age of UltronStream

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Heimdall
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2015
76%

Mandela, My Dad and Me

Actor
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2015

Mandela, My Dad and Me

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Movie
2015

Beasts of No NationStream

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Commandant
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2015
91%

Beasts of No NationStream

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2015
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K. Michelle: The Rebellious Soul Musical

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2014

The Ones To Watch

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2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

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2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

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2014

Going for Gold

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2014

No Good DeedStream

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Colin
Movie
2014
12%

No Good DeedStream

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Movie
2014
12%

Enchanted Kingdom

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Movie
2014

Second Coming

Actor
Mark
Movie
2014

Idris Elba: King of Speed

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2013

etalk's 2013 Holiday Movie Guide

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Show
2013

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

The Real

Guest
Talk
2013

Pacific RimStream

Actor
Stacker Pentecost
Movie
2013
72%

Thor: The Dark WorldStream

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Heimdall
Movie
2013
67%

Mandela: Long Walk to FreedomStream

Actor
Nelson Mandela
Movie
2013
62%

Idris Elba: No Limits

Host
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2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

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2012

Entertainment Studios.TV

Actor
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2012

Prometheus: Extras

Actor
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2012

CBS This Morning: Saturday

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2012

CBS This Morning

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2012

PrometheusStream

Actor
Janek
Movie
2012
73%

Undeniable

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2011

LIVE with Kelly

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2011

The Jonathan Ross ShowStream

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2011

Dish Nation

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2011

ThorStream

Actor
Heimdall
Movie
2011
77%

Ghost Rider: Spirit of VengeanceStream

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Moreau
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2011
19%

Gumball 3000 - LDN 2 NYC

Self
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2011

Demons Never Die

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2011

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

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2010

Lorraine

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2010

The Big C

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Lenny
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2010

Sunday Morning Live

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2010

LutherStream

Actor
John Luther
Series
2010
88%

LutherStream

Associate Editor
Series
2010
88%

LutherStream

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2010
88%

LutherStream

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2010
88%

TakersStream

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Gordon Jennings
Movie
2010
28%

The LosersStream

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Roque
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2010
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Legacy

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2010

Lopez Tonight

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2009

ES.TV

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The Project

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2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective AgencyStream

Actor
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2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
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2009

The Unborn

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Father Arthur Wyndham
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2009

ObsessedStream

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Derek Charles
Movie
2009
19%

Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange

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2008

Prom Night

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Det. Winn
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2008

RocknRollaStream

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Mumbles
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2008
60%

The Human Contract

Actor
Larry
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2008

Chelsea Lately

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2007

Chelsea Lately

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2007

The Graham Norton ShowStream

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2007

American GangsterStream

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Tango
Movie
2007
81%

The Reaping

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Ben
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2007

Daddy's Little GirlsStream

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Monty
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2007
26%

28 Weeks LaterStream

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Gen. Stone
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2007
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This ChristmasStream

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2007
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The One Show

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etalk

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Made in Hollywood

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The Tyra Show

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Entertainment Tonight Canada

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ET Canada

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2005

The OfficeStream

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Charles Miner
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2005
81%

Jonny Zero

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Sometimes in April

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Augustin
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The GospelStream

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Reverend Charles Frank
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32%

The Insider

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The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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One Love

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Aaron
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Hack

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2002

CSI: MiamiStream

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Loose Women

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2002

The WireStream

Actor
Russell "Stringer" Bell
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2002
94%

The Wire FREE

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Russell "Stringer" Bell
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2002

Last Call With Carson Daly

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Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

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2001

Ultravioleta

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GirlfriendsStream

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Sneak Preview

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Belle maman

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Grégoire
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Ultraviolet

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Vaughn Rice
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1998

Kickin' It: With Byron Allen

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1998

The View

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1997

Silent Witness: Blood, Sweat and Tears

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Charlie
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1997

Access HollywoodStream

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Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Heartstones

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1996

BramwellStream

Actor
Charlie Carter
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Dangerfield

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Extra

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Absolutely FabulousStream

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1994

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Law & OrderStream

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Good Morning America

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Today

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1952

News aboutIdris Elba

Idris Elba in 'Hijack'

‘Hijack’ Season 2 Is Now Taking Off: Everything We Know

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How Adam Pally & Idris Elba Collaborated on ‘Knuckles’ — Without Ever Meeting (VIDEO)

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Where Does ‘Knuckles’ Fit Into the ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Timeline?

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2024 Screen Actors Guild Awards: How to Watch, Presenters, Nominees & More

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‘Hijack’ Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+ — Idris Elba Teases ‘Top Secret’ Situation

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‘Hijack’: Will There Be a Season 2 of Idris Elba Drama Series?

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Ranking the TV Detectives We’d Want Solving Crimes for Us

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‘Hijack’ Sneak Peek: Can Sam Trust Big News From Passenger? (VIDEO)

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‘Hijack’: What Idris Elba Needs to Say Yes to a Season 2

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‘Hijack’: Idris Elba Says ‘Sam Is a Little Naive’ About His Situation on Plane

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Roush Review: Fasten Your Seat Belts for Apple’s Real-Time Thriller ‘Hijack’

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‘Hijack’: Idris Elba Tries to Save Plane Passengers in Trailer for Apple TV+ Series (VIDEO)

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‘Luther: The Fallen Sun’: Idris Elba Breaks Out of Prison to Hunt a Killer in Trailer (VIDEO)

Idris Elba in Netflix's 'Luther' film

Netflix Reveals First Look Images From Upcoming ‘Luther’ Film (PHOTOS)

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VH1 Announces Holiday Movie Lineup Starring Gabourey Sidibe, Ashanti, Ne-Yo & More

Idris Elba at the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 premiere

‘Hijack’: Idris Elba to Star in Apple TV+ Thriller

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Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen Reminisce With Lay’s & More Must-See Super Bowl Ads

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Idris Elba Returning for ‘Luther’ Film with Cynthia Erivo & Andy Serkis at Netflix

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‘The Harder They Fall’: Regina King & Idris Elba Take on the Wild West in Netflix Trailer (VIDEO)

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‘Luther,’ ‘The Fall’ & More Murder Mystery Faves Now Airing on Ovation

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Will There Be Another Season of ‘Luther’? Idris Elba Offers Update

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Why You Should Binge ‘Luther’ Season 5 on Amazon Prime Video

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‘Luther’ Sneak Peek: What Does Halliday Find in Dr. Lake’s Office? (VIDEO)

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See Idris Elba Return to Catch a Killer in ‘Luther’ Season 5 Sneak Peek (PHOTOS)

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Roush Review: ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ & ‘Luther’ Season 5

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15 TV Stars Who Are Always Worth Watching (PHOTOS)

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Who’s Hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Season 44?

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