Intensely private and notable for his impeccable posture, Ben Kingsley is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance as Mahatma Gandhi in director Richard Attenborough’s biopic “Gandhi” and for his role as the Jewish bookkeeper Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List.”
Kingsley’s father was a Kenya-born doctor of Indian descent, and his mother was an English actress and model. As a teenager, the actor was inspired by Ian Holm’s performance of “Hamlet” to pursue a career in the theater. At his father’s suggestion, he changed his name to Kingsley, inspired by his spice trader grandfather’s nickname, King Clove. His performances with England’s Royal National Theatre led to work in film and TV, including a stint on the British soap opera “Coronation Street.”
Kingsley’s “Gandhi” performance made him a leading man and an Oscar winner. He’s since been nominated for three more Oscars, for “Bugsy” in 1992, “Sexy Beast” in 2001 and “House of Sand and Fog” in 2004.
In 2002, Kingsley was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and, according to show business legend, then insisted on being referred to as “Sir Ben.” The actor now denies this, though two of his films from 2005 and 2006 credit him as “Sir Ben Kingsley.”
Kingsley has been married four times and has four children. His current wife is Brazilian actress Daniela Barbosa de Carneiro, whom he married in 2007.
|1991||Best Supporting Actor||Bugsy||Nomination|
|2001||Best Supporting Actor||Sexy Beast||Nomination|
|2003||Best Actor||House of Sand and Fog||Nomination|