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Sir Ben Kingsley, Actor
Kingsley will next be seen Jerry Bruckheimer’s Prince of Persia, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton. He was most recently seen in Martin Scorsese’s 1950s drama Shutter Island, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams andTeen Patti an emotionally riveting and razor sharp thriller set in India and England that revolves around greed, deception and giant feats of imagination in which he stars with Amitabh Bachchan.
He recently was the star of the sexually charged Elegy opposite Penelope Cruz and directed by Isabel Coixet and for which he was nominated British Actor of the Year by the London Critics Circle Film Awards. He starred in two films at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival give further perspective to his work: The Audience Award winning and Grand Jury Prize nominated The Wackness, in which he plays a drug-addled psychiatrist opposite Josh Peck, Famke Janssen, Olivia Thirlby and Mary-Kate Olsen; and the crime thriller Transsiberian, as a mysterious traveler opposite Woody Harrelson. He also starred in50 Dead Men, a thriller set against the dangerous backdrop of 1980s Ireland, and the more lighthearted crime comedy War, Inc. opposite John Cusack.
Steeped in British theatre, Kingsley marked the beginning of his professional acting career with his acceptance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in l967. From roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title roles in Othello and Hamlet, among others, his more recent and diverse stage roles include those in The Country Wife, The Cherry Orchard, A Betrothal and Waiting for Godot.
Kingsley’s film career began in l972 with the thriller Fear Is the Key, but his first major role came a decade later in the epic Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough. He followed this Oscar-winning performance with such early films as Betrayal, Turtle Diary, Harem, Pascali’s Island, Without A Clue (as Dr. Watson to Michael Caine’s Sherlock Holmes) and The Children opposite Kim Novak. During the ‘90s Kingsley distinguished himself through such roles as Mayer Lansky in Bugsy, Sneakers, Searching For Bobby Fischer and Dave. In 1994 he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his memorable supporting role as Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg’s seven-time Oscar winner Schindler’s List.
During the past decade, Ben Kingsley has remained a coveted and ubiquitous talent. Beginning with such films as Rules of Engagement, What Planet Are You From? and an Oscar-nominated role as a brutal gangster in Sexy Beast, he received his most recent Oscar nomination in 2004 for his performance as a proud Iranian emigrant in the highly acclaimed House of Sand and Fog. Among his films in the last several years are Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, the crime drama Lucky Number Slevin, John Dahl’s You Kill Me and the Roman empire saga The Last Legion.