My Favorite Black British Actors & Actresses

by garephj | created - 01 Jan 2014 | updated - 01 Jan 2014 | Public

Here's a list of my favorite Black Brit performers. Some well known, some not so much but should be in the future.

1. Thandie Newton

Actress | Crash

Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of Zimbabwean mother Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and British father Nick Newton, who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK, where she lived in ...

2. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

3. Chiwetel Ejiofor

Actor | 12 Years a Slave

English actor, writer and director Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things...

4. Eamonn Walker

Actor | Unbreakable

Eamonn Walker was born on June 12, 1962 in London, England as Eamonn Roderique Walker. He is an actor, known for Unbreakable (2000), Oz (1997) and Lord of War (2005). He is married to Sandra Walker. They have three children.

5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Actress | Belle

Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother ...

6. Freema Agyeman

Actress | Doctor Who

Freema Agyeman was born on March 20, 1979 in London, England as Frema Agyeman. She is an actress, known for Doctor Who (2005), Law & Order: UK (2009) and Sense8 (2015).

7. Naomie Harris

Actress | 28 Days Later...

British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, England, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla. Her father is from Trinidad and her mother is from Jamaica. They separated before she was born, and Harris was raised by her mother and has no relationship with her father. She ...

8. David Oyelowo

Actor | Selma

David Oyelowo also known as 'David O', is a classically trained stage actor who has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.

David ...

9. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Actor | Lost

Born and raised in London, England, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje began his career as a model in Milan. He graduated with a masters degree in Law from London's prestigious Kings College, before moving to Los Angeles to make the transition to acting. Fluent in several languages, including English, ...

10. Marsha Thomason

Actress | White Collar

Marsha Thomason was born and raised in Manchester, England. Her love for acting began after watching the musical "Bugsy Malone". Soon after, aged 12, she joined Oldham Theatre Workshop, where she performed many diverse stage plays, including "Our Day Out" by Willy Russell and "Peace" by Aristophanes...

11. Naomi Ryan

Actress | Guardians of the Galaxy

Naomi Ryan was born on May 24, 1977 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England as Naomi Esther E. Russell. She is an actress, known for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Hard Time Bus (2015) and Coronation Street (1960).

12. Lennie James

Actor | The Walking Dead

Lennie James was born in Nottingham to Trinidadian parents, and grew up in South London. His mother, Phyllis Mary James, died when he was 12. Lennie and his older brother went into a council children's home. When he was 16 he was fostered with a social worker who had two older children, and they ...

13. Lenora Crichlow

Actress | Fast Girls

Lenora Crichlow was born on January 4, 1985 in Westminster, London, England as Lenora Isabella Crichlow. She is an actress, known for Fast Girls (2012), Sugar Rush (2005) and Being Human (2008).

14. Sophie Okonedo

Actress | Hotel Rwanda

Sophie Okonedo is a British actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004).

Okonedo was born within London in 1968. Her parents were Henry Okonedo (1939-2009) and Joan Allman. Her father was British Nigerian, ...

15. David Harewood

Actor | Blood Diamond

David Harewood was born on December 8, 1965 in Birmingham, England. He is an actor and director, known for Blood Diamond (2006), Supergirl (2015) and The Merchant of Venice (2004). He has been married to Kirsty Handy since February 26, 2013. They have two children.

16. Delroy Lindo

Actor | Get Shorty

On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's ...

17. Carmen Ejogo

Actress | Selma

Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo was born in Kensington, London, England, to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. Her television career began in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, where she presented the children's series Saturday Disney (1990). Subsequently, she has had an acting career in the ...

18. Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Actress | Without a Trace

Marianne Jean-Baptiste was born on April 26, 1967 in London, England as Marianne Raigipcien Jean-Baptiste. She is an actress and director, known for Without a Trace (2002), Secrets & Lies (1996) and Spy Game (2001). She has been married to Evan Williams since 1997. They have two children.

19. Louise Rose

Actress | Dorian Gray

Louise Rose is an actress, known for Dorian Gray (2009), Luther (2010) and Diamonds (2009).

20. Cathy Tyson

Actress | Mona Lisa

Cathy Tyson's father is a barrister from Trinidad and her mother is an English social worker. She dropped out of college at age 17 to pursue acting at Liverpool's Everyman's Theater. After a 1984 production of "The Blitz Show", she won admission to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her film debut was ...

21. Nina Toussaint-White

Actress | Bodyguard

Nina Toussaint-White was born in 1985 in London, England. She is an actress, known for Bodyguard (2018), GameFace (2017) and Doctor Who (2005).

22. Christine Adams

Actress | Batman Begins

Film and television actress Christine Adams was born in London, United Kingdom.

She starred on several British and American films and television series since early 2000s.

On television, she is known for roles as "Katherine Williams Osgood" on the British miniseries, NY-LON (2004); "Simone Hundin" on ...

23. Ashley Madekwe

Actress | How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Ashley Madekwe (born 6 December 1983) is an English actress. She is known for her roles as call girl Bambi in the ITV2 series Secret Diary of a Call Girl, social climber Ashley Davenport on the ABC drama series Revenge and the witch Tituba in the WGN America series Salem.

Madekwe was born in South ...

24. Zawe Ashton

Actress | Velvet Buzzsaw

Zawe was born on 21st July 1984 in Hackney, London, to two teachers, Ugandan Victoria and English Paul, and had her first acting experience at the age of six as a member of the Anna Scher Theatre school in Islington. After leaving the City and Islington College in London - where she was an A ...

25. Nikki Amuka-Bird

Actress | Jupiter Ascending

Amuka-Bird was born in Nigeria, but grew up in the UK and in Antigua. She abandoned her dancing aspirations after suffering a back injury. After attending LAMDA, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. Whilst on tour with the RSC in Japan, she met her husband, actor Geoffrey Streatfield. In ...

26. Lenny Henry

Actor | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Lenworth George Henry was born on August 29, 1958, in Dudley, West Midlands in England to a family of Jamaican immigrants. He made his TV debut on a talent show called "New Faces" in 1975 at the age of 16. He won and went on to things such as The Fosters (1976) and Tiswas (1974), which was when his...

27. Noel Clarke

Actor | Brotherhood

Noel Clarke was born on December 6, 1975 in London, England as Noel Anthony Clarke. He is an actor and producer, known for Brotherhood (2016), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Mute (2018). He is married to Iris Da-Silva. They have two children.

28. Angel Coulby

Actress | Imagine Me & You

Angel Coulby is an English actress. She made her television debut in the BBC comedy 'Orrible. She is best known for portraying the character of Queen Guinevere "Gwen" Pendragon in the BBC fantasy series Merlin.

Angel grew up in north London, Finsbury Park, but moved to Edinburgh to attend the Queen ...



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