Idrissa Akuna Elba, an English actor and DJ, is an alumnus of the National Youth Music Theatre in London.
Gatekeeper News reports that Elba is known for his roles in Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire (2002–2004), DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther (2010–2019), and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013).
Born on 6 September 1972 to a Sierra Leonean Creole father, Winston Elba, and a Ghanaian mother Eve.
For Luther, he received four nominations each for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, winning one of the former. His parents were married in Sierra Leone and later moved to London. Elba was raised in Hackney and East Ham
He shortened his first name to “Idris” at school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He credits The Stage with giving him his first big break.
In 1986, he began helping an uncle with his wedding DJ business; within a year, he had started his own DJ company with some of his friends.
Elba’s first acting role was in Crimewatch murder reconstructions and in 1994 he appeared in a BBC children’s drama called The Boot Street Band. In 1995, he landed his first significant role on a series called Bramwell, a medical drama set in 1890s England.
In 1997 he starred in the first two episodes of series 2 “Blood, Sweat and Tears” in Silent Witness.
After a supporting turn on a 2001 episode of Law & Order, Elba landed a starring role on the 2002 HBO drama series The Wire. From 2002 to 2004, Elba portrayed Russell “Stringer” Bell in the series, perhaps his best-known role in the United States.
Elba has been married three times: first to Hanne “Kim” Nørgaard (from 1999 to 2003) and then to Sonya Nicole Hamlin (for four months in 2006). He has two children: a daughter with Norgaard and a son with former girlfriend Naiyana Garth.
Elba is worth $40 million, equating to approximately £33 million.