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PostSubject: SBK Biography.   Fri May 09, 2008 6:17 pm

Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, on December 31, 1943, and is the son of Anna Lyna Mary (née Goodman), an actress and model, and Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, a medical doctor. Kingsley's father, an Ismaili Muslim, was born in Kenya of Indian Khoja Gujarati descent, as Kingsley's paternal grandfather was a spice trader who had moved from India to Zanzibar, where Kingsley's father lived until moving to England at the age of fourteen. Kingsley's mother, born out of wedlock, was "loath to speak of her background"; she was the daughter of an English East London garment worker mother and a father who was believed by the family to have been a Russian or German Jew.

Kingsley grew up in Pendlebury, Salford, where he studied at University of Salford. He then moved to Lancashire, where he studied at Pendleton College, which later became home to the Ben Kingsley Theatre. Kingsley began his acting career on the stage at Manchester Grammar School, alongside Robert Powell, but made a transition to film roles early on. Despite this focus on film, he continued to act on the stage, playing Mosca in Peter Hall's 1977 production of Ben Jonson's Volpone for the Royal National Theatre, and in Peter Brook's acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was at this time in his life that he changed his name from Krishna Bhanji to Ben Kingsley, fearing that a foreign name would hamper his career.

Kingsley's first film role was a supporting turn in Fear Is the Key, released in 1972. Kingsley continued starring in bit roles in both film and television, including a role as Ron Jenkins on the soap opera Coronation Street from 1966-1967 and regular appearances as a defence counsel in the long-running British legal programme Crown Court. He found fame only years later, starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the Academy Award-winning film Gandhi in 1982, his best-known role to date. The audience also agreed with the critics, and Gandhi was a box-office success. Kingsley won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal.

Kingsley has since appeared in a variety of roles. His credits included the films Turtle Diary, Maurice, Pascali's Island, Without a Clue (as Dr. Watson alongside Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes), Suspect Zero, Bugsy--which led to an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Sneakers, Dave, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Schindler's List, Silas Marner, Death and the Maiden, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story, Sexy Beast, for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and House of Sand and Fog, which led to yet another Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He won a Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2001.

In 1997, he provided voice talent for the video game Ceremony of Innocence. In July 2006, he received an Emmy nomination for his performance in the made-for-TV film Mrs. Harris, in which he played famed cardiologist Herman Tarnower, who was murdered by his jilted lover, Jean Harris. Later that year, Kingsley appeared in "Luxury Lounge", an episode on the HBO original series The Sopranos, playing himself getting an offer from Christopher Moltisanti and Carmine Lupertazzi into being casted on the fictional slasher film, Cleaver, which he turned down. In 2007, Kingsley appeared as a Polish American mobster in the Mafia comedy You Kill Me, and was also slated to act out a Middle East oil minister to be assassinated in War, Inc.. An Indian Express story reported that Kingsley would appear as the "love guru" Osho in a film, of then-unknown title, due to be released in 2008.



Source: Wikipedia.
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