British actors charm the world. Their poise and accent lend elegance to their demeanor and dimension to their character portrayal. Many are very talented and excellent at drawing people into the story. Below, in alphabetical order, are some of the black male British actors that have brought richness to the big screen and theater.
Born April 7, 1978, in London, Jimmy Akingbola has been acting for over twenty years. He branched out into producing in 2012 and has also done a bit of voice acting. He has won several awards, including the Annual Award for Best Supporting Actor from the Theatrical Management Association and Best Male TV Actor from BEFFTA. He has acted in over 60 movies and television shows, including The Crouches and Arrow.
Kingsley Ben-Adir was born February 28, 1986, in London. He began acting in 2011 with a role in theater: The Riots. He added movies to his portfolio beginning in 2013 with World War Z. He is most known for Peaky Blinders, a television show starting in 2013. He was nominated for nine awards and won four of them, including the Gotham Awards’ Breakthrough Actor and Atlantic Film Critics Circle’s Breakthrough Performer.
Born March 17, 1992, in London, John Boyega’s name at birth was John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega. He acts and produces films, television, and stage productions. His first role was Moses in Attack the Block and he became more widely known after he played a character called Finn in the epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. He was nominated for 21 awards, winning five of them.
Born in London on December 6, 1975, Noel Clarke began his career on the set of Doctor Who and continued into many more roles afterward. He also has written, directed, and produced several projects. He has received several awards, including the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer and Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
Clint Dyer entered the world on November 4, 1968, in London. He has a prolific resume as an actor including SUS, Mr. In-Between, and B.U.S.T.E.D. He has been awarded Best Actor for SUS by four different entities and has been nominated several times for other awards, winning two. He has also written and directed productions.
Born July 10, 1977, in London, Chiwetel Ejiofor began acting at age 19. His first film role was in Amistad. He has appeared in nearly 60 films and television shows since then, including Dirty Pretty Things, Love Actually, Dancing on the Edge, and 12 Years a Slave. He also voiced Scar in The Lion King and wrote and directed several other things. He was nominated for over 100 awards and won many of them.
One of the best Black male English actors is known as Idris Elba, though his full name is Idrissa Akunda Elba since his birth September 6, 1972, in London. He has been in many Marvel movies including Thor and the sequels and Avengers: Infinity War. He also has done voice acting, as well as directing. He was included in the list of the Most Influential People in the World by Time in 2016.
Born on May 20, 1983, in London, Joel Fry has been acting since 2006 when he took a role in The Bill, a television show. He has been in many UK TV shows, especially sitcoms. He is most known for his parts in Game of Thrones and Cruella. He was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for Game of Thrones in 2016 and won the Merit – Honorary Award for Game of Thrones in 2011.
Robbie Gee was born in England on March 24, 1970. He has appeared in film, television, and theater. His best-known character is Lee in Desmonds. He also co-starred in The Firm with Gary Oldman and played roles in Pirates of the Caribbean, Snatch, and Out of Reach, among others. He has written episodes of The Real McCoy in which he also acted.
Born December 8, 1965, in Birmingham, England, David Harewood began his acting career in 1990. His best-known parts are those in Homeland and Supergirl, though he has appeared in many other films and television shows. He has also done some voice acting for video games and radio. He was nominated for four awards, winning Best Actor for Free in Deed from Nashville Film Festival.
Known for his role in Bridgerton, Martins Imhangbe was born July 7, 1991, in Nigeria. His family lived in Greece from ages 2-7, then moved to London where he grew up. He went on to graduate from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2013. He has acted in many stage productions throughout his career, as well as several films and shows.
He was nominated for two awards: in the Ian Charleson Awards, Commendations, and in the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Born in Nottinghamshire on October 11, 1965, Lennie James acts and writes for both screen and stage. He is best known for his roles in The Walking Dead, Line of Duty, and Critical. He has voiced Lord Shaxx in the video games Destiny and Destiny 2.
He was nominated for seven awards and won two of them: Best Male Performance in Film from Black Filmmakers Magazine Film and Television Awards for Lucky Break and Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series from Online Film & Television Awards for The Walking Dead.
Daniel Kaluuya was born in London on the 24th of February 1989. He started in improv but quickly moved into television. He not only acted in Skins but also participated in writing some episodes. He is best known for Black Panther and Get Out. As of 2021, he has been nominated for 40 awards and has won 17 of those.
Born June 9, 1992, in Lancashire, Lucien Laviscount began acting for TV as a teen in Grange Hill, but before that, he was in a commercial for Marks & Spencer at age 10. He is best known for his roles in Scream Queens and Katy Keene. His role in Scream Queens was written specifically for him after he auditioned for a different role and was rejected. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the film Snatch in the National Film Awards UK.
Much loved as Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Joseph Marcell was born in Saint Lucia on August 14, 1948. His family moved to the UK when he was nine. He has acted on TV shows, in movies, and on stage, including Wrapped Up in Christmas, Death in Paradise, and Much Ado About Nothing.
Cyril Nri was born in Nigeria on April 25, 1961. His family moved to Portugal when Cyril was 7, and then later moved to London, where he still lives. He began his career in a school play and after school played in theater, television, and films, earning a nomination from the British Academy Television Awards for Cucumber.
Born in London on October 8, 1986, Michael Obiora began learning acting at the age of six, because he expressed an interest in entertaining like Michael Jackson, with whom he was enamored. He got his first role at 9 years old, in Grange Hill. He followed this with many other roles since. He also is the narrator for some audiobooks.
Nicholas Pinnock was born September 2, 1973, in London. He is best known for his parts in Marcella, Top Boy, and Criminal: UK. He started acting at 12 years old. He has worked in both film and television. He is also a model and dancer. Some of the other shows and films he has appeared in include For Life, Counterpart, Midwinter of the Spirit, and Fortitude.
Born July 12, 1990, Ekow Quartey is best known for his role as Bem in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He has been in several other things, as well, including Shakespeare’s Globe: Macbeth, This Way Up, and A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life. When he is not acting, he enjoys helping others get healthy through his weight loss program.
It is unknown when Sule Rimi was born, but it is known that he is one of the excellent Black male English actors. He began acting in TV in 2002 and was in movies beginning in 2006. His roles in Black Earth Rising, Death in Paradise, and Strike Back are what most people recognize. Some of his other roles include Manhunt, Casualty, DNN: Definitely Not Newsround, and Birds of a Feather.
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett was born on the 4th of December 1985, in London. He began acting in 2009 in an episode of the TV series Coming Up. He followed that with more TV appearances and in 2012 he branched out into film with a role in The Comedian. He has been in many shows and movies since then, including Misfits, Cassandra French’s Finishing School, Famous in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Dracula, among others.
Born February 2, 1998, in Greater Manchester, Malique Thompson-Dwyer is known for playing Prince McQueen in Hollyoaks. He has done many appearances as himself in TV series about celebrities or featuring celebrities.
Ofo Uhiara was born December 13, 1975, in London. The role most people recognize is in The Bill, as Police Constable Lance Powell. He has also appeared in MI-5, Doctors, and Rory O’Shea Was Here. He has a sister who is an actress, named Ony Uhiara.
Born June 24, 1973, in London, Charles Venn was originally billed as Chucky Venice or Chucky Venn, switching to his given name in 2014. He got his start on Dream Team, but he is best known for his roles in The Dark Knight, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Casualty. He joined BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and was quite popular in his routines with Karen Clifton during the series.
Joivan Wade was born in London on July 23, 1993. Inspired by Will Smith, Joivan chose acting over football when he was 15. He is also a writer and producer. His acting credits include several series on television such as Big School, Youngers, Doctor Who, and EastEnders, as well as several shorts and a couple of movies. He was nominated in the category Rising Star of the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards in 2016.
Born Reginald Yates on May 31, 1983, in London, Reggie Yates is also a DJ on the radio and a presenter on TV. He has done voice acting along with taking roles in film and television and has written and directed. His first role was in Desmond’s when he was 8 years old. He has been nominated for 13 awards and won 6 of those.
Born April 15, 1958, in Birmingham, Benjamin Zephaniah is an actor, a writer, and a poet. He began writing as a teenager after dealing with dyslexia in his early years. He chooses to live year-round with the giving and helpful attitude many people only focus on during the Christmas season.
He has acted in several shows and films, though his production of art is mostly music and poetry. He is an activist for animals, anti-racism, and anyone who is abused or oppressed. He has been given six honorary doctorates from major universities around England.
Best Black Male British Actors, Final Thoughts
These Black male British actors stand out from the crowd, but they are far from the only outstanding Black male English actors that delight moviegoers, television connoisseurs, and theater attenders. One can find talented actors, playwrights, models, dancers, directors, and producers in every nation and culture, and these are a credit to their UK home and Black background.