Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ben Kingsley was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenya-born doctor of Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary Bhanji, a fashion model and actress. Kingsley began his acting career on the stage at Manchester Grammar School alongside Robert Powell, but moved to movies early. His first film, Fear is the Key in 1972, was not a success, but he later found fame in the starring role of Mahatma Gandhi in the Academy Award winning Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. His father's ancestors had come from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same as Gandhi himself, though they were Muslim rather than Hindu.
Kingsley has been able to avoid stereotyping by being cast in a variety of roles in such films as Turtle Diary , Maurice, Pascali's Island , Without a Clue (as Dr. Watson opposite Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes), Bugsy (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor), Sneakers, Dave, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Schindler's List, Death and the Maiden , , Sexy Beast (another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), and House of Sand and Fog (Oscar nomination for Best Actor).
He recently divorced Alexandra Christmann from Berlin and lives in Spelsbury, England.
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