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Idris Elba: Why People Love Him

Updated on August 22, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various topics, including celebrities and entertainment.

Idris Elba, who was born Idrissa Akuna Elba. Even though people recognize him as a handsome actor, Ebla is multi-talented. In addition to acting, he is good at his role being a producer, a hip-hop and soul musician. The 47-year-old British native has been in the entertainment business since 1994.

As an actor, Elba became known to most people when he starred as drug kingpin Russell Stringer Bell on HBO's The Wire from 2002 to 2004. Since then, he has had major parts in dozens of films and television series. The actor has been nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award. He was nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award and has won once.

Elba produces and stars in Turn Up Charlie. It is a half-hour comedy starring Elba and Gary Reich. Elba is one of the executive producers. The film is right down Elba's alley because it is about a struggling DJ.

He starred in American Gangster, Prometheus, Thor, and its sequels. His most recent role was this year's Avengers: Infinity War. Those roles showed off Elba's strong and bold talent. However, he has played some tender parts as well. In 2017, The Mountain Between Us portrays the actor in a gentle role alongside Kate Winslet.

Most people might not know that Idris Elba has had a career in kickboxing. Discovery Channel aired the documentary, Idris Elba: Fighter which featured Elba's year-long kickboxing and mixed martial arts training. After the training, he won his first professional kickboxing fight.

2018 "Sexiest Man Alive"

Elba was named the "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2018 by People magazine. People magazine has been bestowing the title on a select group of men since 1985 when 29-year-old Mel Gibson became the first one to get the title. Since then only a few men of color have received the honor. Actor Denzel Washington held the title in 1996, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was honored with the title in 2016. That was the same year Idris was on Time magazine's list of the "Most Influential People in the World."

The Thor star is the 33rd man to receive the People magazine title. He thanked the publication and said he is really happy to receive the honor. He added that his mum is going to be very, very proud.

He also told People that he couldn't believe the news at first. Then he looked in the mirror and said, “Yeah, you are kind of sexy today." He concluded that it was a nice surprise and definitely an ego boost.

Personal Life

To the regret of a lot of women, Elba is not single. He became engaged to Sabrina Dhowre on February 10, 2018, after dating her for one year. They were married Sabrina Dhowre in 2019.

The actor had been married twice before. He was married to Hanne "Kim" Nørgaard from 1999 until 2003. The couple has a 17-year-old daughter named Isan. Elba was married to Sonya Nicole Hamlin for only four months in 2006. The actor has a five-year-old son named Winston by ex-girlfriend Naiyana Garth.

Other Interesting Things About Idris Elba

We see Elba in the movies and on television, but we might not know some interesting things about the British native.

  • Because he appears in dozens of American films, some people might think Elba is American. However, he was born and raised in North East London.
  • Elba has roles where he has to use an American accent. He learned that accent from a Brooklyn barbershop.
  • Like a lot of celebrities, he was homeless when he first started his career. He either slept on other people's couches or slept in his van while working odd jobs or selling marijuana to make ends meet.
  • The actor has recorded a few albums during his recording career.
  • He started being a DJ for house parties when he was only eight years old. By the age of 19, he was working in nightclubs as a disc jockey.
  • He remixed The Jungle Book soundtrack and completed his own music project called Hiatus.
  • Elba can be heard and not seen as three animated characters: Zootopia’s Chief Bogo; Shere Khan in The Jungle Book; and Fluke the sea lion in Finding Dory.
  • Elba not only starred in American Gangster, but he also loaned his voice to Jay-Z’s soundtrack for the film.

  • Elba loves fast cars. In May 2015, he broke a British speed record by driving over 180 miles per hour in a Bentley.
  • The London native is a natural. He admits he has had absolutely no formal acting training. He does what he does so well because he says sometimes all it takes is a strong desire, an innate talent, and hard work.
  • The actor made history in September 2015 when he was the first man to appear on the cover of Maxim magazine that usually features only women on its cover.
  • The Royal Family are fans of Elba's work. They honored him at Buckingham Palace in 2016. He and his fiancée were at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19, 2018.
  • The 2018 "Sexiest Man Alive" says he is not religious. Instead, he prefers saying he is a spiritual being.

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