Kingsley Ben-Adir

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Kingsley Ben-Adir
Born (1986-11-20) 20 November 1986 (age 37)[1]
Kentish Town, London, England
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
Years active2011–present

Kingsley Ben-Adir (born 20 November 1986) is a British actor. He has performed in several plays in London theatres. His television roles include pathologist Marcus Summer in ITV's Vera (2014–2018), private detective Karim Washington on Netflix's The OA (2019),[2][3] Colonel Ben Younger in the BBC drama Peaky Blinders (2017–2019), and the Skrull Gravik in the Marvel Cinematic Universe miniseries Secret Invasion (2023).

He starred as Malcolm X in the Amazon Studios film One Night in Miami... (2020), for which he won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Performer as Bob Marley in Bob Marley: One Love (2024).

Early life and education[edit]

Ben-Adir was born in Kentish Town, London, England.[4] His maternal grandparents were from Trinidad and Tobago.[5] His paternal grandparents were born in England. He attended Rhyl Street Primary School[6] in Kentish Town, London, NW5.

He attended secondary school at William Ellis School in Gospel Oak, Northwest London.[7] He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011.[8]


In 2011, Ben-Adir performed in Gillian Slovo's play The riots at the Tricycle Theatre.[9] In 2012, he played Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.[citation needed] In 2013, he played Borachio in Mark Rylance's production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic in London and also played in God's Property at the Soho Theatre.[10][11] In 2014, Ben-Adir performed in the play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 at the Bush Theatre in London.[12][13][14] The play received positive reviews.[15] From 2017 to 2019, Ben-Adir appeared in series four and five of the BBC One television series Peaky Blinders, playing Colonel Ben Younger.[16]

In 2020, Ben-Adir starred as Malcolm X in the Amazon Studios film One Night in Miami... directed by Regina King.[citation needed] In February 2022, Ben-Adir was cast as Bob Marley in the biopic Bob Marley: One Love, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and to be released on 14 February 2024.[17][18][19] In April 2022, he joined the ensemble cast of Barbie.[20] In 2023, he appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Secret Invasion as Gravik, a Skrull rebel plotting to conquer Earth.[citation needed]

Acting credits[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2012 City Slacker Thug
2013 World War Z Officer Hawkins Uncredited
2016 Trespass Against Us Sampson
2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Wet Stick
2018 The Commuter Agent Garcia
2019 Noelle Jake Hapman
2020 One Night in Miami... Malcolm X
2023 Barbie Basketball Ken
2024 Bob Marley: One Love Bob Marley


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Agatha Christie's Marple Errol 1 episode
2014–2018 Vera Dr. Marcus Summer Main role, 16 episodes
2016 Midsomer murders Bartholomew Hines 1 episode
2016 Ordinary Lies Jake 1 episode
2017 Death in Paradise Irie Johnson 1 episode
2017 Diana and I Russell Television film
2017–2019 Peaky Blinders Col. Ben Younger Main role, 5 episodes
2018 Deep State Khalid Walker 4 episodes
2019 The OA Karim Washington Main role, 6 episodes
2020 High Fidelity Russell McCormack Recurring role, 7 episodes
2020 Love Life Grant 1 episode
2020 The Comey Rule Barack Obama Miniseries, 2 episodes
2020 Soulmates Franklin 1 episode
2023 Secret Invasion Gravik Miniseries, main role, 6 episodes


Year Title Role Venue
2011 The riots Performer Tricycle Theatre, London
2012 A Midsummer Night's Dream Demetrius Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London
2013 Much Ado About Nothing Borachio The Old Vic, London
2013 God's Property Soho Theatre, London
2014 We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 Actor 2 Bush Theatre, London

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2021 British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Award Himself Nominated
2021 Cannes Film Festival Trophée Chopard of Male Revelation Himself Won
2021 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture One Night in Miami Nominated
2021 Independent Spirit Award Robert Altman Award Won
2020 Gotham Awards Breakthrough Actor Won
2020 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Performer Nominated
2020 San Francisco Film Awards Outstanding Ensemble Won
2020 Atlantic Film Critics Circle Breakthrough Performer Won
2020 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2020 Indiana Film Journalists Association Best Actor Nominated


  1. ^ de Semlyen, Phil (1 April 2019). "Introducing Kingsley Ben-Adir – the breakout star of 'The OA' season 2". Time Out.
  2. ^ Whetstone, David (28 April 2014) "Review: Vera, ITV, 8pm Sunday " The Journal.Archived 12 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (31 January 2016). "Vera, series six, episode one, review: 'rescued by Blethyn'". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ Cherelus, Gina (15 January 2021). "From Malcolm X to Barack Obama: Kingsley Ben-Adir Has the Range". GQ.
  5. ^ "Kingsley Ben --Adir(TBA)". Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  6. ^ url=
  7. ^ Osley, Richard (5 March 2021). "How Kingsley Ben-Adir's escaped spider sparked police panic". Camden New Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Kingsley Ben-Adir". Archived from the original on 28 January 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Khalid Walker – Played by Kingsley Ben-Adir". EPIX.
  10. ^ Roachford, Dornett (21 March 2013). "Love and Acceptance in 'God's Property'". The Platform.
  11. ^ "God's Property, Soho Theatre – review". Evening Standard. 27 February 2013.
  12. ^ Billington, Michael (5 March 2014). "We Are Proud to Present… review – 'A Pirandellian take on a little-known genocide'". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Taylor, Paul (10 March 2014). "We Are Proud to Present, theatre review. Bush Theatre, London". The Independent.
  14. ^ Murphy, Siobhan (7 March 2014). "We Are Proud To Present… at Bush Theatre takes your breath away". Metro.
  15. ^ "Review: 'We Are Proud to present…'". What's On – Africa. 20 March 2014.
  16. ^ Watson, Fay (13 November 2019). "Peaky Blinders: Why did Colonel Ben Younger star Kingsley Ben-Adir leave?". Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (11 February 2022). "Kingsley Ben-Adir To Play Reggae Legend Bob Marley In Paramount Biopic". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ Wang, Jessica (4 December 2023). "Kingsley Ben-Adir didn't initially think he could play Bob Marley". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  19. ^ Lamont, Tom (21 January 2024). "'Interview | Thank God I asked for a singing teacher!': Kingsley Ben-Adir on bringing Bob Marley to life". The Observer.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (15 April 2022). "'Barbie': Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rhea Perlman, Emerald Fennell, Scott Evans, More Round Out Cast Of Warner Bros, Mattel And LuckyChap Pic". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]