British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is widely known for his performance in the Academy Award winning film 12 Years a Slave as Solomon Northup — a role for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe nom.
Ejiofor showed audiences a very different side of himself when he took on the character Louis Lester, in the 2013 BBC television series Dancing on the Edge, which followed the experiences of a black jazz band performing around the city of London in the 1930's.
Ejiofor began his acting career at the age of 13, going on to join the National Youth Theater. He studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art until dropping out to perform the role of Ensign Covey in Stephen Spielberg's Amistad.
He has gone on to hold key roles in such films as Dirty Pretty Things, Love Actually, Four Brothers, Salt, Serenity, Kinky Boots, Children of Men, American Gangster and 2012.
His television credits include prominent roles in series Trust and The Shadow Line. Ejiofor has also guest starred on Murder in Mind and Masterpiece of Contemporary.
The celebrated thesp, whom Queen Elizabeth II presented with an OBE for services to the arts in 2008, was honored with the 2008 Lawrence Oliver Award for Best Actor for his role in Othello and the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2006.