Before Stardom: Idris Elba Was Homeless and Sold Drugs

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Idris Elba (41) born Idrissa Akuna “Idris” Elba on September 6, 1972. He is a British actor. He is the only child of Eve and Winston Elba both from the United Kingdom. Elba grew up with an interest in performance art and while attending school at Channing Town, he gained a place in the national Youth Music Theatre, with the help of the Prince’s trust grant.
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Idris Elba first started auditioning for roles in London in his twenties. He landed the role of Tim Webster in the British soap opera, Family Affairs (1997). Shortly after he got married for the first time in 1988 to Kim Norgaard. They split in 2003. Around that time he obtained the role that jump started his career in the U.S., his notorious role as the drug lord with a dream, Russell “Stringer” Bell in the hit drama series on HBO, The Wire (2002-04).

After that and a brief string of TV movies and yet another attempt and fail at love when he married Sonya Nicole Hamlin in 2006 and also divorced her that same year, he landed blockbuster level gigs like Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls (2007), where Elba plays a struggling single father of 3 little girls in the middle of a custody battle with his ex, who is girlfriend of the most feared drug dealer in town. His co-stars are Gabrielle Union, Tasha Smith, and Louis Gossett Jr.

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