Sir Ben Kingsley

In the latter half of the 1990s, Kingsley continued to embrace a variety of eclectic roles, with turns as the Fool in the 1996 film adaptation of ‘Twelfth Night’, a media mogul in the 1997 made-for-HBO satire ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’, and the barbarous barber Sweeney Todd in John Schlesinger's 1998 ‘The Tale of Sweeney Todd’. Kingsley also took Broadway by storm with his one-man show Edward Kean (later taped for cable), which was directed by his wife, Alison Sutcliffe. Though Kingsley had retained the variety in his career that he had so diligently pursued, the ever-sharp actor remained as focused as ever heading into the new millennium.

Then, in 2001, came ‘Sexy Beast’. His showy, explosive supporting turn as a spring-loaded gangster was the kind of role of which most 50-something actors can only dream; and it won him a deserved third Oscar nomination. Typically he was not fazed. A week prior to the LA award ceremony, Ben was awarded a knighthood at Buckingham Palace.

"I told the Queen that winning an Oscar pales into insignificance, this is insurmountable. I've been nominated for an Academy Award but I will be sitting there in Los Angeles thinking I'm a Knight Bachelor."

He has proven he can play just about anyone, from Nazi war criminals to Jewish Holocaust survivors. For many viewers, however, he will always be inextricably linked with his title role in Gandhi, a film that won him an Oscar and the undying respect of critics and filmgoers alike. 

More recently he has become known for refusing to acknowledge people who do not refer to him as 'Sir Ben' - perhaps all this Knight Bachelor stuff has gone to his head:)

'I just loved playing a man who was unafraid of making an idiot of himself in the process of falling in love. I found that admirable'

'I was fortunate as a young actor, to go straight to the RSC, where I learned that being an actor can bring with it wonderful responsibilities'


Suggested films to see:
Sexy Beast (2000)
Gandhi (1984)
Schinlder's List(1993)


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