Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in Snainton, North Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1943. His father, a Kenyan of Indian descent, was a doctor and his mother was once a model and actress. He was raised in Pendlebury, Greater Manchester, England.
Kingsley became enamored with acting while in college and made his West End debut in 1967 at the age of 24. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1968 and worked primarily as a Shakespearean actor for the next 12 years. Kingsley debuted on the Broadway stage in a Shakespeare revival in 1971 and returned once more for a solo performance in 1983.
He began his screen career in television beginning in 1966 and appeared in his first feature film in 1972 for Anglo-EMI. Kingsley did not return to movies until his starring role in Gandhi (1982), a performance which earned him an Actor Academy Award.
He has since received three Academy Award nominations for Actor in a Supporting Role for:
Kingsley has also been nominated for four Primetime Emmys for his television work.
He has appeared in more than 85 feature films.
Kingsley has been married four times:
- Angela Morant (1943-), actress, (m. 1966-1972), divorced, 2 children;
- Alison Sutcliffe, theatre director, (m. 1978-1992), divorced, 2 children. Their children are the actors Edmund Kingsley (1982-) and Ferdinand Kingsley (1988-);
- Alexandra Christmann, (m. 2003-2005), divorced;
- Daniela Lavender (1974-), actress (m. 2007).