Awesome African-Born Actors!

by yrnej | created - 24 Jan 2015 | updated - 04 May 2015 | Public

Which of these well-known actors who were born in Africa do you enjoy most?

Discuss the list here

1. Daniel Auteuil

Actor | Caché

Daniel Auteuil was born on January 24, 1950 in Algiers, Alger, France. He is an actor and director, known for Caché (2005), Jean de Florette (1986) and The Closet (2001). He has been married to Aude Ambroggi since July 22, 2006. They have one child. He was previously married to Emmanuelle ...

Algeria

2. Djimon Hounsou

Actor | Blood Diamond

Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, in west Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was thirteen. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator (2000) ...

Benin

3. Jacky Ido

Actor | Inglourious Basterds

Jacky Ido was born on May 14, 1977 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He is an actor and director, known for Inglourious Basterds (2009), Lockout (2012) and The Catch (2016).

Burkina Faso

4. Javier Bardem

Actor | Skyfall

Javier Bardem is the youngest member of a family of actors that has been making films since the early days of Spanish cinema.

He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, to actress Pilar Bardem (María del Pilar Bardem Muñoz) and businessman José Carlos Encinas Doussinague. His maternal ...

Canary Islands

5. Ahmed Ahmed

Actor | Iron Man

Grew up in Riverside, California; graduated North High School, 1988. Attended Academy of Dramatic Art in Pasadena, California. Has been a regular performer at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles since 2000. Headlines a specialty show at the Comedy Store called "Arabian Knights" that was the brainchild ...

Egypt

6. Omar Sharif

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor best known for playing Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and the title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965), was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on April 10, 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt to Joseph Shalhoub, a lumber merchant, and his wife, Claire (Saada). Of Lebanese and ...

Egypt

7. Isaach De Bankolé

Actor | Casino Royale

Isaach De Bankolé, César Award-winning actor, was born on the Ivory Coast. He was discovered on the streets of Paris while studying to be an airline pilot. He has a degree in acting from Cours Simon and a Masters in Mathematics from the Universite de Paris. Most recently, he has appeared in the ...

Ivory Coast

8. Edi Gathegi

Actor | X: First Class

Edi Gathegi was born on March 10, 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya as Edi Mue Gathegi. He is an actor and producer, known for X-Men: First Class (2011), Gone Baby Gone (2007) and Death Sentence (2007).

Kenya

9. Deep Roy

Actor | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Deep Roy was born on December 1, 1957 in Nairobi, Kenya as Mohinder Purba. He is known for his work on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Star Trek (2009) and Corpse Bride (2005).

Kenya

10. Amidou

Actor | Spy Game

Little known by the general public, Moroccan-born Amidou can nevertheless boast an onstage and on screen career spanning almost five decades. Appearing in French films most of the time, he also worked in Morocco, in Tunisia and in American action movies like William Friedkin's 'The Sorcerer' and '...

Morocco

11. Jean Reno

Actor | Léon

Jean Reno was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalucía) who moved to North Africa to seek work. His father was a linotypist. Reno settled in France at 17. He began studying drama and has credits in French television and theater as well as films. ...

Morocco

12. N!xau

Actor | The Gods Must Be Crazy

N!xau, a San from the Kalahari Desert, was discovered by director Jamie Uys and cast in the lead role in the 1980 movie The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980). He received only a few hundred dollars for his work in that film, but was astute enough to negotiate for over half a million for his appearance in ...

Namibia

13. Hugo Weaving

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960 in Nigeria, to English parents Anne (Lennard), a tour guide and teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. Hugo has an older brother, Simon, and a younger sister, Anna, who both also live and work in Australia. During his early childhood, the ...

Nigeria

14. Sharlto Copley

Actor | District 9

Sharlto Copley was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Linda Stocks and Bruce Copley, a former university professor. His childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content...

South Africa

15. Charlize Theron

Actress | Monster

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Maritz) and Charles Theron. She was raised on a farm outside the city. Theron is of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) descent, and Afrikaner ...

South Africa

16. Basil Rathbone

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, ...

South Africa

17. Arnold Vosloo

Actor | Hard Target

Arnold Vosloo was born in Pretoria, South Africa, to stage actor parents, Johanna Petronella Vorster and Johannes J. Daniel Vosloo. He is an Afrikaaner (of mostly Dutch, as well as German, Swiss-German, Danish, and French, descent).

Vosloo quickly established a fine reputation as an actor in his ...

South Africa

18. Alexander Siddig

Actor | Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Born in Sudan, Siddig was raised in Britain and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) where he studied acting and theater. Immediately after leaving LAMDA, Sid did a season of theater in Manchester, in addition to performing in various shows in pubs and small theaters. ...

Sudan

19. Richard E. Grant

Actor | Gosford Park

Richard E. Grant was born on May 5, 1957 in Mbabane, Hhohho, Swaziland as Richard Grant Esterhuysen. He is an actor, known for Gosford Park (2001), Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) and Hudson Hawk (1991). He has been married to Joan Washington since November 1, 1986. They have two children.

Swaziland

20. Marin Hinkle

Actress | Two and a Half Men

Marin's parents met while serving in the Peace Corps. She was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, when she was four months old. Two years later, her brother Mark was born. Her father, Rodney, is a retired school teacher. Her mother, Margaret, is a judge ...

Tanzania

21. Claudia Cardinale

Actress | C'era una volta il West

Like many other female Italian film stars, Claudia Cardinale's entry into the business was by way of a beauty pageant. She was 17 years old and studying at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome when she entered a beauty contest, which resulted in her getting a succession of small film roles. Her earthy ...

Tunisia

22. Barkhad Abdi

Actor | Captain Phillips

Barkhad Abdi was born on April 10, 1985 in Mogadishu, Somalia as Barkhad Abdinasir Abdi. He is an actor, known for Captain Phillips (2013), Good Time (2017) and Eye in the Sky (2015).

Somalia

23. Alice Krige

Actress | Star Trek: First Contact

Alice Maud Krige was born on June 28, 1954 in Upington, South Africa where her father, Dr. Louis Krige, worked as a young physician. The Kriges later moved to Port Elizabeth where Alice grew up in what she describes as a "very happy family", a family that also included two brothers (both of whom ...

South Africa

24. Patrick Bruel

Actor | Sabrina

Patrick Bruel was born on May 14, 1959 in Tlemcen, Oran, France as Patrick Benguigui. He is one of the most famous French singer and actor, known for Le prénom (2012), and Un secret (2007). He was married to writer Amanda Sthers from September 2004 to 2008 . They have two children Oscar and Leon.

Algeria

25. Hoji Fortuna

Actor | Viva Riva!

Hoji is an actor born and raised in Angola who began his acting career in Lisbon, Portugal, performing internationally both in film, TV and theatre.

Hoji is an African-Oscar winner for his performance as the vicious César in internationally acclaimed crime-drama 'Viva Riva!'.

A multilingual actor, ...

Angola

26. Ruth Negga

Actress | Loving

Ruth Negga was born on January 7, 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is an actress and producer, known for Loving (2016), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013) and World War Z (2013).

Ethiopia

27. Peter Mensah

Actor | Jason X

Peter Mensah has been doing martial arts since he was 6 years old, growing up in St. Albans, England, just north of London. A former engineer, Mensah came to Canada 11 years ago. He'd worked for British Gas developing gas fields at Morecambe Bay and had done theatre in school. He comes from an ...

Ghana

28. Welket Bungué

Actor | Joaquim

Balanta and Portuguese-Guinean, Welket Bungué was born in Xitole (Guinea-Bissau) on February 7, 1988. He is son of Paulo T. Bungué, a Forest Engineer an expert in Guinean forest territory, specialized in cashew tree cultivation, and son of Segunda N 'cabna, an ex-military and retired Guinean ...

Guinea-Bissau

29. Sonia Rolland

Actress | Midnight in Paris

Born in Kigali, Rwanda, from a Rwandese mother, Landrada, and a French father, Jacques, the family escaped to the neighbouring country of Burundi, the year before the civil war started (1990), preceding the Tutsi genocide in 1994.

Leaving the family business (a printing company), the family decided ...

Rwanda

30. Anna Diop

Actress | Titans

Anna Diop is a Senegalese-American actress.

Diop was born in Senegal, but moved to United States when she was six. In 2006, she made her television debut, appearing on Everybody Hates Chris. In the following years, she guest starred on Lincoln Heights, Whitney, and Touch. In film, Diop had a role ...

Senegal

31. Jeillo Edwards

Actress | Dirty Pretty Things

Jeillo Edwards was born on September 23, 1942 in Malta Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone as Jeillo Angela Doris Edwards. She was an actress, known for Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Beautiful Thing (1996) and Fox Mystery Theater (1984). She was married to Edmund Clottey. She died on July 2, 2004 in ...

Sierra Leone

32. Sidney James

Actor | Carry On Cleo

The star of the Carry On series of films, Sid James originally came to prominence as sidekick to the ground breaking British comedy actor Tony Hancock, on both radio and then television. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and named Solomon Joel Cohen, James arrived in England in 1946, second wife ...

South Africa

33. Sasha Pieterse

Actress | Inherent Vice

Sasha Pieterse was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated over to the United States with her professional dancer parents in 2000. She started acting at the age of four in modeling and commercials and moved to theatrical work starring as "Buffy" in her first TV show, Family Affair (2002)...

South Africa

34. Bhasker Patel

Actor | Thunderbirds

Bhasker Patel was born on February 7, 1956 in Kampala, Uganda as Bhaskar Patel. He is an actor, known for Thunderbirds (2004), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Anuvahood (2011).

Uganda

35. Chipo Chung

Actress | Sunshine

Chipo Chung was born in 1977 in Tanzania. She is an actress, known for Sunshine (2007), Proof (2005) and In the Loop (2009).

Zimbabwe



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