Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi was originally credited as Siddig El Fadil, but changed his name to Alexander Siddig because nobody could pronounce it.
He is best known for his roles as Dr Julian Bashir in the sci-fi television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), and for his role as Prince Nasir Al-Subaai in the 2005 feature film Syriana.
Siddig was born in Sudan, and spent most of his life in England. He was born to an English mother who worked as a theatrical consultant and a Sudanese father. Siddig describes himself as being a Muslim.
His maternal uncle is English actor Malcolm McDowell, and his paternal uncle is the former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. He studied at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate.
He was credited under the shortened name Siddig El Fadil until October 1995 (three seasons into his run on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), when he changed his stage name to Alexander Siddig, as he thought it would be less confusing and easier to pronounce by American tongues.
In 1997, Siddig married his co-star Nana Visitor; they had a son, Django El Tahir El Siddig, who was born in 1996. Siddig and Visitor eventually divorced in 2001.
In 2005 he was briefly involved with his Whose Life Is It Anyway? co-star Kim Cattrall.
Since the end of the long-running Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Siddig has made prominent appearances in films and television.
Highlights include guest-starring as an Algerian secret agent on the trail of Islamic extremists in a controversial episode of the British television show Spooks, entitled "Nest of Angels", in 2003.
In 2005, he appeared as Saladin's aide, Nasir, in Ridley Scott's film Kingdom of Heaven and gave a critically-lauded performance as Prince Nasir in Syriana, alongside George Clooney and Matt Damon.
He played the title role in 2006's Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare for the BBC (UK). Early 2007 brought him back to American television in the role of former terrorist Hamri Al-Assad for the sixth season of 24.
Siddig's roles have often called for him to act out many different accents: an English 'RP' accent (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), a cockney accent (Reign Of Fire), and an Algerian accent (Spooks), among others.
He has also given performances in Arabic as the role required (Spooks, Syriana, 24).