Idris Elba is an English actor best known for his starring role as crime boss Russell "Stringer" Bell in the HBO crime series The Wire, from 2002-2004.
He also starred as DCI John Luther in the crime procedural television series Luther (2010-2013), for which he won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie in 2012.
He is also a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, and a hip-hop soul recording artist.
Elba, an only child, was born in Hackney, London to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother. He started acting in secondary school with encouragement from his drama teacher, on whom he also had a crush.
He got his break as a supporting cast member of UK soap opera Family Affairs, from 1997-1998. He also portrayed Captain Augustin Muganza in Sometimes in April, a 2005 HBO made-for-TV movie about the Rwandan Genocide.
Other television series he has appeared in include Absolutely Fabulous, Silent Witness, Dangerfield, Law & Order, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Sould Food, CSI: Miami, Girlfriends, Jonny Zero and Queens Supreme.
Elba has a large female fan base following and appeared on the cover of Essence's "Hot Hollywood Men" issue, April 2004 and again in Essence's November 2005 "10 Hottest Men on the Planet" issue.
He recorded the four-song EP Big Man for Hevlar Records in 2006.
Elba has a daughter named Isan, born in 2004.