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Born in the Forest Gate section of London to Nigerian parents, CHIWETEL EJIOFOR (Luke) started acting in school plays at the age of 13. He earned a scholarship to The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, then made his feature film debut in 1997 in Steven Spielberg's Amistad. Ejiofor followed this performance with turns in Stephen Frears' critically acclaimed Dirty Pretty Things, where he was many critics' pick for Best Actor; Richard Curtis' Love Actually; Spike Lee's She Hate Me; Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda; John Singleton's Four Brothers, Joss Whedon's Serenity; and Spike Lee's Inside Man. This year, Ejiofor received a nomination for the 2006 BAFTA Orange Rising Star award, which recognizes exceptional talent in and outstanding performances by young actors.

Ejiofor was recently seen in Miramax's Kinky Boots, which played on the opening night of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. He has also completed Tonight at Noon, in which he stars with Connie Nielsen and Lauren Ambrose (with appearances by Ethan Hawke, Nick Nolte and Radha Mitchell). The independent film is written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Hamlet). Ejiofor plays two characters in the film, which follows a group of disparate New Yorkers who experience random encounters that define their lives.

Currently, he is filming the Focus Features' film Talk to Me with Don Cheadle, which is the story of Washington, D.C., radio personality Ralph Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s. In addition, he is working on the HBO film The Aftermath, opposite Toni Collette, Hugh Bonneville and Sophie Okonedo; the film (which is based on firsthand interviews and extensive research by the project's producers) follows a group of fictional characters whose lives are overturned by the tsunami of December 26, 2004.

Ejiofor was voted Outstanding Newcomer at the London Evening Standard Awards in 2000 for his performance in Blue/Orange, a play about a mental patient who claims to be the son of an exiled African dictator. He was also awarded the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the 2000 London Critics Circle Theatre Awards (Drama) for the performance. In 2001, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blue/Orange at the Royal National Theatre. In 2003, he was nominated for Best Actor by the Washington Area Film Critics Association and won a British Independent Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor for his performance in Dirty Pretty Things.


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