DAVID OYELOWO (Yardley Acheman) was seen in the 2011 summer blockbuster Rise of
the Planet of the Apes, alongside James Franco and Freida Pinto. He also
appeared in the critical and commercial success The Help, with Octavia Spencer,
Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain.
Up next for Oyelowo is Lee Daniels' The Butler, with Alex Pettyfer, Forest
Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He will soon be seen in several highly anticipated
feature films including Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, which premiered at the
Sundance Film Festival and L.A. Film Festival; Jack Reacher, opposite Tom Cruise
and Richard Jenkins; and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis and
Tommy Lee Jones.
The actor appeared in several indies recently, including 96 Minutes, which
premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival; Default, a thriller directed by Simon
Brand; and George Lucas' Red Tails, the story of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen who
fought in World War II.
In his most challenging screen role to date, Oyelowo starred in the acclaimed
BBC2 film Shoot the Messenger. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Film at
the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and Oyelowo received a nomination for Best Actor.
Other film credits include Kevin MacDonald's The Last King of Scotland, opposite
Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy; Who Do You Love, as the iconic Muddy Waters; A
Sound of Thunder, for Peter Hyams; Derailed, with Clive Owen and Jennifer
Aniston; and The Best Man, starring Stuart Townsend.
Oyelowo (pronounced "oh-yellow-oh") received the Scholarship for Excellence from
Nicholas Hytner in 1998 and graduated from the London Academy of Music and
Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He first impressed audiences in Aeschylus' "The
Suppliants" at the Gate Theatre, receiving the Ian Charleson Award for his
performance as King Palasgus.
Next Oyelowo played the title role in "Henry VI," becoming the first black actor
to play an English king for the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). The role netted
him another Ian Charleson Award and an Evening Standard Award nomination.
Other stage credits include an acclaimed performance in Richard Bean's "The God
Botherers" at the Bush Theatre and the title role in Aeschylus' "Prometheus
Bound" Off Broadway, for which Oyelowo received rave reviews.
On television Oyelowo starred in the BAFTA Award-winning series "MI-5," playing
Danny Hunter in 26 episodes. "MI-5" aired in the U.S. on BBC America. He won the
Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor and was also nominated for a BAFTA
prize for his work on "Small Island."
Oyelowo starred in the BBC1 made-for-television movie "Born Equal," opposite
Colin Firth, and ABC's 2008 production of "A Raisin in the Sun," alongside Sanaa
Lathan and Sean "Puffy" Combs.
Oyelowo made his U.S. debut in two HBO productions: Kenneth Branagh's "As You
Like It," in which he played Orlando opposite Bryce Dallas Howard's Rosalind,
and as the lead in the miniseries "Five Days." For the latter performance he won
the Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for
In 2008 Oyelowo starred in the acclaimed television adaptation of the Alexander
McCall Smith novel "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," directed by the late
The actor currently resides in Los Angeles.
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