An only child, Idris Elba was born and raised in Hackney, London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at a Ford motor factory. His mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He gained a place in the National Youth Music Theatre – thanks to a £1,500 Prince’s Trust grant. He worked as a disc jockey in nightclubs under the nickname DJ Big Driis at age 19. However, he began auditioning for television roles in his early twenties. He has starred in both British and American productions. His first acting roles were on the soap opera Family Affairs (1997) and the television serial Ultraviolet (1998). His best known roles are as drug baron Russell “Stringer” Bell on the HBO series The Wire (2002) and as DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther (2010). He later starred in the films Daddy’s Little Girls (2007), Prom Night (2008), RocknRolla (2008), The Unborn (2009) and Obsessed (2009). He also appeared in the films American Gangster (2007), Takers (2010), Thor (2011), Prometheus (2012), Pacific Rim (2013) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Idris Elba was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2016 New Years Honours for his services to drama.