Kingsley began his acting career on stage, but made a transition to film roles early on. Despite this focus on film, he continued to act on the stage, playing Mosca in Peter Hall’s 1977 production of Ben Jonson’s Volpone for the Royal National Theatre, and in Peter Brook’s acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At about this time, he changed his name from Krishna Bhanji to Ben Kingsley, fearing that a foreign name would hamper his career; he took his stage surname from his paternal grandfather’s nickname, “King Clove”.
Kingsley’s first film role was a supporting turn in Fear Is the Key, released in 1972. Kingsley continued starring in bit roles in both film and television, including a role as Ron Jenkins on the soap opera Coronation Street from 1966 to 1967 and regular appearances as a defence counsel in the long-running British legal programme Crown Court. In 1975 he starred as Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the BBCs historical drama The Love School. He found fame only… read more