Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
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Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Birth Name: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Nickname/Stage Name: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Birth Date: August 22, 1967

Genres: Action, Drama

Occupation(s): Actor, Director

Years Active: 1994 till Present

Net Worth: $3 million


Personal Life

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was born in London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba descent who were students in the United Kingdom.

His parents gave him up to a white working-class family when he was six years old. He was taken back to Nigeria two years later but as he couldn't speak the Yoruba language and was forbidden by them to talk in English, he was returned to the U.K.

As a teen, he joined a local gang and became a thief, attempting suicide at the age of 16 before coming to terms with his background and turning his life around for the better.

Reports say the actor is not married and has never been. His personal life has been successfully kept private and off the public eye.

During an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show in 2016, Agbaje was said to be in a relationship with an unnamed woman. His words: "Yeah, I got a lady friend. I've simmered it down now, I've narrowed it down to just one. I'm a lucky guy."


Agbaje was sent to a boarding school by his parents and he later earned a Law degree from Kings College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London.


He ventured into modeling as a university student and this led to a career in Hollywood. He made his acting debut with the 1995 film Congo.

Among his most memorable acting roles, perhaps he is most associated with that of the imposing convict Simon Adebisi in the 1990s HBO prison series Oz, and Mr. Eko on ABC's survival drama series Lost.

Some of his other movie roles include The Bourne IdentityAce Venture: When Nature CallsThe Mummy Returns, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

In 2009, Agbaje was in negotiations to play Marvel comic character, Black Panther, in a proposed film of the same name but in 2014, the studio announced that Chadwick Boseman had been chosen to portray the superhero.

He portrayed Kurse in the Marvel film Thor: The Dark World and played the slave dealer Malko in the fifth season of the acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones.

In 2012, he revealed that he had been developing a film about his life story, with him in the directorial helm. It was given the title Farming and in May 2017, he disclosed that actor Damson Idris had been cast in the lead role.

Farming was released in 2018. It received generally positive reviews, with critics praising Idris' acting and Agbaje's impressive directorial debut.


Screen Actors Guild Award (2006)

Edinburgh International Film Festival Award (2019)


"I've never been really great at trusting anybody just because of the way I grew up. I was always led to believe you should take care of yourself, trust in your abilities and you are the author of your destiny."

"The only way you can influence your fate is to put your soul into your performance and hope it registers with the audience."

"The only way I know how to deliver is to focus. Some people can turn it off or on. I'd rather stay in character."


Despite being born and raised in England, he played almost entirely African characters in the early part of his career.

He is fluent in Italian, Yoruba, Swahili, and English. He can also get along in other languages, including French.

He is a Buddhist.

He modeled in Milan and Paris before venturing into acting.


Congo (1995)

Legionnaire (1998)

The Mummy Returns (2001)

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Unstoppable (2004)

Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

Faster (2010)

Bullet to the Head (2013)

Annie (2014)

Concussion (2015)

Bilal (2016)

Suicide Squad (2016)

Farming (2018)

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