Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor, CBE (/ˈtʃuːɪtɛl ˈɛdʒi.oʊfɔːr/ CHOO-i-tel EJ-ee-oh-for; born 10 July 1977) is an English actor. After enrolling at the National Youth Theatre in 1995, and attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, at age 19 and three months into his course, Ejiofor was cast by Steven Spielberg to play a supporting role in the film Amistad (1997) as James Covey.
Ejiofor portrayed the characters Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), The Operative in Serenity (2005), Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Dr. Vincent Kapoor in The Martian (2015), Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange (2016), and most recently Scar in The Lion King (2019). For 12 Years a Slave, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for a 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance on Dancing on the Edge.
Ejiofor has received numerous awards and nominations for acting, including the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2006, two Golden Globe Award nominations, and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello in 2008. In 2008, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. He was elevated to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 Birthday Honours.