Hollywood Stars You Might Know are Ghanaians

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Cynthia Addai-Robinson 

Cynthia Addai-Robinson 

She was born on January 12, 1985, and is an English-born American actress. She is known for her roles as Naevia in the Starz television series Spartacus, DC Comics character Amanda Waller in The CW TV series Arrow, and Nadine Memphis on the USA Network series Shooter. She currently plays the role of Tar-Míriel on the Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings series The Rings of Power.

Addai-Robinson was born in London; her mother is from Ghana and her father is a U.S. citizen. She moved to the U.S. when she was 4 and was raised by her mother in a suburb of Washington, D.C. She graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater.

In 2011, Addai-Robinson made her big screen debut as the mother of Zoe Saldana’s character in Colombiana.

Her biggest role came from 2012 to 2013 when she was cast as Naevia in the third season of Spartacus: Vengeance and the fourth season of Spartacus: War of the Damned after Lesley-Ann Brandt decided to leave the series.

In early 2013, Addai-Robinson played Aja, a powerful witch who came to help Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries for two episodes. She made a brief appearance as an on-looker in the crowd in the film Star Trek Into Darkness. She played Leslie in Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, a television movie about the murder of Travis Alexander] In September 2013, she was cast as the recurring character Amanda Waller in the hit The CW show Arrow.

Michael Jai White 

Michael Jai White 

He was born November 10, 1967, and is an American actor, director, and martial artist. He was the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, starring as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White appeared as Marcus Williams in the Tyler Perry films Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?, and starred as the character on the TBS/OWN comedy-drama television series Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse.

White portrayed Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy and the Cyborg Seth in Universal Soldier: The Return. He portrayed boxer Mike Tyson in the 1995 HBO television movie Tyson. He also played the title role in the blaxploitation parody film Black Dynamite, as well as the animated series of the same name.

White is a martial artist in nine different styles: Shōtōkan, Goju-Ryu (for which he studied under Master Eddie Morales where he learned to sharpen his Goju karate technique), Taekwondo, Kobudō, Tang Soo Do, Wushu, Jiu Jitsu, Kyokushin, and Boxing, with a specific focus in Kyokushin Karate (although his style incorporates aspects of many different martial arts forms). White started training in martial arts at the age of four in Jiujitsu. He next took up Shōtōkan and moved on to other styles later.

Peter Mensah

Peter Mensah

He was born on 27 August 1959 and is a Ghanaian-English actor, best known for his roles in the films Tears of the Sun, Hidalgo, The Incredible Hulk, 300, and television series such as Starz’ Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and Spartacus: Vengeance.

Mensah was born in Chiraa, Ghana, and comes from an academic family. He was born to parents from the Brong Ahafo Region, and moved to Hertfordshire, England, with his father, Peter Osei Mensah, an engineer, his mother, a writer, and two younger sisters at a young age. Mensah began practising martial arts at the age of six.

Mensah’s film credits include Avatar, 300, Hidalgo, Tears of the Sun, Jason X, Harvard Man, Bless the Child, and The Incredible Hulk. He also stars in the short film The Seed, produced and directed by Linkin Park’s DJ Joe Hahn. He has made television appearances in Star Trek: Enterprise, Tracker, Witchblade, Blue Murder, Relic Hunter, Earth: Final Conflict, Highlander: The Raven, and La Femme Nikita. He was a member of the repertory cast of the A&E Network series A Nero Wolfe Mystery and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

He voiced and provided his likeness for Sgt. Zach Hammond in EA’s video game Dead Space. Mensah played the character Oenomaus in Spartacus and was on the Spartacus Panel at Comic-Con in 2009 and 2011. He had a recurring role in the fifth season of True Blood.

He is the voice of Predaking, the dragon-like leader of the Predacons in Transformers: Prime.

Idrissa Akuna Elba

Idrissa Akuna Elba

He was born on 6 September 1972 in the London Borough of Hackney, to Winston Elba, a Sierra Leonean Creole man who worked at the Ford Dagenham plant, and Eve, a Ghanaian woman. Elba’s parents were married in Sierra Leone and later moved to London. Elba was raised in Hackney and East Ham and shortened his first name to “Idris” at school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He credits The Stage with giving him his first big break, having seen an advertisement for a play in it; he auditioned and met his first agent while performing in the role. In 1986, he began helping an uncle with his wedding DJ business; within a year, he had started his own DJ with some of his friends.

He is an English actor, producer, and musician. An alumnus of the National Youth Theatre in London, he is known for roles in Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire, DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). He has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, winning one, and has been nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Elba appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007) and Prometheus (2012). Elba portrayed Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Thor (2011) and its sequels Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He also starred in Pacific Rim (2013), and Beasts of No Nation (2015), for which he received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and Molly’s Game (2017). In 2016, he voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia, Shere Khan in the live-action/CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book, Fluke in Finding Dory, and played the role of Krall in Star Trek Beyond. 

In 2021, he portrayed Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad, set in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), while in 2022, he voiced Knuckles the Echidna in the film Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022), and will headline a spin-off self-titled solo series as the character for Paramount in 2023. Aside from acting, Elba performs as a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis or Idris and as an R&B musician. In 2016, he was named on the Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World.

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