Kingsley worked fairly consistently in television since 1966,
joined the Royal Shakespeare Company a year later and made a
name for him on stage.
He had only one film, ‘Fear is the
Key’ to his credit when he landed the leading role in
Richard Attenborough’s "Gandhi" released in 1982.
This universally acclaimed role was to rocket his career path
to greatness as he won the Oscar for the 'best actor'.
Like Mahatma Gandhi, Ben returned to his roots in India to
act in this epic film.
He put in a lot of effort to prepare for his role by watching
documentaries of Gandhi, losing weight, shaving his head,
sleeping on a mat on the floor of his five-star hotel room,
learning how to sit on the floor, how to work on the spinning
wheel, among other preparations.
He actually lived the part by giving up alcohol and meat
during this time.
It was so thorough that when he dressed up as Gandhi and went
to visit a village location for a shooting stint, a crowd
gathered and mistook him for the real Gandhi and actually
touched his feet!
He was overwhelmed.
All this came gradually and after hard work.
He spent three months learning how to work the spinning wheel
as he struggled with threads that kept entangling.
He hired a yoga teacher to learn how to sit on the floor like
Once he was having a beer in the bar of Delhi’s Ashoka Hotel
where he was staying and someone objected how Gandhi could
So he stopped drinking alcohol until the film was over.
All this was amply rewarded with the accolades he received
not only for this but for other equally outstanding
He is also known for his performances in the films
Schindler’s List (1993), Sexy Beast (2000), Lucky
Number Slevin (2006), Shutter Island (2010),
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Hugo(2011), and
Iron Man 3 (2013).
Besides the Oscar, he has won a Grammy, a BAFTA, two Golden
Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards.
To top them all, he was knighted in 2002.
Recently, Hollywood compiled a list of 50 Greatest Actor
Alive and Sir Ben, aged 70, is listed at number 41.
His citation says it all: