By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Weds. April 27, 2016: British Caribbean-roots actors are making a major impact in Hollywood with several currently on major U.S. television shows or on the silver screen. Here are 10 you should know:
1: Naomie Harris
Born in Britain in 1976, to a Jamaican mother and Trinidadian father, Harris became famous for her performances as Tia/Calypso in two of the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But she truly hit it out of the park when she landed the role of Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre becoming the first black actress to play the role. On her Caribbean roots, the graduate of Cambridge University has said: “I was raised within the Jamaican culture in Britain. I was surrounded by these incredibly powerful women growing up — independent, opinionated, strong-willed women, like my mum and my aunt.” Harris is currently filming ‘Collateral Beauty’ with Will Smith.
2: Lennie James
Lennie James has appeared in more than 20 films, including Les Misérables, Snatch, and Colombiana (2011) as well as Robert Hawkins in the CBS series Jericho, Detective Joe Geddes in the AMC television series Low Winter Sun and Morgan Jones in the popular AMC series The Walking Dead. James was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire to Trinidadian parents. He has professed to being the main cook for his family of four with a fondness for Caribbean cuisine. James also works as a mentor to black inner-city kids, and says he rejects the importance people attach to fame and celebrity.
3: Nathalie Joanne Emmanuel
Nathalie Joanne Emmanuel is known for playing computer hacker Ramsey in ‘Furious 7’ (2015). She was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England, to a father of Saint Lucian and English descent and a mother of Dominican origin. She was also the interpreter Missandei on the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. FHM magazine ranked Emmanuel as 99th in their 100 Sexiest Women of 2013. In 2015, she appeared in the April issue of InStyle and GQ magazines.
4: Marianne Ragipcien Jean-Baptiste
She is an English-born actress who plays FBI agent plays Bethany Mayfair in the popular series on NBC, ‘The Blindspot.’ Marianne Ragipcien Jean-Baptiste was born in London to a mother from Antigua and father from St. Lucia. She grew up in Peckham and was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. Jean-Baptiste gained international success from the Mike Leigh-directed social drama Secrets & Lies (1996), receiving both Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performance, becoming the first black British actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the second black Briton to be nominated, succeeding Jaye Davidson. She has been married to Evan Williams since 1997. She is also a writer and composer and wrote the score for Mike Leigh’s “Career Girls.” Jean-Baptiste has also written and performed with British jazz musicians, including Jason Rebello, for whom she wrote and recorded four tracks on his album “Keeping Time.”
5: Naomi Elaine Campbell
Of course many know this English born beauty for her super model fame but the 45-year-old is now an actress. Campbell, 45, was born to Jamaican parents in London and has established herself among the top three most recognizable and in-demand models. She recently had a recurring role as a cougar for a guest role in the hit US television show “Empire,” playing Camilla Marks the love interest of the youngest son Hakeem. Camilla is 20 years Hakeem’s junior in the show, and Campbell said at times she felt shy when filming the raunchy scenes. Campbell has a three-bedroom oceanfront property is in Oracabessa, Jamaica.
6: Eamonn Walker
He plays fire chief Firehouse 51 Battalion Chief Wallace Boden on NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire’ but few know that actor Eamonn Walker has Caribbean roots. Walker was born in London to a Grenadian father and a Trinidadian mother, in 1962. He also actually lived in Trinidad for six months when he was nine years old before returning to London to attend the Hungerford School in Islington and later the University of North London. Of his Caribbean roots he says: “My whole being and everything that I do has my British and Grenadian sides running through me. Until I went to grade school, I spoke with my Caribbean accent as my mother did but quickly received my first taste of discrimination when kids made fun of me and made my life pretty miserable, because we all know how cruel kids can be (laughs). So I learned to speak like everyone else with a North London accent. Again, my need to be connected with my people has always been in me and I recently returned from Grenada where I met my father’s side of the family for the first time and it was beautiful. In every fiber of my being, knowing my people has always been important to me and I’m glad I was able to meet my extended family.”
7: Alfred Enoch
Alfred “Alfie” Enoch plays the role of Wes Gibbins in the ABC legal drama series, ‘How to Get Away with Murder.’ He was born in London to but traces his roots to Barbados through his maternal grandparents. He made his big acting debut in 2001 as Dean Thomas in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.’ He has appeared in seven of the eight Harry Potter films and also voiced the character in the video game based on the first part of the film. For his portrayal of Gibbins, Enoch has received two NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series consecutive nominations. His father, William Russell, is a renowned actor who played Ian Chesterton in the original run of the BBC show, ‘Dr. Who.’’’
8: Delroy Lindo
Delroy Lindo is perhaps best known for his roles in a trio of Spike Lee films, especially as West Indian Archie in Lee’s Malcolm X (1992) and Woody Carmichael in Crooklyn (1994), Catlett in Get Shorty, Arthur Rose in The Cider House Rules, and Detective Castlebeck in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000). Lindo starred as Alderman Ronin Gibbons in the TV series The Chicago Code (2011) and as Winter on the series Believe, which premiered in 2014. He was born in England to Jamaican parents. Lindo was recently cast as Dominic Fortune in ABC’s pilot of Marvel’s Most Wanted opposite Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood.
9: Marsha Thomason
Marsha Thomason is best known for playing Nessa Holt in the first two seasons of the NBC series Las Vegas, Naomi Dorrit on the ABC series Lost, and FBI agent Diana Berrigan on the USA Network series White Collar. She was born in Moston, Greater Manchester, England to Phyllis (née McCrae), a Jamaican electronics company employee, and Peter Thomason, who worked in politics.
10: Adrian Lester, OBE
Adrian Lester is a multi award winning actor and director, known for seven seasons of the hit TV show Hustle (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and Primary Colors (1998) and his extensive classical work in the theatre playing Othello, Henry V, Rosalind and Hamlet to name but a few. He was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, the son of Jamaican immigrants Monica, a medical secretary, and Reginald, a manager for a contract cleaning company. Lester was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to drama.