Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor born 10 July 1977 is an English actor. His name is pronounced Chew-eh-tell Edge-ee-oh-for. Ejiofor was born in London's Forest Gate, to upper middle-class Nigerian parents of Igbo descent. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, and his mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist. His younger sister is CNN correspondent Zain Asher.
Ejiofor is the child of Nigerian immigrants, refugees who moved to London to escape civil war in the 1960s. He was born in Forest Gate in the east and now lives in Islington in the north. He has a brother who works in fashion and two sisters, in medicine and journalism. In 1988, when Ejiofor was 11, during a family trip to Nigeria for a wedding, he and his father were driving to Lagos after the celebrations when their car was involved in a head-on crash with a lorry. His father was killed, and Ejiofor was badly injured, and received scars that are still visible on his forehead.
Ejiofor began acting in school plays at his junior school, Dulwich Prep London (known at the time as 'Dulwich College Preparatory School'), where he played the gravedigger in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. He continued acting at his senior school, Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theatre. He got into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art but left after his first year, after being cast in Steven Spielberg's film Amistad. Currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He is left-handed.