Talented British actor Adrian Lester first became known to American audiences with his role as an idealistic presidential campaign worker in Mike Nichols' Primary Colors (1998). Lester, who was born in Birmingham, England, in 1970, got his start on the stage, winning an Olivier Award in 1996 for his performance in Company. He made his film debut in 1991, acting in a number of British productions, and got his first Hollywood break with Primary Colors. In 2000, he could be seen interpreting the Bard as Dumaine, one of the noblemen in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost who finds that the demands of the body are liable to undermine the noble pursuits of the mind.
Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx
- Born to Jamaican immigrants in Britain.
- Grew up on a council estate (aka public housing).
- Suffers from asthma, which was misdiagnosed for part of his youth as an on-again, off-again cough. It wasn't until he got an inhaler at age 13 that the world opened up for him.
- Served as a choir boy at St. Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham.
- Began acting with the Birmingham Youth Theatre at age 14.
- Grew up on the same street as his wife, fellow actor-writer Lolita Chakrabarti, in Birmingham; and, at age 14, mentored her and others at a drama workshop. Years later, they ran into each other in London and had a brief conversation, but it wasn't until they were both enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art that sparks flew.
- Honored with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2012.
- Is a black belt in tae kwon do, which he took up at age 28.