Idris Elba Turns 43: His 5 Most Memorable Career Moments

Idris Elba - H 2015

The actor will soon appear in 'The Jungle Book' and 'Star Trek Beyond.'

Emmy-nominated actor Idris Elba may not end up as James Bond anytime soon, but he has had a career of playing action-filled, heroic roles in both film and television. The British actor has had his share of comic book roles (Thor, Avengers: Age of Ultron), thrillers (No Good Deed) and family films (Daddy's Little Girls). On Elba’s 43rd birthday, THR takes a look at five of the actor’s biggest performances as he gears up for future roles in The Jungle Book and Stark Trek Beyond.

1. The Wire (2002-04)

The Wire - Stringer and McNulty Discuss Business by LillardJevon

Elba was a part of the Emmy-nominated HBO series where he played Stringer Bell, a drug kingpin's second-in-command in Baltimore, Md.

2. Luther (2010-15)

Elba's journey as a tormented detective in BBC's popular series garnered such a demand that a U.S. remake was planned for Fox

3. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

The Weinstein Co.'s film placed Elba in the shoes of activist Nelson Mandela, who rose from fighting against the racial inequality of apartheid to being elected president of South Africa. U2 earned an Oscar nomination for their original song "Ordinary Love" from the film's soundtrack. 

4. Prometheus

Elba co-starred with Charlize Theron as a captain on a massive spacecraft that leads a group of scientists toward discovering new origins of life in Ridley Scott's action-adventure. A year later, Elba returned in another popular sci-fi film — Pacific Rim

5. Tyler Perry's Daddy’s Little Girls (2007)

Elba exhibited his softer side, shutting down negative stereotypes of single fathers as he played a mechanic who fights to win custody of three daughters from his drug-dealing ex-wife and her boyfriend.