Kobna Holdbrook-Smith: Ghanaian Actor Wins Prestigious Award In The UK

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Ghana-born actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith won the best actor prize at London’s prestigious Oliver Awards for his lead role in a musical about the life of Tina Turner.

Holdbrook-Smith plays her husband Ike Turner.

The Olivier Awards celebrate the best performances in London’s theatres.

Accepting the award, an emotional Holdbrook-Smith thanked “all my family in Ghana”


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Holdbrook-Smith was born in Accra, Ghana.

He grew up in Frimley Surrey, England, went to school in Frimley, with his mother Tenu, his father Henry and brother Kofi.

He was initially frightened of taking up acting due to his family’s disapproval.

“I was about 15, I thought, ‘I wonder if I could [become an actor]’. I hadn’t really suggested it to anyone. It just didn’t seem allowed. So there was a slow exploration of [acting] and by the time I was 18, I was resolute.”

He attended Guildford School of Acting to study acting.

Holdbrook-Smith has had roles in Hamlet, Doctor Strange as the Physical Therapist who tells Dr Strange about how a patient had recovered,  Ghost Stories, Detective Crispus Allen in the Justice League, Paddington 2, The Commuter and Mary Poppins Returns, among others.

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