Born in London, England on August 22, 1967, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje split his time as a youth between the UK and Nigeria. After earning a Masters from London's prestigious King's College University, a career in acting came his way when acclaimed director Frank Marshall cast him in Congo. He began working as a fashion model in Milan, but eventually moved to Los Angeles to act. He is also fluent in numerous languages, including English, Italian, Yoruba and Swahili, and can speak French as well.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has been seen on episodes of New York Undercover and Red Shoe Diaries, before he had his big break in film. After playing the character Kahega in Congo, he was given a role in Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls in 1995. His first stint on camera was actually in Dawn Penn’s video for the song “No, No, No (You Don't Love me)”, allowing him to expand his career. From 1997 to 2000, he rose to fame playing the criminal Simon Adebisi on the HBO series Oz. He followed this up with an appearance on the film The Mummy Returns in 2001, playing Lock-Nah alongside Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Dwayne Johnson and John Hannah.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje soon got a part in the comedy Lip Service, soon earning mainstream popularity for his performance opposite Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity. In 2004, he was cast in the action film Unstoppable, starring Wesley Snipes. He was subsequently given a role in 2005’s The Mistress of Spices and became famous for playing Mr. Eko on the ABC sci-fi series Lost. He was also the star of the musical drama On the One, but it failed to set his career on a roll.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was also seen on Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the semi-autobiographical film by 50 Cent. Some of his other appearances include and Legionnaire, the HBO movie Deadly Voyage, television series Cracker, as well as the ABC miniseries 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
-Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a Buddhist
-He said he spent the entire day in character to try to grasp the intensity of Mr. Eko.
-The meaning of his name is broken down thus: Ade- the crown, wale- has come home, Akin- warrior, nuoye- of chieftaincy, Agbaje prosperity and wealth.