Born on November 21, 1965 in Sudan, Alexander Siddig is an actor best known for his role as Dr. Julian Bashir on the sci-fi series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He was also on the critically acclaimed 2005 film Syriana. While he was born in Sudan, on the northeastern part of the African continent, he spent most of his growing up years in England. He was, in fact, born to an English mother and a Sudanese father. This practicing Muslim’s maternal uncle is fellow English actor Malcolm McDowell while his paternal uncle is a former Sudanese Prime Minister. He studied at St Lawrence College in Ramsgate. Until October 1995, he was using a shortened version of his given name Siddig El Fadil, before changing his stage name to the easier to pronounce and more American-sounding Alexander Siddig.
Siddig joined the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where he studied acting and theater. When he left, he had a full season worth of stage work in Manchester. He also worked as a director in a small London theater. He made his television debut in the 1990 sequel to Lawrence of Arabia called A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia as Prince Feisal. In 1993, he bagged a role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine up until 1999.
Among his other screen credits include the British television show Spooks as an Algerian secret agent on the trail of Islamic extremists, in the Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven as Saladin’s aide Nasir, the critically acclaimed film Syriana as Prince Nasir with George Clooney, and the BBC series Hannibal – Rome’s Worst Nightmare with the title role in 2006.
Siddig is also known for his ability to take on many different accents, such as an English RP accent in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a cockney accent in Reign of Fire, and an Algerian accent in Spooks.
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi
-He adopted a shortened version of his name, Siddig El Fadil, when he began acting. He changed his stage name again to Alexander Siddig when many of his collegues had difficulty with his Arabic name.
-Star Wars is one of Sid's all time favourite movies. It was the film that sparked his interest in science fiction.
-Sid enjoys reading nonfiction essays (Noam Chomsky, George Steiner, etc.) and prefers them to fiction.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Reign of Fire
The Hamburg Cell
Kingdom of Heaven
The Nativity Story
Un Homme Perdu
The Last Legion
-There was a point where I was just going to call myself 'uh' because people would walk up to me in the street and say 'Hey you're, uh....' That would just make it a lot easier for them. And I could just say 'Yes, I am!'
-I think my favorite episode is one that features me... 'Dr. Bashir, I Presume?'. It's about time my character figured out, or at least told the world, why he is so screwed up.
-I grew up wanting to be a director, it was just luck that I ended up as an actor. I went to acting school in England and on graduating, found that I was one of the only Arab-looking actor in the country. So I got the parts.