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Gbenga Akinnagbe

Gbenga Akinnagbe

Dec. 12th, 1978
Born in
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
5' 10

Gbenga Akinnagbe's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Wire TV Show
The Wire
24: Live Another Day TV Show
24: Live Another Day
The Deuce TV Show
The Deuce
Barbershop: The Series TV Show
Barbershop: The Series

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Gbenga Akinnagbe (born December 12, 1978) is an American actor, best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO original series The Wire.
Early life Born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian parents and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Akinnagbe was in and out of trouble as a youth. He is the second oldest of six children, one older sister and four younger brothers. He is the first in his family to be born in the U.S. He attended Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland. Akinnagbe attended Bucknell University on a wrestling scholarship, majoring in Political Science and English. He is the cousin of DC rapper Wale.[1]
Acting He played "Ben Ellis" in the episode Contenders on the TV Series Numb3rs. In the summer of 2006, Gbenga performed the role of "Zim" in the NYC Fringe Festival's "Outstanding Play" award-winning production of "Modern Missionary".[2] In 2003, Gbenga auditioned for the role of Chris Partlow on the HBO series, The Wire and starting in 2004 began a frequent recurring role. In 2008 during the show's fifth and final season, he was promoted to a series regular. In 2007, Gbenga appeared in the film The Savages with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney, and Philip Bosco. He appeared in the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, which was released by Sony in June 2009. Gbenga made a guest appearance on a Season 10 Law and Order: SVU episode entitled "Hell" as Elijah Okello, a former Ugandan child soldier living in New York, facing deportation. Gbenga's former The Wire cast mate Robert Wisdom also appeared in that episode as Father Theo Burdett. In 2010 in Seattle, WA Gbenga starred in world premiere play The Thin Place at The Intiman Theatre. He was also in this fall's movie Lottery Ticket and is currently in The Good Wife as Pastor Isiah Easton. His former co-star from the The Wire, Frankie Faison, portrayed his father on the show in several episodes. He is currently starring as Kelly Slater, a new nurse in the 3rd Season of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie.
Writing As of 2009, Gbenga has begun a writing career, having had two articles published in the New York Times, one detailing a trip to Nepal to climb the Himalayas, and the other outlining the medical procedures he underwent to correct his severely flat feet.[3]

  • Both parents are from Nigeria.
  • Speaks fluent Spanish.
  • Was a star wrestler in college
  • Received an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University
  • His first name is pronounced BEN-ga.

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