Gbenga Akinnagbe

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Gbenga Akinnagbe
Born (1978-12-12) December 12, 1978 (age 36)
Washington, D.C.,[1] U.S.
Other names Enitan Temitope
Ethnicity Yoruba
Occupation Actor
Years active 2002–present

Gbenga Akinnagbe (born December 12, 1978) is an Nigerian American actor, best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO original series The Wire.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Akinnagbe was born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian parents[1] and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is the second oldest of six children, with one older sister and four younger brothers, and 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.[3]


He played "Ben Ellis" in the episode Contenders on the TV series Numb3rs. In the summer of 2006, Akinnagbe performed the role of "Zim" in the NYC Fringe Festival's "Outstanding Play" award-winning production of Modern Missionary.[4] In 2003, Akinnagbe 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, Akinnagbe appeared in the film The Savages with Philip 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. Akinnagbe 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. Akinnagbe's former The Wire cast mate Robert Wisdom also appeared in that episode as Father Theo Burdett. In 2010 in Seattle, Washington Akinnagbe starred in world premiere play The Thin Place at The Intiman Theatre.[5] He was also in the movie Lottery Ticket and is currently in The Good Wife as Pastor Isiah Easton.[1] 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.[6] He also starred in leading roles for two Independent films, as Jack in "Home", directed by Jono Oliver, and as James in "Big Words", directed by Neil Drumming. He is currently playing a drug lord in the USA series Graceland and stars as CIA agent Erik Ritter in 24: Live Another Day.

Writing career[edit]

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.[7]



Year Film Role Notes
2005 They're Made Out of Meat Merlin Short film
2007 Man-Up Q Short video
The Savages Jimmy
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123 Wallace Remake of the 1974 film of the same name
2010 Edge of Darkness Darcy Jones Based on the 1985 BBC television series of the same name
Overnight TMJ
Lottery Ticket Lorenzo
2011 Clap (One Day) Police Officer Lead actor in a 9 minute music video by Pharoahe Monch
2013 Fort Bliss Sgt. Butcher Post-production
2013 Big Words James Lead - Opened on the indie film festival circuit in 2013/14
2013 Home[2] Jack Hall Lead - Opened in NY/LA November 22, 2013
2014 Render to Caesar
Mall Post-production


Year Television Role Notes
2004-2008 The Wire[2] Chris Partlow/Officer in courtroom 30 episodes
2005 Barbershop Yinka 10 episodes
2006 Conviction Calvin/Gary Wade 2 episodes
2007 Numb3rs Ben Ellis Episode: "Contendors"
2008 Cold Case Victor Nash '05/'08 Episode: "Street Money"
2009 Maggie Hill Elliot Springer TV movie
Fringe Akim Episode: "The No-Brainer"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Elijah Okello Episode: "Hell"
Dark Blue Dante Rollings Episode: "August"
2010 The Good Wife[1] Pastor Isaiah Easton 5 episodes
2011 Blue Bloods Pierre Episode: "All That Glitters"
2011 Nurse Jackie Kelly 8 episodes
2012 Damages Walid Cooper/Ellen's investigator 4 episodes
2012 Elementary Jeremy Lopez Episode: "The Leviathan"
2013 Graceland Bello
2014 24: Live Another Day[8] Erik Ritter 11 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d Kim, Jae-Ha (24 May 2011). "Celebrity Traveler: Nigeria to Mexico, actor finds charm". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Bale, Miriam (21 November 2013). "A Place, and Prescription, of One’s Own". New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Drake, David (25 June 2013). "20 Things You Didn’t Know About Wale". Complex Music. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Modern Missionary
  5. ^ Berson, Misha (17 May 2010). "Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe stars in Intiman Theatre’s ‘The Thin Place’". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (21 October 2010). "Exclusive: ‘The Wire’ grad Gbenga Akinnagbe joins ‘Nurse Jackie’". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Steed, Munson (19 July 2013). "’Big Words’ Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe finds comfort in the uncomfortable". Rolling Out. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (20 December 2013). "24:Live Another Day Adds 2 New REgulars". Deadline. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 

External links[edit]