Talk:Ben Kingsley

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Confusion over religion of Ben's father[edit]

There seems to be a confusion here. While Krishna Bhanji sounds a Hindu name, his fathers name Rahimatulla sounds Muslim. Its best to describe him of Gujarathi descent rather than communalising this issue. AMbroodEY 15:29, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

His father was Ismaili Muslim. As far as I know, he's not Hindu at all.

No Muslim would name their child Krishna! Softlavender 02:06, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

[1] : Ben Kingsley's father was an Hindu native of India.
[2] : Father: Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji (physician, Kenyan-Indian, b. Hindu, now a Sikh)
[3] : His father, Harji Bhanji, was a Kenya-born medical doctor of Indian (Gujarati Hindu) descent
[4] : ... he was Krishna Bhanji until he changed his name to Ben Kingsley. Born and raised in Yorkshire, England; Kingsley changed his name when he decided to act in films. "Interestingly it was my father who advised me to change my name as he believed that a British name would help me become more successful in films" says Kingsley (...). "It's a rather amusing name. While Krishna is the name of a Hindu God, Bhanji is typically a Muslim surname" he elucidates. Suddenly he laughs out and says, "The irony is that I changed my name from Krishna Bhanji to Ben Kingsley in order to play Mohandas Gandhi!" - Giving no proper indication on the religion of his father !
Searching for him being a Muslim found no evidence on the web.
MHM-en 09:29, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Ben's father was an Ismaili Khoja guys. Bhanji is khoja name. BHANJI IS ACTUALLY A GUJARATI HINDU SURNAME( THERE ARE HINDUS WITH THIS SURNAME).KHOJAS ARE OF HINDU ORIGIN(THEY ARE CONVERTS TO THE ISMAILI MUSLIM RELIGION. & THEY HAVE NOT CHANGED THEIR ORIGINAL SURNAMES) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bollywoodchick (talkcontribs) 01:35, 28 January 2009 (UTC) Ben's father was a Hindu and not a muslim. Muslims do not use krishna in their names. Bahnji is a Gujrati Hindu title.

See - http://www.adherents.com/people/pk/Ben_Kingsley.htmlParthashome (talk) 08:46, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

OMG if he's name is Krishna than NO way was his father a muslim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.3.25.97 (talk) 06:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

FYI - was just watching Kingsley on The Late Show with David Letterman on 2/16/2010... Letterman asked him specifically about taking his stage name. Sir Ben mentioned that "Ben" came from people calling his father "Benji" as a nickname (corruption of Bhanji), or "Ben" for short. The Kingsley part was in honor of his spice trader grandfather, who was called "King Cloves" (or something like that) in his business dealings. In the course of the conversation, Kingsley mentioned that Bhanji meant (I think) "defender of the faith". In what language that is or of what faith, no mention was made... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.77.128.41 (talk) 05:32, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

His grandfather is an ISMAILI MUSLIM Khoja. Check out this link for proof: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/canzWkOlTVqgNWhfStHsdg. "his grandfather (a spice trader), who was a prominent member of the Ismaili Koja community in Zanzibar (in the Indian Ocean). Ismaili's are Shi'a Muslims, and followers of the Aga Khan (a descendent of the prophet Muhammad)." You can also say that Kingsley's father is a Muslim as well, as it only seems logical. Calling him a Russian Orthodox or anything non-Muslim (ie. Hindu) would be a stretch. Use your head people. Read the proof from legitimate sites and ignore ramblings of certain fundies above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.95.57.235 (talk) 21:50, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Title "Sir Ben"[edit]

The section about him insisting on being called "Sir Ben" is very confusing. For starters, there is nothing wrong or controversial or notable with a person wanting to be known by his full name and title. It's apparently only an issue because Sir Jonathan Miller prefers to be known as Mr and thinks other knights should do the same. That's his prerogative, but what does Miller's opinion of this have to do with the Wikipedia article on Sir Ben Kingsley? We give a quote about Kingsley denying he insists on this anyway. It's just a mess. I'd like to make a constructive suggestion but it's too confused at the moment. I'd actually prefer the whole thing was removed, but maybe others have a viewpoint. JackofOz 00:26, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

He wants to be called Sir Ben, he has even handed out memos on movie sets. Its basicly saying he is better then everyone else like someone wanting to be called Doctor Richards always by his friends. Plus what did he do???? He acts.

Ok, if you say he's famous for insisting on the Sir, where's the evidence (apart from your say so, that is)? We have plenty of evidence that he denies this claim, but no evidence that it is true. This is on my short list of things to remove. JackofOz 16:46, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
He's certainly better than you, but that, like your personal opinion of Kingsley, isn't relevant. -- 71.102.194.130 09:36, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Note: there is a Sopranos-episode (Luxury Lounge, S6E7) that spoofs this whole debate about the title. Mr. Kingsley plays himself and when Christopher Moltisanti calls him "sir Kingsley", he replies: "Sir Ben." I don't know if this is worth mentioning in the article. I'm a new user to this so I'm not gonna mess up the entire article yet. If someone else would like to insert this information in the article, please do.

This suggests to me the whole rumour about him insisting on the "Sir Ben" has to do with ignoramuses who don't know the proper way of addressing British knights. Sir Joe Bloggs is properly addressed not as "Sir Bloggs " but as "Sir Joe". A lot of non-Brits don't know this, and it's perfectly acceptable to correct them if they get it wrong. That's all. Other than that, I have no reason to doubt Sir Ben Kingsley has any problem with people calling him "Mr Kingsley" or just plain "Ben". JackofOz 06:27, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Hardly it only takes a quick google to find the same story and comments from other theatrical knights about his use of his knighthood in the UK press. [5] or [6] If you feel the article needs them as a ref by all means add Alci12 19:26, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, so it seems well documented that there was an issue about his name appearing on credits as "Sir Ben Kingsley". That at least is a fact. However there are still 2 things I want to change in the "Knighthood" section:

  • Sir is not an "honorary title". It is a title.
  • "a mistake by a studio executive, who was unfamiliar with the British honours system" makes no sense to me. The reason that titles such as Sir are not generally part of movie credits (although I can think of a few exceptions) has nothing to do with the British honours system. After all, that is the very system that provided the title in the first place. The reason has more to do with actors not wanting to be seen as big-noting themselves by using their titles, preferring to be shown by first name and surname only, the same as their acting peers. It would be much better to refer to the claimed mistake by a studio executive, and leave it at that. I've made the necessary changes. JackofOz 06:58, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I see 2 cites about the use of the title and nothing cited in the article to support a mistake by the studio. What's your source to override the cites.
If Ben Kingsley is not his legal name, and just a stage name, (has he legally changed it?) he can't be "Sir Ben Anything" - he would be "Sir Krishna Banji" Vera, Chuck & Dave 22:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

"Kingsley was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. He was knighted in the 2001 New Years Honours list." What does this even mean? Was his CBE upgraded to a KBE or GBE? EeepEeep (talk) 01:32, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh wait, someone commented on it below. Does anyone have a cite for this? EeepEeep (talk) 01:35, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It was actually the 2002 New Year's Honours List, but it was announced on New Year's Eve, 31 December 2001, which happened to be his 58th birthday. Cite now provided. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 01:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Another section about his knighthood[edit]

Isn't it incorrect for him to be called "Sir" when he's just a Commander of the British Empire, as opposed to a Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross, one of which he has to be to a knight and be called "Sir"? VolatileChemical 04:01, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Nope. He was awarded a CBE in 2000. Then in 2001 he was made a knight bachelor (see the last para, about Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Anthony Hopkins). Knight bachelor carries no postnominal letters of its own, but the person is entitled to "Sir". Thus, Sir Ben Kingsley CBE. JackofOz 06:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)



Filmography: In the late seventies/ early eighties Ben Kingsley appeared in a Mike Leigh Play called "Hard Labour". He played a heavily accented Asian Taxi driver who was a romantic interest to the daughter of the main couple featured in the play.This performance was quite remarkable and should be mentioned in his filmography, especially as "Hard Labour" (which starred the indomitable Liz Smith)is now considered to be an early masterpiece of Leigh's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.101.75.13 (talk) 20:27, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Sir Ben Kinglsey as Ian MacKaye?[edit]

So Kingsley is in this video, as Ian MacKaye, for Mean Magazine. I don't know much more about it, but should it get an include here? [7]McFlynnTHM (talk) 13:07, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Running Man?[edit]

I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember Ben Kingsley as a "sidekick" (school teacher) to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Runninig Man" which came out in 1987.JeepAssembler (talk) 20:25, 25 March 2009 (UTC)JeepAssemblerJeepAssembler (talk) 20:25, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

No, it wasn't Kingsley. The two "convicts" who were running with Schwarzenegger were played by Yaphet Kotto and Marvin J. McIntyre. Wildhartlivie (talk) 07:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


Missing Slipstream (1989) Credit[edit]

On November 23, 2010, I noticed that Ben Kingsley's credit for his protrayal of the character Avatar from the 1989 film "Slipstream" by Steven Lisberger is missing. Xin Jing (talk) 21:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Gujarati spelling of Krishna[edit]

My knowledge of the Devangari script is fairly basic, but the spelling of Krishna seems innacurate to me. It looks to me as if કૃષ્ણા says Kushgi, not Krishna. Like I said, knowledge is fairly basic, but it would be useful if a more able reader could check and edit this. Ironman1503 23:33, 2 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ironman1503 (talkcontribs)

Sorry for going back to the issue of Kingsley's father's religion but I read in an interview in a British Sunday paper magazine that he was non-religiousn Ismaili. This could very well be right as for Ismailis Khoja Community of Indian Gujarat it is not essentail to have a Muslim name as subservience to Agha khan is the main objective. Mohammed Ali Jinnah was the first person in his family to have been given a Muslim name - this may have been due to his father Poonja Jinnah having converted to Islam and joining mainstream Ithna Ishari Shia sect of Islam. Indeed Muslims of all sects consider Agh Khani Ismailis to be outside the pale of Islam in the same vein as the Druze of the Fertile Crescent to be so given their common roots in Fatimids of Egypt. Many ex-Agha Khanis have written books to attest to this assertion that they have converted to Islam when they become either Shia or Sunni. 90.221.103.31 09:40, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the "early life" section[edit]

I have two issues with that section as it currently stands. Firstly, it states that his maternal grandmother's maiden name was Goodman, yet one of the citations claims that Kingsley's mother was born out of wedlock to a father who may have been called Goodman. Since Kingsley's maternal grandparents never married, for the initial statement to be true it would mean that both of them were born as Goodman, which I find highly improbable. As there is no citation claiming her maiden name as Goodman, I think it's safe to say that it is an error and should be removed.

My second objection concerns the allegation that Kingsley's grandfather may have been Jewish. This is unreliable conjecture, not fact, regardless of who said it, and therefore not particularly relevant to an encyclopaedic bio. I feel it would better serve the article to put it in trivia section, or else remove it entirely.

As requested by User:MarnetteD, I have moved our discussion here from his/her talk page, with the aim of gaining WP:CONSENSUS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.46.0.36 (talk) 23:54, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

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He is not and has never been a KBE[edit]

We're having more confusion about his titles and postnominals. It seems to be a losing battle, but I'll try once more.

Firstly, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. This entitled him to the postnominals CBE. There are two higher grades within the Order: Knight Commander (KBE) and Knight Grand Cross (GBE), but Kingsley has not been appointed to either of them. He may be one day, but not yet.

Next, he was made a Knight Bachelor. This entitles the recipient to the title Sir, and that's all. There are no postnominals associated with the award of Knight Bachelor. Any postnominals that come from other awards are retained (such as VC, OM, CH, MBE, OBE, CBE, CMG, LVO, CB, CC, AC, DFC, MM, DSO, ...).

It is NOT THE CASE that a person with a CBE who is later made a Knight Bachelor is automatically now a KBE. To put it another way: CBE + Knight Bachelor =/= KBE.

After all, Knight Bachelor is a type of knighthood that is not associated with any order of chivalry, so how could it possibly have any effect on a person's membership of such an order? It can't.

So, his current style is: Sir Ben Kingsley CBE. The Sir is from being a Knight Bachelor, and the CBE is from being a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Any questions? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:30, 26 September 2013 (UTC)