Gbenga Akinnagbe

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Gbenga Akinnagbe
Gbenga Akinnagbe 2012.jpg
Akinnagbe in 2012
Born (1978-12-12) December 12, 1978 (age 39)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Other names Enitan Temitope
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 2002–present

Gbenga Akinnagbe /ˈbɛŋɡə əˈknəb/ BENG-gə ə-KEEN-ə-bay (born December 12, 1978) is an American actor and writer, best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO series The Wire.[1]

Early life[edit]

Akinnagbe was born in Washington, D.C.,[2] the son of Nigerian parents.[2] He was 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 United States. He attended Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland. He attended Bucknell University on a wrestling scholarship, majoring in Political Science and English.



Akinnagbe 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.[3] 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 & Order: Special Victims Unit episode entitled "Hell" as Elijah Okello, a former Ugandan child soldier living in New York, facing deportation. Akinnagbe's former The Wire castmate 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.[4] He was also in the movie Lottery Ticket and is currently in The Good Wife as Pastor Isiah Easton.[2] His former co-star from The Wire, Frankie Faison, portrayed his father on the show in several episodes. He also starred as Kelly Slater, a nurse in the 3rd season of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie.[5] 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 starred as Tom in The Following. He also starred as CIA Agent Erik Ritter in 24: Live Another Day. Since October 2016 he is acting in the production Starbright, a feature film to be released at the end of 2017.


Gbenga has 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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Akinnagbe is a cousin of rapper Wale, whose full name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, and they both have Nigerian roots.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 They're Made Out of Meat Merlin Short film
2007 Man-Up Q Short film
2007 The Savages Jimmy
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123 Wallace
2010 Edge of Darkness Darcy Jones
2010 Overnight TMJ
2010 Lottery Ticket Lorenzo
2011 Clap (One Day) Police Officer Short film
2013 Fort Bliss Sgt. Butcher
2013 Big Words James
2013 Home Jack Hall
2014 Render to Caesar Dipo
2014 Mall Michel
2015 Knucklehead Langston Also producer
2016 Detour Michael
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence Agent Travis
2017 Crown Heights Sampson
2017 Detroit Aubrey Pollard Sr.


Year Title Role Notes
2004–2008 The Wire Chris Partlow 30 episodes[1]
2005 Barbershop Yinka 10 episodes
2006 Conviction Calvin 1 episode
2006 Conviction Gary Wade 1 episode
2007 Numb3rs Ben Ellis Episode: "Contendors"
2008 Cold Case Victor Nash '05/'08 Episode: "Street Money"
2009 Fringe Akim Episode: "The No-Brainer"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Elijah Okello Episode: "Hell"
2009 Dark Blue Dante Rollings Episode: "August"
2009 Maggie Hill Elliot Springer Television film
2010–2015 The Good Wife Pastor Isaiah Easton 7 episodes[2]
2011 Blue Bloods Pierre Episode: "All That Glitters"
2011–2012 Nurse Jackie Kelly Slater 8 episodes
2011 Chase John Macon Episode: "The Man at the Altar"
2011 A Gifted Man Dr. Leo 'Bax' Baxter 2 episodes
2012 Damages Walid Cooper 4 episodes
2012 Elementary Jeremy Lopez Episode: "The Leviathan"
2012–2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Father Biobaku 2 episodes
2013 Graceland Bello 8 episodes
2014 24: Live Another Day Erik Ritter 11 episodes[8]
2015 The Following Tom 11 episodes
2015–2016 Limitless Quentin Walker 2 episodes
2016 Madam Secretary Chris Santumari Episode: "Desperate Remedies"
2017 The Deuce Larry Brown


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

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