Date: 28th December 2000
British actor BEN KINGSLEY was left devastated after his name was mistaken as a woman's when starting out in his stage career.
Kingsley, then known by his real name of KRISHNA BHANJI, had auditioned for a place at the famous theatre school ROYAL ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ART (RADA) in London. But he took no notice when the academy official with the clipboard came out and called the name of CHRISTINA BLANGE. He says, "No one answered. Eventually I thought it must be a girl there whom I was starting to fancy. Then I realised it wasn't her, but me. Me and my awful handwriting. It completely wrecked me and left me shaking.
The GHANDI star's Kenyan-born father, RAHIMUTALLA HARJI BHANJI, was nicknamed 'Ben' as a student at DULWICH COLLEGE, in south London. He continues, "My father said it would be a good idea for me to have the kind of name that would broaden the horizons, and he meant it purely pragmatically." When Kingsley's son EDMUND won belated revenge on RADA by getting into the academy; he promptly emailed his father to say: "Christina Blange is dead. A new dynasty has begun."