idris_elba_web.jpgIn an era when big screen actors are returning to the small screen in droves, six black actors have been recognized for their work on television. Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Laurence Fishburne, Andre Braugher, Loretta Divine and Alfre Woodard were among the nominees announced on July 15.

Henson was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series/Movie category for her portrayal of a black woman whose son was taken from her by her ex-husband. Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story is based on a dramatic true story of Rubin’s daring 2008 rescue of her seven-year-old son, Kobe, after he was abducted by his biological father and taken from his home in Queens, New York, all the way to Seoul, South Korea. At the urging of her mother Belzora (Beverly Todd), Tiffany sought the counsel of Mark Miller (Terry O’Quinn) and his charitable organization, The American Association for Lost Children. With Mark’s help, Tiffany was able to travel to Korea to execute a high-stakes plan to bring her son home. The movie aired on the Lifetime network.

Idris Elba, the British heart throb who lit up the big screen with Beyonce in Obsessed, was gunned down in broad daylight by Denzel Washington in American Gangster and who captivated fans week after week on the HBO drama, The Wire,  received two Emmy nominations. Elba has become a familiar face in American cinema. One of his nominations came for the BBC America show, Luther, in which he plays the “brilliant and emotionally impulsive detective,” John Luther.

Elba was also an Associate Producer on the BBC/BBC AMERICA co-production.  The six-part mini-series was lauded by fans and critics alike when it was first broadcast on BBC AMERICA in October 2010.  Luther was created and written by the acclaimed suspense novelist Neil Cross (MI-5).

After hearing of his nominations, Elba said, “This has been such an amazing morning for me!   I am extremely honored to be nominated in two categories.  Luther has been such a passion project for me and working on The Big C was a great time.  Also, my daughter told me I am going to be as famous as the guy from Twilight.”  Idris was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series for his role on The Big C on Showtime.

Competing against Elba in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series/Movie category is veteran actor, Laurence Fishburne, who was nominated for his work in the one-man play, Thurgood based on the life of Thurgood Marshall. The play, written by George Stevens Jr., opened on Broadway in 2008 and later ran at the Geffen Playhouse. The HBO special was taped during the play’s run at the Kennedy Center.

Andre Braugher, who plays Owen on the TNT comedy/drama, Men of a Certain Age, was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.

For Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, veteran actress and original Dreamgirl Loretta Divine was nominated for playing the hospital chief’s wife/ex-wife, Adele Webber, on the Shonda Rhimes created, Grey’s Anatomy.  In the same category, Alfre Woodard was nominated for playing Lafayette’s mom, Ruby Jean Reynolds, on True Blood.

The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards will be broadcast live from Hollywood on Sunday September 18.

Photo: Idris Elba