Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi born 21 November 1965) is a Sudanese-born English actor. He is known by the stage names Siddig El Fadil through the mid-1990s and Alexander Siddig since. A graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Siddig is known for playing Dr. Julian Bashir in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Philip Burton in Primeval, Carthaginian general Hannibal in Hannibal (2006), and King Minos in Atlantis. He also has an appearance in the sixth season of 24 as Hamri Al-Assad, and in Gotham as Ra’s al Ghul. In film he played Prince Nasir Al-Subaai in Syriana (2005), Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Tareq Khalifa in Cairo Time.
Siddig was born in Wad Madani, Gezira, Sudan, but has spent most of his life in England. He was born to an English mother who worked as a theatrical consultant and a Sudanese father. His mother subsequently remarried, to the film director and producer Michael Birkett, 2nd Baron Birkett. His maternal uncle is English actor Malcolm McDowell, with whom he appeared in 2008 in Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, and his paternal uncle is the former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. He is a great-great-great-grandson of Sudanese leader Muhammad Ahmad. He attended St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, Kent. Western culture required a surname, so El Fadil was taken from his grandfather and was adopted as his surname when he moved back to England. He was credited under the shortened name Siddig El Fadil until October 1995. Three seasons into his run on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he changed his stage name to Alexander Siddig (stating he chose Alexander to honor his English heritage from his mother’s side, and because he felt the name came without religious implications).
Siddig attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) to study acting and, after leaving LAMDA, did a season of stage work in Manchester. He also worked as a director in a small theatre in London. Siddig first appeared to television audiences as Prince Feisal in A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, the 1990 TV sequel to Lawrence of Arabia. Siddig’s performance in A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992) brought him to the attention of Rick Berman, who was creating the new series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). Although he originally auditioned for the role of Commander Benjamin Sisko, Berman decided Siddig was too young for the role and cast him as Dr. Julian Bashir instead. After Star Trek: Deep Space Nine finished, Siddig appeared as an Algerian secret agent on the trail of Islamists in the controversial episode “Nest of Angels” of the British television show Spooks (known as MI-5 in the US) in 2003. In 2005, he appeared as Saladin’s aide, Imad, in Ridley Scott’s film Kingdom of Heaven. He gave a critically lauded performance as Prince Nasir in Syriana, alongside George Clooney and Matt Damon. He played the title role in 2006’s Hannibal for the BBC (UK). Early 2007, Siddig joined the cast of Un Homme Perdu (aka A Lost Man) and he returned to American television in the role of former terrorist Hamri Al-Assad for the sixth season of 24. In 2009, he co-starred with Patricia Clarkson in the award-winning film Cairo Time (2009) as Tareq Khalifa, an Egyptian who battles his attraction to his friend’s wife. In August 2010, he expressed his doubts about resurrecting his character, Dr. Julian Bashir, from Deep Space Nine, stating that he has “other ambitions”. In 2013, Siddig appeared as a Syrian-Canadian in the IFC film Inescapable with Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson, and as King Minos in the BBC show Atlantis. In 2015 he appeared in the HBO series Game of Thrones in season 5 and season 6 as Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne.
Siddig’s roles have often called for him to act out many different accents: he used received pronunciation (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Cockney (Reign of Fire), and an Algerian accent (Spooks) among others. He has also given performances in Arabic as the role required (Spooks, Syriana, 24, Inescapable, Un Homme Perdu) as well as French (Un Homme Perdu). He also made a short video about an East Indian man who was infected with HIV for International HIV Fund (AVERT). In 2019 he appeared in TV series The Spy as a Syrian security officer, and in the film 21 Bridges as an underworld cleaner.