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Ramsey Nouah Biography: Early life, movies, awards, family, net worth & more

Ramsey Nouah, whose full name is Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jr, is a veteran Nigerian actor. Ramsey Nouah is presently 49 years and will be 50 on his 2020 birthday. He is 5’11 (1.8m) tall and has featured in movies for more than 25 years. He was officially recognised in Africa in 2010 after winning the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a leading role for the movie Figurine.

Ramsey Nouah also won the best actor award at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) Globe Award and also in 2017 at the Nigerian Entertainment Award for his character in the movie ’76. He was nominated in the 2017 African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) best actor category for the same movie.

Recently, he has ventured into filmmaking making his director-debut with the popular film Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, which was released nationwide in November 2019. He has obviously garnered enough experience from his days as an actor as the movie got mostly positive responses. We shall talk more about this topic in the succeeding sections of the article.

Read the biography of Ramsey Nouah and learn as much about him as possible. We also provide some 10 facts you probably didn’t know about him.

10 facts you should know about Ramsey Nouah

1. Ramsey Nouah will be 50 years old in December 2020.
2. Ramson’s Nouah’s father was (is) an Isreali but his mother is a Yoruba from Ondo State.
3. He was considered a musical career but a friend advised him to into acting instead.
4. While acting in the TV series, Fortunes, Ramsey Nouah was paid N80 per episode and was paid only for three months, he allegedly acted free for the remaining nine months.
5. Ramsey Nouah has been married since 2002 and has three children.
6. In 2010, he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a leading role for the movie Figurine.
7. His directing debut was Living in Bondage: Breaking Free – which now holds the record for the highest-grossing film for a non-comedy film in a single day in Nigeria.
8. Ramsey Nouah regards Al Pacino as an acting role model.
9. He also won best actor award at the 2017 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) Globe Award and also in 2017 at the Nigerian Entertainment Award for his character in the movie ’76.
10. Ramson Nouah was among those regarded as G8 who were at one time banned from appearing in movies by movie marketers in early 2004.

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Ramsey Nouah’s early life and education

Ramsey Nouah Biography
Ramsey Nouah Biography

Ramsey Nouah was born on 19th December 1970 in Edo State. His father was an Israeli while his mother is a Yoruba lady from Owo, in Ondo State.

However, the actor grew up in Surulere, a popular part of Lagos State. He completed his primary school education at the Atara Primary School. Ramsey Nouah then attended Community Grammar School where he completed his secondary school education.

He then attended the prestigious University of Lagos (Unilag). Ramsey Nouah studied Mass Communications in Unilag and bagged a diploma after completing the course.

In 2016, Ramson Nouah stated during an interview that he was taking a course in Business Administration from a  university in the US.

In 2013, Ramsey Nouah opened up about his relationship with his Isreali father. He is reported to have told Nigeria Films website:

My dad has never been around; I didn’t even get to know him. I don’t understand. I mean my father was never around during my growing up days and I didn’t get to know him”.

He also added when asked if he thought his father was dead or not:

I wouldn’t know.”

Then he disclosed that he would never search for him because he felt it was the father’s duty to stay. However, in the same interview, he lavished his mother, who single-handedly raised him, with praise.

He said his mother was “tough and is still tough” and that things had not been rosy all through his formative years. Ramsey Nouah also attributed his ability to play versatile Nollywood roles to the fact that he had tasted “gutter” and “grace”.

Ramsey Nouah Biography: Acting career before cinema

Ramsey Nouah Biography before Nollywood cinema
Ramsey Nouah Biography and career

Ramsey Nouah initially began his entertainment pursuits as a musician at the age of 20. He was not successful and after trying from 1990 to 1992, a friend encouraged him to go into acting. Ramsey heeded this advice and went for auditions.

According to reports, on his first trial, he was picked to play the role of Jeff Akin Thomas in what became a hit TV series titled Fortunes, which aired during the 1990s. The show ran for two years and also starred Nollywood stars like Regina Asika, Liz Benson, Pat Attah, Lai Ahadele and Dolly Unachukwu.

After the series ended, Ramson Nouah appeared in many home videos before breaking into the Nollywood industry in 1996. According to him, being a familiar face in television helped his transition to the film industry. He made his debut as the central character in the Nigerian movie Silent Night.

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Silent Night was well received back when movies were generally only obtainable in video cassettes. It was a sought-after movie where the main character was Stanley, a rich kid who joined a gang of robbers. Several popular actors and actresses also featured in the movie. Joke Silva, Chidi Mokeme, Okey Bakassi, Kate Henshaw and Emeka Ike were just some of those on the movie’s set.

Ramsey Nouah as Nollywood’s “Lover Boy”

From then on, his acting career really took off as he kept getting major roles. Ramsey’s light skin (something he inherited from his absent father) along with his good looks and in-shape body earned him the label of the “Lover Boy” of Nollywood.

This label has been following him all through his career. He has appeared opposite Nollywood stars such as Kate Henshaw, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade, Stephanie Okereke, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and more. He has also been featured in films opposite Ghanian actresses. Movies such as Power of Love, Fugitive and True Love further pushed the narrative.

However, he disclosed in an interview that he doesn’t like to be stereotyped. He says:

When I started, I remember my love for Al Pacino and I used him as a yardstick in acting. If you want to show that you are a good actor, you shouldn’t be [stereotypical]. You should be versatile; you should possess the ability to play [different roles].”

He also mentioned his model’s top movies like Godfather, Scarface and Scent of a Woman and how different the roles the actor played were.

Ramsey Nouah versatility was first evident when in the movie Dangerous Twins. He portrayed the role of two different people in the movie – identical twins who have different characters. The movie also starred Stella Damasus and was written, directed and produced by Tade Ogidan.

It was such an appreciated movie that it won the first Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Special Effects. The award ceremony was held in May 2005 in Bayelsa State and Amaka Igwe was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.

Ramsey Nouah Biography: Acting career during cinema renaissance

Ramsey Nouah biography Nollywood cinema
Ramsey Nouah Biography and picture

Many avid Nollywood followers would have noticed that there was a period that Ramsey Nouah stopped appearing in movies. This was sometime in 2004 when movie marketers banned him and seven others, ostensibly because they command high appearance fees. The other Nollywood stars also banned at the time were Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Richard Mofe Damijo, Genevieve Nnaji, Emeka Ike, Nkem Owoh, Stella Damasus and Jim Iyke.

The decision was referred to as G8 and according to Pulse’s Charles Novia who stated that the ban was because the actors demanded huge sums but didn’t deliver as was expected. This ban led to the entrance of many new stars into Nollywood.

Ramsey Nouah claimed that the decision inadvertently killed the DVD market. This along with the rise in technology, and demand for better movie quality brought about the cinema age we are currently in. In addition, technology has given rise to online film access to film either through paid subscription models or via video-sharing platforms such as YouTube.

The actor said that he missed the depth of passion of the 90s and that this was missing in emerging stars.

However, despite the emergence of new breeds of Nollywood stars, Ramsey still found a way to stay relevant, though it took some time to adjust.

He first gave some memorable performances in Gbomo Gbomo Express and Thy Will Be Done. However, the successes of some of his recent movies dwarf these. We will look briefly into some of them next.

Ramson Nouah in the film Figurine

Ramsey Nouah and Kunle Afolayan in Figurine
Ramsey Nouah and Kunle Afolayan in Figurine

In this Kunle Afolayan-directed movie, Ramsey Nouah stars as one of the main protagonists alongside the director himself. Omoni Oboli also delivered a stunning display in the memorable movie. It was released in 2009 and was nominated for 10 awards, winning five of them.

Ramsey Nouah won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a leading role for his role in the film in 2010.

Ramson Nouah in the film ’76

Ramsey Nouah '76
Ramsey Nouah acting in ’76

One of Ramson Nouah best performances yet was on the historically themed drama ’76. Released in 2016, about four years after the final principal photography. Ramson Nouah played the character of Captain Dewa, the lead character in the movie.

He disclosed that the cast was trained by the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) for 21 days to be able to execute their roles properly. Ramsey also mentioned that the movie took more time than they was initially planned. The cast even had to issue the production crew a deadline.

In the end, the movie was a huge success. Cinema crowd talked about the movie and still use it as a standard for measuring other movies up till now.

Ramsey Nouah won best actor award at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) Globe Award for his role and also in 2017 at the Nigerian Entertainment Award. He was also nominated in 2017 African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) Best Actor category.

Ramson Nouah in the film 30 Days in Atlanta

A.Y. Ramsey Nouah 30 days in Atlanta
A.Y. and Ramsey Nouah in 30 days in Atlanta

Nollywood saw another never before seen side of Ramsey Nouah in the movie 30 Days in Atlanta. The romantic comedy was produced by Ayo Makun, popularly called A.Y., who also starred in the movie. Although the movie was met with mixed reactions, it was a commercial success.

It is touted as the highest-grossing film in Nigerian cinemas in 2015 and allegedly made N163 million in the Box Office.

Ramsey Nouah portrayed the role of Richard, a cousin of A.Y.’s character. Both actors went the whole way to make the movie a rib cracker. It received 10 nominations at the 2014 Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards.

Ramson Nouah in the film Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons

Again, the actor returned to the cinemas with A.Y. This time, Ramsey Nouah tried to bring back his old “Lover Boy” antics and marry this with his newfound acumen for comic acting. The movie was released in September 2018 and outdid 30 Days in Atlanta commercially.

Merry Men made about N228 million in the box office. A sequel, Merry Men 2 was released in December 2019 and was met with mainly negative reactions. However, the film was a commercial success. It also stars Jim Iyke, Williams Uchemba, Falz and more.

Ramsey Nouah Directing Career: Living in Bondage

Ramsey Noauh Living in Bondage: Breaking Free
A scene from Living in Bondage: Breaking Free. Photo: Pulse.

To make his debut into the world of film directors, Ramsey Nouah went for the sequel of the 27-year-old Nigerian classic, Living in Bondage that is touted as the birth of the modern-day Nigerian film industry. Ramson Nouah was able to bring back veterans like Kenneth Okonkwo, Kanayo O Kanayo and Bob-Manuel Udokwu to reprise their roles. The sequel also stars Swanky Jerry, Nancy Nsime, Munachi Abii, Enyinnaya Nwigwe, Kalu Ieagwu and more. Living in Bondage: breaking Freaa was not only well-received but was a commercial success as well. For a debut directorial effort, Ramson Nouah did very well.

Nouah cast himself as the main antagonist in the highly anticipated film, owing to the original film, which many Nigerians fondly remembers with nostalgia.

Charles Okpaleke had bought the rights to the movie from Kenneth Nnebue, the original writer. Although the initial plan was a remake, a sequel clearly made more sense as we have witnessed.

Living in Bondage: Breaking Free was an instant commercial success. It broke the record of the highest collection in a day for a non-comedy film in 2019 as it made N25.8 million on its first day. In the box office, it made a cumulative figure of N161.1 million and is the ninth highest-grossing Nigerian film of all time.

In the first and second place on the list of highest-grossing Nigerian films of all time are The Wedding Party and The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai.

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Ramsey Nouah family and personal life: wife and children

Ramsey Nouah wife children
Ramsey Nouah and family

Despite playing the roles of a Casanova and lover boy toying with women’s hearts, Ramson Nouah is quite the opposite in real life as far as the public can tell. Ramsey Nouah has been married to Emelia Phillips-Nouah since 2002 and he adores her as he said in an interview. The couple has three children together – a daughter and two sons. Their names are Quincy, Camil and Desiree Nouah.

Unlike what is usually find among some celebrities in Nigeria, Ramsey Nouah has kept his family life out of gossip circles. There has been no scandal involving him with anyone.

This goes to show that as he says, his acting is different from who he is in real life. He also explains that he is just passionate about his career and thus ensures he plays any character he is assigned to the best of his abilities.

In an interview with Pulse, he also disclosed that when he started out acting, he had just wanted to do it because he was passionate. He had no plans of getting rich, adding that it is why being wealthy is difficult for him. He said that he just wants to run away sometimes.

Ramsey Nouah is on Instagram with the handle (@ramseynouah) and has about 1 million followers. Yet, he rarely gives an opinion on trending issues as he prefers physical encounters to the virtual one offered by social media.

Rumours of Ramsey Nouah’s death

Several months ago, in 2018, some people were asking whether Ramsey Nouah was dead or alive? This was because some gossip blogs posted articles of Ramsey Nouah dying in a car crash while driving his BMW. As it were, the rumours were false. There was no explanation while the rumour was started in the first place.

Also, we discovered that as far back as 2011, blogs have been using the rumour of the actor’s death to get clicks. One popular one they use is that he fell during a movie shoot and died from injuries sustained from the fall.

Another clickbait used is narrating a scene from a movie where Ramsey Nouah dies and then use it as the title of an article. Usually, in the body of the article, they usually clear the air but this is after they have gotten people to visit their pages.

Ramsey Nouah’s net worth

According to a report published in 2018 by Legit.ng, Ramson Nouah allegedly has a net worth of US$4.5 million. The report, however, did not explain how it arrived at that figure. For that reason, we cannot vouch for the accuracy (or lack) of the report. What can be said with any certainty is that Ramson Nouah is a very successful Nollywood actor, who commands millions of naira to appear in movies. He was also, at one time, a brand ambassador with telecommunications giant, Globacom. And from reports, ambassador deals with Globacom usually run into tens of millions of naira.

We don’t know if Ramson Nouah has other business interests, which could have contributed to his net worth. As things stand now, only the actor-turned-filmmaker, his bankers and accountants can give any real insight into Ramson Nouah’s net worth. Otherwise, any figures touted by anyone is just sheer speculation and should be regarded with caution.

Final thoughts …

For many years, Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah has been delighting audiences with memorable performances. It is also very impressive and significant that he is one of the few actors that made it from the early days of Nollywood to the modern Nollywood and is still coming out at the top.

Despite his fame, he has not been involved in any public scandals and controversies. Although this might be due to his nature, we can also conclude that it is also because of his discipline. Now that he has jumped on the train of directors, we hope to see more impressive works from him. Additionally, we want to see him get as much screen time as possible.

Bonus Ramsey Nouah’s information

Selected Ramsey Nouah’s filmography

  1. Silent Night (1996)
  2. Dirty Game (1998)
  3. Camouflage (1999)
  4. End of the Wicked (1999)
  5. Vuga (2000)
  6. Vuga 2 (2000)
  7. Infidelity (II) (2000)
  8. The Battle of Love (2001)
  9. Love Boat (2001)
  10. My Love (2002)
  11. Tears & Sorrows 2 (2002)
  12. Power of Love (2002)
  13. Love of My Life (2002)
  14. Valentino (2002)
  15. Real Love (2003)
  16. Honey 2 (2003)
  17. My Sweet Heart (2003)
  18. Break Up 2 (2003)
  19. Passion & Pain (2003)
  20. Honey (2003)
  21. When Love Dies (2003)
  22. Super Love (2003)
  23. True Love (II) (2003)
  24. Butterfly (2003)
  25. Dying for Love (2003)
  26. Contractors (2003)
  27. Never Say Goodbye (2003)
  28. Working for Love (2003)
  29. Handsome (2003)
  30. Above Death: In God We Trust (2003)
  31. My Only Love (2003)
  32. Break Up (2003
  33. The Last Offer (2003)
  34. You Broke My Heart (2003)
  35. Church Business (2003)
  36. Across the Niger (2004)
  37. The Champ 2 (2004)
  38. The Champ 2 (2004)
  39. The Staff of Odo 2 (2004)
  40. Mr Lover Boy in Ghana (2004)
  41. The Staff of Odo (2004)
  42. Not Yours! (2004)
  43. 419 Dangerous Game (2004)
  44. Last Wedding (2004)
  45. Dangerous Twins 2 (2004)
  46. Separate Lives (2004)
  47. Dangerous Twins (2004)
  48. The London Boy (2004)
  49. Silent for Life 2 (2004)
  50. The Champ (2004)
  51. Unbreakable (2004)
  52. Veno (2004)
  53. Heavy Rain (2004)
  54. Into Temptation (2004)
  55. Azima 2 (2005)
  56. Paradise to Hell (2005)
  57. Super Hero 2 (2005)
  58. Passionate Appeal (2006)
  59. Different World (2006)
  60. Serious Issue (2006)
  61. Dancing Heart (2006)
  62. She: You Must Obey (2006)
  63. Under the Sky (2006)
  64. Governor’s Wife (2007)
  65. Missing Rib 2 (2007)
  66. The Faculty (2007)
  67. To Love an Angel (2007)
  68. To Love an Angel 2 (2007)
  69. Battle for Battle (2007)
  70. Hidden Treasure 2 (2008)
  71. Hidden Treasure (2008)
  72. Tears in My Eyes 2 (2008)
  73. Sweet Tomorrow 2 (2008)
  74. The Figurine (2009)
  75. A Private Storm (2010)
  76. Heart of a Fighter 2 (2011)
  77. Heart of a Fighter (2011)
  78. Confusion Na Wa (2013)
  79. Gem of the Rainforest (2013)
  80. Keeping My Man (2013)
  81. Unguarded (2014)
  82. 30 Days in Atlanta (2014)
  83. Gbomo Gbomo Express (2015)
  84. Tempting Fate (2015)
  85. Thy Will Be Done (2015)
  86. ’76 (2016)
  87. The Accidental Spy (2017)
  88. My Wife & I (2017)
  89. Run (II) (2017)
  90. Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons (2018)
  91. Power of 1 (2018)
  92. Busted Life (2018)
  93. Merry Men 2 (2019)
  94. The Millions (2019)
  95. Levi (2019)
  96. Living in Bondage: Breaking Free (2019)

List of Ramsey Nouah’s awards

  1. The African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor (Figurine, 2010).
  2. Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) Globe Award for Best Actor (’76, 2016).
  3. The Nigerian Entertainment Award for Best Actor (’76, 2017).