Irish Actors and Actresses

I'm bored, so here's a list of Irish actors and actresses that you might recognise! :) i realise some of these actors may not be 100% Irish.. I am also adding actors who have a strong Irish connection and/or are widely referred to as ''Irish''. Feel free to make suggestions.. politeness is appreciated :)
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Saoirse Ronan
Actress, Atonement
Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan (née Brennan) and Paul Ronan, an actor. When Saoirse was three, the family moved to Ireland, and Saoirse grew up in its County Carlow. Saoirse made her first TV appearance with a small role in a few episodes of the TV series...
“ Born in New York to Irish parents, lived in Carlow since she was 3. ” - Sinead
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell is an Irish actor. He first appeared on the BBC's TV drama Ballykissangel in 1998, made his film debut in the Tim Roth-directed drama The War Zone a year later and was discovered by Hollywood when Joel Schumacher cast him in the lead in his war drama Tigerland (2000). He then starred in Schumacher's psychological thriller Phone Booth (2002) and the American thrillers S.W.A.T...
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe on July 27, 1977, in Dublin, Ireland, to Mary Geraldine (Meyers) and John O'Keeffe, a musician. He and his family moved to County Cork, Ireland, when the actor was nearly a year old, and then, at the age of 3, his father left the family, leaving his mother to care for Jonny and his 3 younger brothers alone...
“ Born in Dublin, moved to Cork at age 1. ” - Sinead
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
“ Born in Cork. ” - Sinead
Pierce Brosnan
Actor, GoldenEye
Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, to May (Smith), a nurse, and Thomas Brosnan, a carpenter. He lived in Navan, County Meath, until he moved to England, UK, at an early age (thus explaining his ability to play men from both backgrounds convincingly). His father left the household when Pierce was a child and although reunited later in life...
“ Born in Louth, lived in Meath for 12 years with his grandparents. ” - Sinead
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St...
“ Born in Antrim. ” - Sinead
Gabriel Byrne
Byrne was the first of six children, born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a cooper and his mother a hospital worker. He was raised Catholic and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers. He spent five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a Catholic priest. He later said, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation...
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Belfast High School and the Queen's University, where he studied English. He later trained at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin. In 1970s, he acted in the Focus Company in Dublin with the talented Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney. After several stage...
“ Born in Belfast. ” - Sinead
Ciarán Hinds
Actor, Frozen
Ciaran Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9, 1953. He was one of five children and the only son. His father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his decision to become an actor...
“ Born in Belfast. ” - Sinead
Stuart Townsend
Stuart Townsend was born in 1972 in Howth, County Dublin, Ireland, to Lorna (Hogan), an Irish model, and Peter Townsend, an English professional golfer. Stuart was determined to be an actor and began his career by appearing in a number of student films, while attending the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin...
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef)...
“ Born in Germany to an Irish mother and German father, moved to Kerry when he was 2 years old. ” - Sinead
Richard Harris
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature...
“ Born in Limerick. ” - Sinead
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high school play production of "Waiting for Godot"...
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
“ Born in Laois. ” - Sinead
Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw was born July 10, 1958 in County Cork, Ireland. She attended secondary school at Scoil Mhuire in Cork City, and later received a degree in University College Cork. She was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and was part of a contingent of actors to emerge from the college who were considered 'new wave'...
“ Born in Cork. ” - Sinead
Devon Murray
Devon Murray was born in County Kildare, Ireland in October 1988. His parents Michael and Fidelma Murray sent him to the Billie Barry when he was six, and within two weeks he landed a Tesco television ad. Within six months he was in his first movie, acting alongside Aidan Quinn in This Is My Father. He then joined the National Performing Arts School and made his breakthrough in Angela's Ashes...
“ Born in Kildare. ” - Sinead
Brenda Fricker
Actress, My Left Foot
This Irish character actress gained experience in Irish theater and with the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Court Theatre Company in Great Britain. Brenda Fricker received great acclaim for her Oscar-winning supporting performance as the determined mother of a son afflicted with cerebral palsy in "My Left Foot" (1989)...
“ Born in Dublin. ” - Sinead
Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn...
“ Born in Dublin, moved to London when he was 5. ” - Sinead
James Nesbitt
James Nesbitt was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, to May, a civil servant, and James Nesbitt, a primary school headmaster. He was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution (also the school of Brian Campbell & Brian McAlister). He originally planned to be a French teacher. It...
“ Born in Antrim. ” - Sinead
Evanna Lynch
Evanna Patricia Lynch is an Irish actress. Born in the town of Termonfeckin in Ireland, she is one of four children to Donal and Marguerite Lynch. Her acting career began in 2007 when she competed in an open audition against nearly 15,000 girls, and won the coveted role of Luna Lovegood in the "Harry Potter" movie franchise...
Daniel Day-Lewis
Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (A.K.A. Nicholas Blake) (Poet Laureate of England) and his second wife, Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing Studios...
Cyril Cusack
Cyril James Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, to Alice Violet (Cole), a Cockney English actress and chorus girl, and James Walter Cusack, an Irish mounted policeman in Natal. He was brought up in Ireland. He was a child star on the Irish stage, appearing first at the age of 7. He toured Ireland with his own theater company...
Peter O'Toole
O'Toole was one of several actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films: he played King Henry II in both Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968). O'Toole played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier's direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963...
Ray McAnally
Although Irish character actor Ray McAnally would become one of his country's most revered stage actors, he will be forever remembered by audiences both here and abroad for a couple of films he made during the last years of his life. Born in the seaside town of Buncrana and the son of a bank manager...
Dan O'Herlihy
Actor, RoboCop
Irish-born Dan O'Herlihy decided not to follow in his father's footsteps, forsaking the life of an architect in favour of the acting profession. The tall, distinguished-looking university graduate boasted a rich, resonant voice, which enabled him to easily find work in radio plays, as well on the stage...
David Kelly
Born Dublin, Ireland on July 11 1929. Educated at Synge Street Catholic boys school. Started acting aged 8 in the Gaiety theatre Dublin. Playing everything from Beckett to Shakespeare, he has appeared in Theatre, TV and film constantly since 1959. Awards include, Helen Hayes for "Moon for the Misbegotten...
Colin O'Donoghue
O'Donoghue was born and raised in Drogheda, County Louth, in a Roman Catholic family. He initially attended Dundalk Grammar School, and then The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. At age 16, O'Donoghue went to Paris, France, for a month to learn the French language. Colin's early career was mainly split between theatre and television work in Ireland and the UK...
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter born in 1930, and Frances (Harper) Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother, William Branagh Jr., was born in 1955 and sister, Joyce Branagh, was born in 1970...
Maureen O'Hara
In America, the early performing arts accomplishments of young Maureen FitzSimons (who we know as Maureen O'Hara) would definitely have put her in the child prodigy category. However, for a child of Irish heritage surrounded by gifted parents and family, these were very natural traits. Maureen made her entrance into this caring haven on August 17...
Sarah Bolger
Actress, In America
Sarah Lee Bolger (born 28 February 1991) is an Irish actress. She is best known for her roles in the films In America, Stormbreaker, and The Spiderwick Chronicles, as well as her award winning role as Lady Mary Tudor in the TV series The Tudors, and for guest starring as Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time.
Stephen Boyd
Actor, Ben-Hur
Stephen Boyd was born William Millar on July 4, 1931, at Glengormley, Northern Ireland, one of nine children of Martha Boyd and Canadian truck driver James Alexander Millar, who worked for Fleming's on Tomb Street in Belfast. He attended Glengormley & Ballyrobert primary school and then moved on to Ballyclare High School and studied bookkeeping at Hughes Commercial Academy...
Sam Neill
Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria...
Alison Doody
Alison Doody was born in Dublin in 1966, in a well-off family. She is the youngest of three children. She was educated in a convent, where she gained a passion for the arts. She later studied at the National College of Fine Arts in Dublin, but left because she lacked the motivation and thought she would take a year off to think it out...
Wilfrid Brambell
Wilfrid Brambell was born on 22 March 1912, in Dublin, Ireland. His first acting experience was when he was aged just two when he entertained wounded soldiers returning from action during the First World War. On leaving school he worked part-time as a reporter for The Irish Times and part-time as an actor at the Abbey Theatre...
Liam Cunningham
Irish actor Liam Cunningham was an electrician in the mid 80's. He saw an ad for an acting school and he decided to give acting a try. His first film role was as a policeman in "Into the West." Since then, he has been involved in many films and theater productions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chris O'Dowd
Actor, Calvary
Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd born 9 October 1979 is an Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. O'Dowd created and is starring in the Sky 1 television series Moone Boy. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in the television series Family Tree...
Aidan Turner
Aidan Turner was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1983. After graduating from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2004, Aidan appeared in a number of stage productions, many with Ireland's national theatre, The Abbey. Such productions included The Plough & The Stars, Romeo & Juliet and A Cry from Heaven. In 2008...
Barry Fitzgerald
One of Hollywood's finest character actors and most accomplished scene stealers, Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in 1888 in Dublin, Ireland. Educated to enter the banking business, the diminutive Irishman with the irresistible brogue was bitten by the acting bug in the 1920s and joined Dublin's world-famous Abbey Players...
Sam Neill
Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria...
Colin Kenny
Already accomplished in his homeland, Irish actor Colin Kenny came to the US in 1917 to make his bid for film stardom. To the best of his memory, there would be over 150 of them. Silent movies were more generous in ladling out cast credit. He had steady roles from 1918 to the late 1920s. One of his best opportunities had been as Cecil Greystoke in Tarzan of the Apes and its sequel...
Orla Brady
Irish-born Orla Brady studied acting at the Ecole Phillippe Gaulier in Paris. Upon returning to Dublin, she won the role of Adela in the House of Bernarda Alba at the Gate Theatre. Since then, she has been working on both sides of the Atlantic with a career mix of television, film, and stage to her credit...
Kevin Ryan
Award-winning actor Kevin Ryan recently starred on BBC America's "Copper" which became their highest rated series premiere of all time. The series was created by Oscar winning director Barry Levinson, multi-Emmy winner Tom Fontana, and Academy Award nominee Will Rokos. Hailed as Ireland's newest emerging star...
Bronagh Gallagher
Actress, Pulp Fiction
Bronagh Gallagher is an Irish-born singer and actress. Born in 1972 in Northern Ireland, Bronagh became involved in the performing arts, including music and drama during her teenage years. She later joined a local amateur drama group known as the Oakgrove Theatre Company. Bronagh made her screen debut in 1989...
Dylan Moran
Irish comedian Dylan Moran was born in Navan, County Meath in 1971. Leaving school without any qualifications at age 16, Moran quickly became attracted to stand-up comedy and debuted, in 1992, at a comedy club in Dublin, The Comedy Cellar. A year later, he won the Channel Four comedy newcomer's "So You Think You're Funny" award at the Edinburgh Festival...
Aidan Gillen
Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones, CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises, Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk, John Boy in the RTÉ Television series Love/Hate, and Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire...
Jason O'Mara
Jason was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Soon after graduating from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Drama and Theatre he moved to London, England, to further pursue his acting career. Time spent in British repertory theater led to major roles in some of Britain and Ireland's great theaters...
Martin McCann
Martin McCann grew up with a brother and sister in the Divis Flats area of Falls Road in Belfast. In 2006 Lord Richard Attenborough cast McCann in his film after seeing him play Alex in a stage production of A Clockwork Orange. Attenborough called Spielberg and recommended McCann. He was invited to LA to audition for 'The Pacific' HBO miniseries...
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Actress, Arthur
Geraldine Fitzgerald was the only actress to appear as both Laurence Olivier's wife and Rodney Dangerfield's mother-in-law, which surely qualifies her as running the gamut (if not the gauntlet, in the latter case) of A to Z for co-starring with cinema immortals. The Irish lass appeared in many masterpieces of Hollywood's Golden Age...
Fionnula Flanagan
Actress, The Others
Fionnula Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. From an early age she grew up speaking both English and Irish on a daily basis. Her parents weren't native Irish speakers but wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the language. Her mother used to say, "A nation without a language is a nation without a soul"...
Eoin Macken
Eoin - pronounced Owen - Macken was born in Dublin on 21 February 1983 and began his interest in drama at University College, Dublin. At the age of 19,he became a highly successful model, chosen as the face of Abercrombie and Fitch, in addition to working for Ralph Lauren, Braun and GQ magazine. After joining the Attic studio of drama he spent some time in Los Angeles...
Peter Vollebregt
Born in Dublin of Dutch parents and now living in London, Peter Vollebregt is a highly versatile actor who trained in drama at Trinity College Dublin. His theatre experience includes lead roles in all the major theatres in Ireland as well as productions from Sydney, Australia to London's West-End. His versatility with accents has been used in radio drama...