Irish Actors and Actresses

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1.
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...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
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...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
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...
 
6.
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...
 
7.
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.
 
8.
Niall Toibin
Niall Toibin was born in Cork, Ireland in 1929. Married Judy Kenny (1931-2001) in 1957. Five children and six grand-children. He has had an illustrious acting career spanning over four decades. On October 29 2002 he received the CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor.
 
9.
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...
 
10.
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...
 
11.
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"...
 
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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...
 
15.
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.
 
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Hugh O'Conor
Actor, Chocolat
A young dramatic actor of film and TV who has appeared in several dark big-screen dramas, the Irish-born O'Conor (not to be confused with the late American actor Hugh O'Connor) began acting at the age of eight. O'Conor was still a relative unknown pre-teen when he co-starred with Liam Neeson in the British-made feature Lamb...
 
20.
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...
 
22.
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...
 
23.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Day-Lewis is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation and has earned numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012), making him the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars...
 
24.
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...
 
25.
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...
 
26.
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)...
 
27.
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...
 
29.
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'...
 
30.
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)...
 
31.
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...
 
32.
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...
 
33.
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...
 
34.
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...
 
35.
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...
 
36.
Peter O'Toole
A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish bookie. As a boy, he decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter...
 
37.
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...
 
38.
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...
 
39.
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...
 
41.
Olivia Wilde
Actress, Rush
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman. Starring in films and popular television shows, Wilde shares the screen with renowned actors while simultaneously giving back to the community. Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn in New York City, to journalists Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew Cockburn...
 
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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...
 
44.
Katie McGrath
Irish actress Katie McGrath did not intend to make a career for herself in the acting profession, studying History at Trinity College, Dublin. Upon graduating, she became interested in fashion journalism and worked for lifestyle and fashion magazine, Image. After this, her mother's best friend, an assistant director...
 
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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...
 
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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...
 
51.
Glen Hansard
Composer, Once
 
52.
Geraldine Somerville
Geraldine Somerville was born in Dublin. She lived in Co. Meath until she was six, when her parents moved to the Isle of Man. Geraldine went to dance classes from the age of 6 and, at the age of 8, she attended the Arts Educational School in Tring, Hertfordshire. There, she was taught ballet, music and drama...
 
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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...
 
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Gerry Shanahan
Actor, E-bola
Gerry Shanahan was born in Waterford City. He moved to Navan Co. Meath at an early age. He started his acting career in 2001. He is the holder of a Private Pilots license and is an American Kenpo Karate Black Belt instructor. He trained at the Gaeity School of Acting in Dublin and the Irish Film Actors studio in Ireland run by John Cantwell...
 
59.
Maria Anastacia Keogh
Maria Anastacia Keogh was was born in Lewisham, Greater London. Her family the Thomas clan moved back to the west coast of Mayo, Ireland. As a youth she went to drama classes directed by the Irish playwright, RTE director and actor John Breen. During this time she studied Arts at the National University of Ireland...
 
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Rory Keenan
Actor, The Guard
Rory recently appears in the feature film The Young Messiah,The Head Hunter, the TV series The Brothers Grimsby, Stan Lee's Lucky Man (SKY) , as Bilibin in War and Peace (BBC) directed by Tom Harper and recurring role of Donal in season two of Peaky Blinders with Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy for Tiger Aspect/BBC...
 
63.
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...
 
64.
Leigh Arnold
Actress, The Clinic
After completing her degree in Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Leigh was accepted to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts In New York, where she resided for four years. After completing drama school she was cast as Dr. Clodagh Delaney in the hit Irish Television Series The Clinic which she starred in for five years...
 
65.
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...
 
67.
Padraic Delaney
Pádraic was born on November 6th 1977 in County Wexford, Ireland. His first film, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. He is also known for The Tudors (2008) and Blackthorn (2011). Pádraic studied at Trinity College Dublin and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor in Drama and Theatre Studies.
 
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Eoin Macken
Actor, The Forest
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...
 
70.
Kellie Blaise
Actress, The Inside
Kellie was born in Dublin. At age 14, she sang at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. She moved to the States at the age of 18 and trained under Acting Coach Laura Henry in her Santa Monica Studios, as well as vocal coach Seth Riggs. She recorded the album "No Prisoners" with music Producer Preston Glass. She was the face for former US Vice President Al Gore's Current TV Network.
 
71.
Mick Fitzgerald
Mick Fitzgerald was born in Dublin and started entertaining at an early age. He is an established recording artist with several credits for singer/songwriter, 'Light Sleeper' is his solo CD on his own label "Mogg Records" (distributed by Claddagh Records in Dublin and through his website www.mickafitzgerald.com)...
 
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Gavin O'Connor
Gavin is an Irish actor best known for his work on The Tudors, Dorothy Mills, The Front Line and Charlie. Blink, his first film as writer/producer was nominated in World Competition at The Montreal World Film Festival. Originally from Cork, he trained at Ireland's prestigious Samuel Beckett Center at Trinity College Dublin...