Irish actors

A list of Actors born or raised in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
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1.
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...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
Peter O'Toole
A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish metal plater, football player and racecourse bookmaker. Upon leaving school, he decided to become a journalist...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
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)...
 
6.
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...
 
7.
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"...
 
9.
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...
 
10.
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...
 
11.
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family escaped The Troubles by moving to Reading...
 
12.
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...
 
13.
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's best rising stars in Hollywood and abroad today. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history. Farrell was born on May 31...
 
14.
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...
 
15.
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...
 
16.
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...
 
17.
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...
 
18.
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...
 
20.
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.
 
22.
Jack Reynor
Actor, Glassland
Jack Reynor was born on the 23rd of January, 1992, in Colorado. He moved to Humphrystown, In early 2010 Jack was cast in Kirsten Sheridan's Dollhouse which debuted at Berlinale 2012. In late 2011 he played the title role in Lenny Abrahamson's highly acclaimed What Richard Did. He resides in Ireland.
 
23.
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'...
 
25.
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.
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...
 
28.
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...
 
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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...
 
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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.
 
36.
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...
 
37.
Aidan Turner
Aidan began filming Series three of Poldark in September 2016, beginning with location work with other cast members in Cornwall. The cast was filming at the same time as the second series was being shown on BBC1. Filming for the third series continued until March 2017, with indoor shooting taking place at Bottleyard studios in Bristol, and aired later the same year.
 
38.
Andrew Scott
Actor, Spectre
Andrew Scott was born in Dublin, Ireland, the middle child with two sisters, in a financially comfortable home which allowed his parents, Jim and Nora, to send him to a private Catholic school for boys. He started acting as a child when he was in commercials on Irish TV, then was chosen from his acting school at 17 to star in his first professional role in the 1994 Irish film...
 
39.
Michelle Fairley
Michelle was born in July 1965, the second child of publican Brian and nurse Theresa Fairley. As a teenager she attended the Ulster Youth Theatre before moving to Belfast , where she was a member of Fringe Benefit, a repertory company where she acted alongside Conleth Hill, with whom she would later appear in television juggernaut 'Game of Thrones'...
 
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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...
 
42.
Paula Malcomson
Born in 1970 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paula Malcomson is an extremely prolific film and television actress with numerous credits to her name. Malcomson began her career in the early 1990s with small parts primarily in film before scoring higher-profiles roles in the Oscar-nominated film The Green Mile and A.I. Artificial Intelligence...
 
45.
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...
 
46.
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...
 
47.
Conleth Hill
Conleth Hill was born on November 24, 1964 in Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His exquisite work that expresses brilliantly the unique range of his acting qualities, includes remarkable performances full of profoundness, genius and mesmerizing uniqueness, such as in Blue Heaven, Game of Thrones...
 
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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"...
 
51.
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...
 
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56.
Ruth McCabe
Actress, Philomena
Ruth McCabe is an acclaimed Irish Actress who won an Irish Film and Television Academy Award in 2003 for her role in 'Any Time Now', and again in 2011 for 'Single-Handed'. She is considered one of the greatest names in Irish cinema and theatre. She has performed in numerous plays in the Abbey theatre in Dublin as well a in many TV shows and films.
 
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Niamh McGrady
Actress, Holby City
After landing a role in Summer 2003 in Italy, on graduation she joined a Welsh production of Romeo and Juliet and then pantomime in Belfast, before moving to London for Northern Irish playwright Lisa McGee's production of Girls & Dolls. McGrady then featured in a production of the Shakespeare play Macbeth...
 
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Pauline McLynn
She is the eldest of three children. Her mother is an art teacher and painter, and her father is a car parts salesman. She went to Trinity College at Dublin University, where she studied the History of Art, and English Literature. She began acting at school and continued it at University.
 
72.
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...
 
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