Irish Actors and Actresses

by film geek | created - 20 Oct 2011 | updated - 02 Aug 2012 | Public

1. Cillian Murphy

Actor | 28 Days Later...

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 ...

2. Saoirse Ronan

Actress | Hanna

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 back to Dublin, Ireland. Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co. Carlow before moving back to Dublin ...

3. Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Actor | Match Point

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...

4. Liam Neeson

Actor | Kinsey

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 ...

5. Stephen Rea

Actor | The Crying Game

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 ...

6. Evanna Lynch

Actress | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

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 "...

7. Liam Cunningham

Actor | Hunger

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

Actor | Far and Away

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

Actress | The Quiet Man

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...

10. David Kelly

Actor | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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 ...

11. Brendan Gleeson

Actor | The Guard

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 ...

12. Frank Kelly

Actor | Father Ted

Frank Kelly was born on December 28, 1938 in Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland as Francis O'Kelly. He was an actor, known for Father Ted (1995), Evelyn (2002) and Rat (2000). He was married to Bairbre Neldon. He died on February 28, 2016 in the UK.

13. Domhnall Gleeson

Actor | Ex Machina

Domhnall Gleeson is an Irish actor and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise (2010-2011), About Time (2013), Ex Machina (2015) and The Revenant (2015).

He is the son of actor Brendan Gleeson, alongside whom he has appeared in several films and ...

14. Alison Doody

Actress | Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

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 ...

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 (2002), Stormbreaker, and The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), as well as her award winning role as Lady Mary Tudor in the TV series The Tudors (2007), and for guest starring as ...

16. Ruth Negga

Actress | Loving

Ruth Negga was born on January 7, 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is an actress, known for Loving (2016), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013) and World War Z (2013).

17. Brian Gleeson

Actor | Snow White and the Huntsman

Brian Gleeson was born on November 14, 1987 in Dublin, Ireland. He is an actor, known for Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Logan Lucky (2017) and Assassin's Creed (2016).

18. Sean McGinley

Actor | On a Clear Day

Sean McGinley was born in 1956 in Gaoth Dobhair, Donegal, Ireland. He is an actor and writer, known for On a Clear Day (2005), Braveheart (1995) and Michael Collins (1996). He has been married to Marie Mullen since 1990. They have two children.

19. 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...

20. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

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 ...

21. Patrick Bergin

Actor | Sleeping with the Enemy

Patrick Bergin was born on February 4, 1951 in Dublin, Ireland as Patrick Connolly Bergin. He is an actor, known for Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Patriot Games (1992) and Robin Hood (1991). He has been married to Paula Frazier since 1992. They have one child.

22. Wilfrid Brambell

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

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 ...

23. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Nicholas Blake, Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing ...

24. Pierce Brosnan

Actor | The World Is Not Enough

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...

25. James Nesbitt

Actor | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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: The Story of Christy Brown

Irish character actress Brenda Fricker was born in Dublin, and gained experience in Irish theatre and with the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Court Theatre Company in Great Britain. Brenda received great acclaim for her Oscar-winning supporting performance as the ...

27. Devon Murray

Actor | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

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...

28. Colm Meaney

Actor | Con Air

Colm Meaney was born on May 30, 1953 in Dublin, Ireland. He is an actor and producer, known for Con Air (1997), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Under Siege (1992). He has been married to Ines Glorian since March 15, 2007. He was previously married to Bairbre Dowling.

29. Fiona Shaw

Actress | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Irish theater, television and film actress, Fiona Shaw was an already-formidable stage actress before she first dipped into on-screen acting making consecutive appearances in television. It wasn't until the mid '80s that director Jim Sheridan awarded the actress with a role in his film, My Left Foot...

30. Michael Fassbender

Actor | Shame

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. ...

31. Stuart Townsend

Actor | The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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 ...

32. Gabriel Byrne

Actor | The Usual Suspects

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 ...

33. Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Actor | Match Point

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...

34. Stephen Rea

Actor | The Crying Game

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 ...

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 ...

36. Peter O'Toole

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

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 ...

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...

38. Wilfrid Brambell

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

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 ...

39. Ray McAnally

Actor | The Mission

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 ...

40. Robert Sheehan

Actor | The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Robert Sheehan is an Irish actor. He was born in Portlaoise, County Laois, the son of Joe and Maria Sheehan. His father was a member of the Garda Síochána, the police force of the Republic of Ireland.

As a child, Sheehan was interested in performing music. He learned how to play the banjo, the ...

41. Olivia Wilde

Actress | Tron

Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern day renaissance woman, starring in many of Hollywood's acclaimed productions, while simultaneously giving back to the community.

Wilde was born on March 10, 1984 in New York City. Her parents are Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew ...

42. Emma Bolger

Actress | In America

Emma Bolger was born on January 5, 1996 in Dublin, Ireland. She is an actress, known for In America (2002), Heidi (2005) and Intermission (2003).

43. Richard Harris

Actor | Gladiator

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 ...

44. Katie McGrath

Actress | Jurassic World

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 ...

45. Kerry Condon

Actress | Rome

Kerry Condon was born on January 4, 1983 in Tipperary, Ireland. She is an actress, known for Rome (2005), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Better Call Saul (2015).

46. Samantha Mumba

Actress | The Time Machine

Samantha Mumba was born on January 18, 1983 in Dublin, Ireland as Samantha Tamanya Anne Cecelia Mumba. She has been married to Torray Scales since February 24, 2012. They have one child.

47. Stuart Townsend

Actor | The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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 ...

48. Ciara O'Callaghan

Actress | Striking Out

Ciara is a well-established Irish actress with over 20 years experience in the industry. She has a BA in Drama and Theatre from The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and a degree in Dance and Film from Université Nanterre, Paris.

Ciara most recently returned to her role of Julie O'Brien ...

49. Maria Doyle Kennedy

Actress | The Tudors

Maria Doyle Kennedy was born on September 25, 1964 in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland as Maria Josephine Doyle. She is an actress, known for The Tudors (2007), The Commitments (1991) and Orphan Black (2013). She has been married to Kieran Kennedy since 1988. They have four children.

50. 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 ...

51. Glen Hansard

Soundtrack | Once

Glen Hansard was born on April 21, 1970 in Dublin, Ireland.

52. Geraldine Somerville

Actress | Gosford Park

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...

53. Emmett J Scanlan

Actor | Hollyoaks

Emmett J Scanlan was born on January 31, 1979 in Dublin, Ireland. He is an actor and producer, known for Hollyoaks (1995), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Charlie Casanova (2011). He has been married to Claire Cooper since December 31, 2015.

54. Nora-Jane Noone

Actress | The Descent

Nora-Jane Noone was born on March 8, 1984 in Galway, Ireland. She is an actress, known for The Descent (2005), The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Brooklyn (2015).

55. Geraldine Fitzgerald

Actress | Wuthering Heights

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 ...

56. Amy Huberman

Actress | Striking Out

Amy Huberman was born on March 20, 1979 in Dublin, Ireland. She is an actress, known for Striking Out (2017), Threesome (2011) and Moone Boy (2012). She has been married to Brian O'Driscoll since July 2, 2010. They have two children.

57. 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 ...

58. Jade Yourell

Actress | Happy Ever Afters

Jade Yourell was born on October 11, 1978 in Galway, Ireland. She is an actress, known for Happy Ever Afters (2009), The Clan MacLeod and Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013).

59. Maria Anastacia Keogh

Actress | Feinmharu

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 ...

60. Jenn Murray

Actress | Dorothy Mills

Jenn Murray is an actress, known for Dorothy Mills (2008), Brooklyn (2015) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).

61. Rory Keenan

Actor | The Guard

Irish actor Rory Keenan has worked extensively in theatre and film. He performed leading roles on the London stage, he has also appeared in TV and film projects such as Peaky Blinders, War & Peace, Birdsong, The Guard, and soon Versailles. Rory resides in London, England where he continues to work ...

62. Antonia Campbell-Hughes

Actress | 3096 Tage

Antonia Campbell-Hughes was born in 1982 in Northern Ireland. She is an actress and writer, known for 3096 Tage (2013), Bright Star (2009) and Storage 24 (2012).

63. Ciarán Hinds

Actor | The Woman in Black

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 ...

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 ...

65. Aidan Gillen

Actor | Game of Thrones

Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011), CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (1999), John Boy in the RTÉ Television series ...

66. Richard Wall

Actor | An Tain Darkness Descends

Richard Wall was born on January 18, 1977 in Kerry, Ireland. He is an actor, known for An Tain Darkness Descends (2011), Anton (2008) and The Limit Of.

67. Pádraic Delaney

Actor | The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Pádraic was born on November 6th 1977 in County Wexford, Ireland. He studied at Trinity College Dublin and graduated in 2001. 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), Blackthorn (2011) and ...

68. Darren Healy

Actor | Once

Darren Healy is an actor, known for Once (2007), The Guard (2011) and Layer Cake (2004).

69. Eoin Macken

Actor | Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

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. ...

70. Kellie Blaise

Actress | Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy

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 ...

71. Mick Fitzgerald

Visual_effects | King Arthur

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 ...

72. Joe McKinney

Actor | King Arthur

Joe McKinney was born on May 12, 1967 in Dublin, Ireland. He is an actor, known for King Arthur (2004), Zenith Protocol (2017) and Glenroe (1983).

73. Don Wycherley

Actor | Sing Street

Don Wycherley was born on September 15, 1967 in Cork, Ireland. He is an actor and writer, known for Sing Street (2016), Perrier's Bounty (2009) and Michael Collins (1996).

74. Seamus Moran

Actor | In the Name of the Father

Seamus Moran is an actor and director, known for In the Name of the Father (1993), Tome Feenes (2010) and Scéal (2013).

75. Sorcha Ní Chéide

Actress | Rásaí na Gaillimhe

Sorcha Ní Chéide is an actress, known for Rásaí na Gaillimhe (2009), Pursuit (2015) and Out of Innocence (2016).

76. Olga Wehrly

Actress | The Crush

Olga Wehrly is an actress, known for The Crush (2010), The Clinic (2003) and Striking Out (2017).

77. Gavin O'Connor

Actor | Charlie

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 ...