Gabriel Byrne in 2010
|Born||Gabriel James Byrne
12 May 1950
|Occupation||Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, author|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Spouse(s)||Ellen Barkin (m. 1988–99)|
Gabriel James Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has now starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing, Stigmata and End of Days, in addition to writing two. Byrne's producing credits include the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father. More recently, he has received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment.
Byrne, the first of six children, was born in Walkinstown, Dublin 12, Dublin, Ireland, the son of a cooper and soldier, Dan, and a hospital nurse Eileen (née Gannon) from Elphin, County Roscommon. He has four siblings: Donal, Thomas, Breda, and Margaret; another, Marian, died at a young age. Byrne was raised a strict Roman Catholic and educated in Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, where he later taught Spanish and History. About his early training to become a priest, he said in an interview, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that one had a vocation. I realised subsequently that I didn't." He attended University College Dublin, where he studied archaeology and linguistics, becoming proficient in Irish. He played football in Dublin with the Stella Maris Football Club, in Drumcondra.
Byrne worked in archaeology when he left UCD. He maintained his love of his language, later writing the first television drama in Irish, Draíocht, on Ireland's national Irish-language television station, TG4, when it began broadcasting in 1996.
Before becoming an actor, Byrne had many jobs, including archaeologist, cook, and Spanish and History schoolteacher at Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, Dublin. He started acting at age 29, and began his career on stage with the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He later joined the Performing Arts Course in Sandymount Dublin 4 (Roslyn Park College) . Byrne came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans, subsequently starring in his own spin-off series, Bracken. His first play for television was Michael Feeney Callan's Love Is ... (RTE). He made his film debut in 1981, as King Uther Pendragon in John Boorman's King Arthur epic, Excalibur.
In 1983, he appeared with Richard Burton in the miniseries Wagner (1983), co-starring Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. In 1985, Byrne starred in the acclaimed political thriller Defence of the Realm, though he subsequently claimed he had been upstaged by his co-star, veteran actor Denholm Elliott: "I amended the actor's cliché to 'Never work with children, animals or Denholm Elliott'."
Byrne was cast in a film adaptation of Flann O'Brien's metafictional novel At Swim-Two-Birds, alongside Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy. Actor Brendan Gleeson was set to direct the film. In October 2009, however, Gleeson expressed fear that, should the Irish Film Board be abolished as planned by the Irish State, the production might fall through.
Byrne starred as therapist Dr. Paul Weston in the critically acclaimed HBO primetime weeknight series In Treatment from 2008 to 2010. He was named as TV's "latest Dr. McDreamy" by The New York Times for this role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2008. He also received his first Emmy Award nomination (Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series) for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad won) that same year.
He was cultural ambassador for Ireland for a while until he criticised the tourism initiative “The Gathering”, describing it as an attempt by Ireland's politicians and media to fleece wealthy Americans. Byrne also criticised the marketing strategy employed by Guinness known as Arthur's Day as "a cynical piece of exercise in a country which has a huge drinking problem."
Byrne, who retains his Irish citizenship, did not arrive in the United States until 1987, when he was 37. He had begun a relationship with actress Ellen Barkin, and had relocated to New York City to be with her. A year later, in 1988, Byrne married Barkin, with whom he has two children, John "Jack" Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992). The couple separated amicably in 1993, and then divorced in 1999.
Byrne currently resides in Manhattan.
Byrne is also actively involved in various charities, in addition to being a human rights activist. In 2004, Byrne was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. He became a patron of Croí (The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation) in 1997 in response to the care given to his mother while she was a patient in a Galway hospital.
At the 5th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2007, Byrne was presented with the first of the newly created Volta awards, for lifetime achievement in acting. He also received the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, of Trinity College, Dublin on 20 February 2007. In November of that same year, he was awarded an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland, Galway; the president of the University, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said that this award is in recognition of the actor's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film".
Although the actor is noted as a fiercely private person, he released a documentary for the 20th Galway Film Fleadh in the summer of 2008 called Stories from Home, an intimate portrait about his life.
Byrne mentioned in interviews and his 1995 autobiography, Pictures in My Head that he hates being called "brooding". He has been listed by People as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive". Entertainment Weekly has also dubbed Byrne as one of the hottest celebrities over the age of 50.
|1978||The Riordans||Pat Barry|
|1978||Bracken||Pat Barry||Jacob's Award for Best Actor in a Television Series in 1979.|
|1981||Love Is ...||Larry||(TV play)|
|1983||Hanna K.||Joshua Herzog|
|1983||The Keep||Major Erich Kaempffer|
|1985||Christopher Columbus||Christopher Columbus|
|1985||Defence of the Realm||Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen|
|1987||Lionheart||The Black Prince|
|1987||Hello Again||Dr. Kevin Scanlon|
|1987||Julia and Julia||Paolo Vinci|
|1987||Siesta||Augustine||Byrne met his future wife, Ellen Barkin, on the set of this movie.|
|1988||A Soldier's Tale||Saul|
|1989||Dark Obsession||Lord Hugo Bruckton|
|1990||Miller's Crossing||Tom Reagan|
|1990||Shipwrecked||Lt. John Merrick|
|1992||Into the West||Papa Reilly||Also the associate producer|
|1992||Cool World||Jack Deebs|
|1993||Point of No Return||Bob|
|1993||A Dangerous Woman||Colin Mackey|
|1994||A Simple Twist of Fate||John Newland|
|1994||Trial by Jury||Daniel Graham|
|1994||Little Women||Professor Friedrich Bhaer|
|1994||Prince of Jutland||Fenge|
|1995||The Usual Suspects||Dean Keaton|
|1995||Buffalo Girls||Teddy Blue|
|1995||Dead Man||Charlie Dickinson|
|1995||Frankie Starlight||Jack Kelly|
|1996||Draíocht||Father||Byrne wrote this Irish-language drama.|
|1996||Mad Dog Time||Ben London|
|1996||The Last of the High Kings||Jack Griffin||Also the writer and executive producer|
|1996||Dr. Hagard's Disease||Also the executive producer|
|1996||The Lark in the Clear Air||Executive producer, writer and director|
|1996||Somebody is Waiting||Roger Ellis||Also the co-producer|
|1997||Smilla's Sense of Snow||The mechanic|
|1997||The End of Violence||Ray Bering|
|1997||Weapons of Mass Distraction||Lionel Powers|
|1997||This Is the Sea||Rohan|
|1998||The Man in the Iron Mask||D'Artagnan|
|1998||The Brylcreem Boys||Sean O'Brien||Also the co-producer|
|1998||Quest for Camelot||Sir Lionel||(animated) (voice)|
|1998||Enemy of the State||Fake Brill|
|1999||Stigmata||Father Andrew Kiernan||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|1999||End of Days||The Man/Satan||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|2000||Madigan Men||Benjamin "Ben" Madigan||Also the co-executive producer|
|2000||Canone inverso||Jeno Varga|
|2002||Virginia's Run||Ford Lofton|
|2002||Emmett's Mark||Jack Marlow/Stephen Bracken|
|2002||Ghost Ship||Captain Sean Murphy|
|2004||Vanity Fair||The Marquess of Steyne|
|2004||The Bridge of San Luis Rey||Brother Juniper|
|2005||Assault on Precinct 13||Captain Marcus Duvall|
|2006||Emotional Arithmetic||Christopher Lewis|
|2008–2010||In Treatment||Dr. Paul Weston||Golden Globe Award—Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nomination—Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
|2009||Perrier's Bounty||Voice of The Reaper|
|2012||Le Capital||Dittmar Rigule|
|2012||I, Anna||Detective Bernie Reid|
|2013||Secret State||Tom Dawkins (Deputy Prime Minister/Prime Minister)|
|2013||Le temps de L'aventure||l'homme|
|2013||Vikings||Earl Haraldson (Viking chieftain)||6 episodes|
|2013||All Things to All Men||Joseph Corsco|
|2014||Vampire Academy||Victor Dashkov|
|2000||Roslyn Park||A Moon for the Misbegotten||James 'Jim' Tyrone, Jr.||Nominated for a Tony Award (Best Actor in a Play) and Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Actor in a Play); Winner of the Theatre World Award|
|2003||Off-Broadway||The Exonerated||Kerry Max Cooke|
|2005||Broadway||A Touch of the Poet||Cornelius Melody||Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play|
|2008||Off-Broadway||Camelot||King Arthur||Performance for the New York Philharmonic's annual musical event from 7–10 May 2008|
Awards and nominations
|1979||Jacob's Awards||Jacob's Award for Best Actor in a TV Series (Drama)||Won||For Bracken|
|1987||Fantasporto||International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor||Won||For Gothic and Defence of the Realm|
|1995||National Board of Review of Motion Pictures||NBR Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble||Won||For The Usual Suspects|
|1998||Satellite Awards||Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television||Nominated||For Weapons of Mass Distraction|
|Grammy Awards||Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (Children)||Nominated||For The Star-Child and The Nightingale and the Rose (Oscar Wilde)|
|1999||Cinequest Film Festival||Maverick Tribute Award||Won|
|2000||Theatre World Awards||Theatre World Award for Acting||Won||For A Moon for the Misbegotten|
|Tony Awards||Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play||Nominated||For A Moon for the Misbegotten|
|Razzie Awards||Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated||For End of Days and Stigmata|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Actor (Horror)||Nominated||For Stigmata|
|2005||Irish Film and Television Awards||IFTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film||Nominated||For Wah-Wah|
|2006||Inside Film Awards||IF Award for Best Actor||Nominated||For Jindabyne|
|Australian Film Institute Awards||AFI Award for Best Lead Actor||Nominated||For Jindabyne|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play||Won||For A Touch of the Poet|
|2007||Jameson Dublin International Film Festival||Volta Award for Lifetime Achievement in Acting||Won||This was the first year for the presentation of the award.|
|2008||Irish Film and Television Awards||IFTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film||Nominated||For Jindabyne|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated||For In Treatment|
|Dingle Film Festival||Gregory Peck Excellence in the Art of Film Award||Won||This is the first year for the presentation of the award, which was named in honour of the late Gregory Peck.|
|Golden Globe Awards||Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama||Won||For In Treatment|
|Satellite Awards||Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama||Nominated||For In Treatment|
|2009||Primetime Emmy Awards||Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated||For In Treatment|
- Mottram, James (2007-05-18). "Gabriel Byrne: Not one of the usual suspects". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2007-11-28. "I'm what they call a recovering Catholic."
- George Rush, Joanna Molloy, Jo Piazza, Chris Rovzar (2004-12-06). "Nelly's sure been catering to Ashanti". Preen not Gabriel ByrneDaily News. Retrieved 2010-09-13. "Gabriel Byrne. "My parents brought me up with such strict Irish-Catholic views..."
- Old boy Gabriel's starring role in city school reunion
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2000
- "Gabriel Byrne: I was abused as a child". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- McDonald, Henry (2010-01-19). "Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- "Actor Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Dziemianowicz, Joe (21 January 2010). "'In Treatment's' Gabriel Byrne reveals he was sexually abused while attending Irish seminary school". New York Daily News. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "A flame of love never quenched". The Irish Times. 2010-08-08. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "Obituary: Denholm Elliott". The Independent. 7 October 1992.
- Gabriel Byrne Tops Kerry Film Fest Jury Lineup http://www.iftn.ie/news/?act1=record&aid=73&rid=4280629&tpl=archnews&only=1
- Jaafar, Ali (2 September 2009 Accessdate= 2 September 2009.). "Parallel eyes Irish projects". Variety.
- Ryan, Conor (2009-10-15). "Gleeson: Film plans will collapse if Bord Snip implemented". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Ferla, Ruth La (2008-02-28). "New York Times Article – 'He Listens. He Cares. He Isn't Real.'". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- "Gabriel Byrne Enters 'Le Capital', Irish Actor in Talks To Star". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "Gabriel Byrne: Religion didn't do me any good". Irish Independent. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- O'Shea, James (4 December 2012). "Gabriel Byrne again slams The Gathering and Arthur's Day: Actor says Ireland needs a real relationship with the Diaspora". Irish Central. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Honorary degree for Irish star". BreakingNews.ie. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- D'Angelo, Beverly. "GILFy Pleasures: 33 Hotties Over Age 50". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- Barton, Ruth, Acting Irish in Hollywood: from Fitzgerald to Farrell, Irish Academy Press, 2006, p. 163–179, ISBN 0-7165-3344-8.
- Grunert, Andrea, "La lumière derrière le masque: une approche du jeu de Gabriel Byrne", in: Penny Starfield (ed.) Masque et lumière, Corlet [France] 2006, p. 222–229. ISBN 2-84706-122-3.
- Gabriel Byrne at the Internet Movie Database
- "Star Bio's: Gabriel Byrne". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007.
- Gabriel Byrne's entry in Art of Amnesty
- JewReview.net Gabriel Byrne video interview on Jindabyne and In Treatment
- NPR Fresh Air: The Art of Listening Gabriel Byrne discusses his role on "In Treatment" (30 May 2009)
- Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse at Guardian.co.uk
- ByrneHolics: Website devoted to actor and activist Gabriel Byrne