Patrick Bergin

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For the politician, see Patrick Bergin (politician).
Patrick Bergin
Born Patrick Connolly Bergin
(1951-02-04) 4 February 1951 (age 63)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Paula Frazier (m. 1992)(separated)[1]
Children 1

Patrick Connolly Bergin (born 4 February 1951) is an Irish actor and singer.

Early life[edit]

Patrick Bergin grew up with a working-class upbringing in Drimnagh, Ireland.[2] Bergin learned social responsibility from his father Paddy Bergin, a Labour Party politician [3][4] who had once studied to be a priest with the Holy Ghost Fathers in Blackrock, Ireland.[4] He is one of five sons (Pearse, Emmet, Patrick, Connolly and James Bergin).[4][5] Bergin left Dublin for London in 1973;[4] and by the time he was 17 he was in London running a theater group.[3] Bergin worked on building sites and at a library.[3][4] He studied at night and completed a degree in education from North London Polytechnic.[3] Bergin worked as an English teacher for several years before forming his own theatrical company because no one else would have him.[4][5]

In 1980, Bergin decided to pursue acting full-time and he found work in repertory theater.[6] For much of the Nineties it seemed like no one in Hollywood would have him. So he made his own way; he worked in diverse films such as a trilogy of Yeats plays; Morphine and Dolly Mixtures, for which he won a Welsh Best Actor Award, and Durango, based on John B Keane's novel; hosting TnaG's Silín Draíochta; and narrating Patrick Cassidy's Famine Concert.[4] In 1991, he was the first Irish actor to star in a $100 million film (Sleeping with the Enemy) and Newsweek characterized him as the next Sean Connery.[4] With Sleeping with the Enemy as number one at the box office, his reputation grew and he was offered the role of Robin Hood with Uma Thurman.[2] He describes 1996 as the lowest point in his career, a time when he rarely received any phone calls for movie roles.[4]

Acting[edit]

He may be best-known internationally for playing the menacing husband of Julia Roberts' character in the thriller Sleeping with the Enemy and is also known for his role as Irish terrorist Kevin O'Donnell in the film adaption of Patriot Games. Bergin also appeared as Robin Hood in a 1991 TV movie.[7] He also played the role of psychotic Provisional Irish Republican Army gunman in Johnny Was, opposite Vinnie Jones and Roger Daltrey. In 2013 he played notorious Glasgow gangster Arthur 'The Godfather' Thompson in The Wee Man.

Music[edit]

Currently, he leads Patrick Bergin and the Spirit Merchants. Bergin had a top 10 hit in Ireland with the song "The Knacker", which tells the story of a person who recycles horse carcasses and turns them into glue. He also appeared in the video of DJ Steve Mac's song "Paddy's Revenge".[8]

Charity work[edit]

In 1993, Bergin bought an old church in Tipperary and converted it into a poetry center. Bergin explained, "I've recently come to feel I can encourage children and teenagers with their writing.[6] "I'm continually giving groups money to make videos, but I insist that they have a good script. I do it because it makes the difference between them doing a video or not. It doesn't cost a lot, and it gives kids an incredible boost of confidence."[6] In 1998, in response to the murder of a 14-year-old Tallaght boy, Ben Smyth, Bergin participated in setting up a special fund to sponsor young kids from Tallaght.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In the early Eighties, at a wedding, he met Paula Frazier, a British woman of Afro-Caribbean descent.[2] For Bergin, it was love at first sight. They married in Trinidad and Tobago in 1992;[2] and have a daughter named Tea.[4] Bergin says fatherhood changed him, making him more responsible and humbled.[4]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]