Leech in October 2011
18 May 1981
Killiney, County Dublin, Ireland
Alan "Allen" Leech (born 18 May 1981) is an Irish actor best known for his role as Tom Branson on the historical drama series Downton Abbey. He made his professional acting debut with a small part in a 1998 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, made his first major film appearance as Vincent Cusack in Cowboys & Angels, and earned an Irish Film & Television Awards nomination in 2004 with his performance as Mo Chara in Man About Dog. Leech played Marcus Agrippa on the HBO historical drama series Rome.
Leech was born in Killiney, County Dublin, to David Leech, the CEO of a computer systems company, and Kay Leech, a housewife. He is the third of four children; he has an older brother, Greg, an older sister, Ali, and a younger brother, Simon. He attended St Michael's College. Leech became interested in acting at 11 when he was given the part of the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz and found he loved being on stage. He recalled how he immediately decided to become an actor when Peter McDonald told him how acting is a profession on the last night of the production's run.
Afterwards, drama became the "focal point" of Leech's teenage years, apart from his family life, and drama and family support helped him through his school years. He became set on acting after winning a small role in a 1998 production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Gate Theatre. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College, Dublin, later noting this was a "loophole" in his parents' stipulation that he earn a degree to fall back on if he failed to have success as an actor. He landed his first major roles in Cowboys & Angels and Man About Dog while at Trinity, and he has admitted that he did little schoolwork because he spent his time on auditions and acting.
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Leech's first professional stage role was at the Gate in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire. "I was the gentleman caller to Frances McDormand's Blanche Dubois. The Coen brothers were walking backstage, and me a naive 16-year-old."
Leech played the role of Shane Kirwan in the Ireland's RTÉ series Love Is the Drug, in which he received a Best Actor nomination from the Irish Film and Television Awards. He followed that up with the role of Willy in the television series Legend, which is the story of three different Irish families. He received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from Irish Film and Television Awards for his performance.
In 2010, he appeared on the small screen in The Tudors as the doomed Francis Dereham, former lover of Catherine Howard. Leech also appeared in ITV 2010s television series Downton Abbey as chauffeur Tom Branson, whose political ideologies clash with the upper class. He played the role of officer Sam Leonard in television series Primeval in 2011 in series five. Leech also starred in the 2012 film adaptation The Sweeney.
In February 2018, Leech announced his engagement to actress Jessica Blair Herman.
|2000||Iníon an Fhiaclóra (The Dentist's Daughter)||Rory||Short film|
|2002||The Escapist||Policeman 1|
|2003||Cowboys & Angels||Vincent Cusack|
|2004||Man About Dog||Mo Chara|
|2007||Deep Breaths||Danny||Short film|
|2008||Factory Farmed||Short film|
|2009||From Time to Time||Fred Boggis|
|2012||The Sweeney||Simon Ellis|
|2013||Hello Darkness||Mark Cooper|
|2014||The Imitation Game||John Cairncross|
|2017||The Hunter's Prayer||Richard Addison|
|2018||Bohemian Rhapsody||Paul Prenter||Post-production|
|2019||Downton Abbey||Tom Branson||Pre-production|
|2000||Yesterday's Children||Brian||Television film|
|2003||Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor||British Officer||Television film|
|2004||Battlefield Britain||Episode: "A Clash of Kings: The Battle of the Boyne"|
|2004||Love Is the Drug||Shane Kirwen||4 episodes|
|2007||Rome||Marcus Agrippa||8 episodes|
|2008||Heroes and Villains||Edeco||Episode: "Attila the Hun"|
|2009||Running Low||Bala Whedon||2 episodes|
|2010||The Tudors||Francis Dereham||2 episodes|
|2010–2015||Downton Abbey||Tom Branson||45 episodes|
|2011||Primeval||Officer Sam Leonard||1 episode|
|2011||Black Mirror||Pike||Episode: "The National Anthem"|
|2012||Assassin's Creed III||Thomas Hickey||Voice|
|2015||The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||Hjalmar an Craite||Voice|
|1998||A Streetcar Named Desire||Gentleman Caller||Gate Theatre||Performed as Alan Leech|
|1999||This Lime Tree Bower||Joe||New Theatre||Performed as Alan Leech|
|2000||The Queen and Peacock||Willie||Garter Lane Arts Centre||Performed as Alan Leech|
|2001||The Morning After Optimism||Edmund||Abbey Theatre||Performed as Alan Leech|
|2002||Da||Young Charlie||Abbey Theatre||Performed as Alan Leech|
|2008||Everybody Loves Sylvia||Harlequin||Project Arts Centre|
|2008||Zero Hour||Benny, Ensemble||Abbey Theatre|
|2010||Phaedra||Hippolytus||Project Arts Centre|
|2010||On Baile's Strand||Young Man||Abbey Theatre|
|2011||Ecstasy||Mick||Hampstead Theatre, Duchess Theatre|
|2004||The Panel||TV series (1 episode: "Episode #2.5")|
|2005||3rd Irish Film and Television Awards||TV documentary|
|2007||4th Irish Film and Television Awards||Presenter|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Irish Film & Television Awards||Best New Talent||Cowboys & Angels||Nominated|
|2005||Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Actor in Television||Love Is the Drug||Nominated|
|2007||Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Television||Legend||Nominated|
|2013||Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Television||Downton Abbey||Nominated|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Downton Abbey||Won|
|2014||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Downton Abbey||Nominated|
|2015||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Downton Abbey||Won|
|2015||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||The Imitation Game||Nominated|
|2015||Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Film||The Imitation Game||Nominated|
|2015||20th Critics' Choice Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||The Imitation Game||Nominated|
|2016||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Downton Abbey||Won|
- MacDonald, Marianne (22 July 2007). "Rome Sweet Rome". The Evening Standard – via Infotrac (subscription required). Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Randall, Lee (15 September 2012). "Interview: Allen Leech on the return of Downton Abbey". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- Butler, Laura (3 November 2012). "'Downton' star Allen loves his role as rebellious Irishman". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Downton Abbey star Allen Leech denies being bullied as a child". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Nolan, Emma (3 September 2006). "A cowboy and an angel wrapped up to make a legend". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Allen Leech". Troika Talent. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Allen Leech on the Thursday Interview". The Right Hook. Dublin, Ireland. 1 November 2012. Newstalk. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013.
- Matt Wolf: "A Streetcar Named Desire", [Variety.com], 18 May 1998
- Robert Koehler: "Cowboys & Angels", [Variety.com], 13 July 2004
- Rich Cline: "Man About Dog". ShadowsOnTheWall.co.UK, [19 Oct. 2004]
- Jamie Russell: "Man About Dog" (2004), BBC.co.uk, 14 November 2004.
- "HBO". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Welcome to Twitter - Login or Sign up". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- http://www.troikatalent.com/#/kat-gosling/allen-leech/ Allen Leech's Troika agency profile
- "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 Jan 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.
- Busch, Anita (August 30, 2017). "Allen Leech Joins 'Bohemian Rhapsody' As Paul Prenter, Freddy Mercury's Judas". Deadline. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- "Allen Leech on Instagram". Instagram. February 14, 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-14.