Brendan Coyle

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Brendan Coyle
David Coyle

(1963-12-02) 2 December 1963 (age 57)
Years active1992–present

Brendan Coyle (born David Coyle; 2 December 1963) is an English-Irish actor.[1][2] He won the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for The Weir in 1999.[3] He also played Nicholas Higgins in the miniseries North & South, Robert Timmins in the first three series of Lark Rise to Candleford, and more recently Mr Bates, the valet, in Downton Abbey, which earned him a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor

Early life[edit]

Coyle was born in Corby, Northamptonshire, to an Irish father and Scottish mother.[1] Due to his British birth and Irish parentage, he holds dual British and Irish citizenship. He is a great-nephew of football manager Sir Matt Busby.[4]

He studied drama in Dublin in 1981 and received a scholarship to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in the United Kingdom in 1983.[1]


Brendan Coyle received a Laurence Olivier Award in 1999 for his performance in Conor McPherson's The Weir and won a New York Critics Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut for the same play in its New York production.[1] In 2001, Coyle appeared in the film Conspiracy as Gestapo Chief Heinrich Müller. He played Kaz Sweeney in the British drama, True Dare Kiss, and Nicholas Higgins in North & South for the BBC.

From 2008 he played Robert Timmins in three BBC series based on the Lark Rise to Candleford novels, written by Flora Thompson. In 2010, he began playing John Bates, valet and former British Army batman to the Earl of Grantham in Julian Fellowes's period drama series, Downton Abbey. Fellowes wrote the part for Coyle, and it won him nominations for a BAFTA and IFTA,[5] as well as a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Awards as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2012. He also won three Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013–16. Coyle also played the character of Terry Starling in the short-lived Sky comedy series Starlings.

Personal life[edit]

Coyle divides his time between London and Heacham in Norfolk.[6] Coyle is a fan of Manchester United F.C.[7]



Year Film Role Notes
1994 Ailsa Miles Butler
1997 The Last Bus Home Steve Burkett
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Leading Seaman – HMS Bedford
1998 Soft Sand, Blue Sea Gerry
1998 The General UVF Leader
1998 Happy Birthday To Me short
1999 I Could Read the Sky Francie
2001 Mapmaker Robert Bates
2005 Allegiance Michael Collins
2005 The Jacket Damon
2006 Offside Duncan Miller
2009 Perrier's Bounty Jerome
2012 The Raven Reagan
2014 Noble Gerry Shaw
2016 Me Before You Bernard Clark
2016 The Rising Augustine Birrell Announced
2016 Bare Mick "The Irish Hammer" Short
2018 Mary Queen of Scots Earl of Lennox
2019 Downton Abbey John Bates


Year Film Role Notes
1992 Fool's Gold: The Story of the Brink's-Mat Robbery Det. Sgt. Benwell TV movie
1992 The Bill Chris Bailey TV series (1 episode: "Radio Waves")
1995 The Glass Virgin Manuel Mendoza TV mini-series
1995 Dangerfield David Walsh TV series (2 episodes)
1996 Silent Witness Liam Slattery TV series (2 episodes)
1996 Thief Takers D.S. Bob "Bingo" Tate TV series (16 episodes)
2000 McCready and Daughter Donal McCready TV movie
2000 Paths to Freedom Jeremy Fitzgerald TV series (6 episodes)
2001 Conspiracy SS Maj Gen Heinrich Müller TV movie
2001 Rebel Heart Michael Collins TV mini-series
2001 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Richard Tey TV series (1 episode: "A Great Deliverance")
2001 The Bombmaker George McEvoy TV movie
2002 Rockface Douglas McLanaghan TV series (7 episodes)
2003 Waking the Dead Martin Corgan TV series (2 episodes)
2003 Single Paul TV series
2004 Amnesia D.C. Ian Reid TV movie
2004 Omagh D.S. John White TV movie
2004 North & South Nicholas Higgins TV mini-series (4 episodes)
2005 Shameless Father Polish TV series (1 episode: "Episode #2.4")
2005 Jericho Christie TV series (3 episodes)
2005 The Ghost Squad Sgt. Ralph Allan TV series (1 episode: "Heroes")
2006 The Commander: Blacklight Carl Dirkwood TV movie
2006 Soundproof D.I. Dave Cox TV movie
2006 Prime Suspect: The Final Act D.C.S. Mitchell TV movie
2006 Perfect Parents Ed TV movie
2007 The Mark of Cain Davey Gulliver
2007 Wedding Belles Priest TV movie
2007 The Good Samaritan Lewis Farrell TV movie
2007 Damage Aidan Cahill TV movie
2007 True Dare Kiss Kaz Sweeney TV series (6 episodes)
2008–2010 Lark Rise to Candleford Robert Timmins TV series (31 episodes, series 1–3)
2009 Inspector George Gently Patrick Donovan TV series (1 episode: "Gently in the Night")
2009 Blue Murder Derek Jowell TV series (2 episodes)
2010–2015 Downton Abbey John Bates TV series (52 episodes: 2010–present)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated – BAFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
2012–13 Starlings Terry Starling TV series
2015 Spotless Nelson Clay TV series
2015 Murdoch Mysteries Mr. Rankin TV series (1 episode: "A Merry Murdoch Christmas")
2016 12 Monkeys Dr. Benjamin Kalman TV series (1 episode: "Year of the Monkey")
2018 Requiem Stephen Kendrick TV series (6 episodes)

Anderson Shelter Productions[edit]

In July 2014, Brendan Coyle and Joy Harrison formed Anderson Shelter Productions Limited.[8] with the mission to "find talented young filmmakers" and assist in funding their short film projects.[9] On 14 September 2014, Coyle announced via Twitter his involvement with Council Child Production's short film, Starcross.[10]

# Title Release date Notes Refs.
1 Starcross (short film, Council Child Productions) 2014 Associate Producer [11]
2 The Loneliest Time (short film, Time Bomb Pictures Ltd.) 2015 Associate Producer [12][13]
3 Bare (short film, Council Child Productions) 2016 Executive Producer [14][15]
3 Margie's Garden (short film, Council Child Productions) 2016 Executive Producer [16][17]
4 Emerald City (feature film, Colin Broderick) 2016 Associate Producer [18]


  1. ^ a b c d Paddock, Terri (16 January 2006). "20 Questions With…Brendan Coyle". Retrieved 31 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Masterson, Conor (23 September 2018). "Theatre defined, shaped and saved my life – Brendan Coyle". Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Olivier Winners 1999". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  4. ^ "True Dare Kiss: Brendan Coyle interview" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Downton Abbey characters at PBS". Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  6. ^ Downton Abbey star aims to revamp his Norfolk home Retrieved 20/4/21.
  7. ^ "Stars talk Starlings". Sky Sports. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Anderson Shelter Productions Limited". Endole UK Company Insights. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Brendan Coyle: Farewell Downton Abbey, Hello Spotless and More!". Parade. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Brendan Coyle on Twitter (14 September 2014)". Twitter. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Starcross". British Films Directory. British Council. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  12. ^ "The Loneliest Time Kickstarter". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Brendan Coyle on Twitter (20 May 2015)". Twitter. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Bare (2016) – Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Bare – Our Supporters". Margie's Garden. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Margie's Garden (2016) – Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Margie's Garden – Thank you to our backers!". Margie's Garden. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Hollywood Shows Its Support for Emerald City". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 September 2015.

External links[edit]