Colin O'Donoghue

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Colin O'Donoghue
Colin O'Donoghue PaleyFest 13.jpg
O'Donoghue at the PaleyFest 2013
Colin Arthur O'Donoghue

(1981-01-26) 26 January 1981 (age 42)
Alma materGaiety School of Acting
  • Actor
  • musician
Years active2001–present
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
SpouseHelen O'Donoghue (m. 2009)

Colin O'Donoghue (born 26 January 1981)[1] is an Irish actor and musician, best known for portraying Captain Killian "Hook" Jones on the ABC TV show Once Upon a Time. He appeared in the 2011 horror thriller film The Rite (2011) as a skeptical novice priest, Michael Kovak. He portrayed the character of Douxie Casperan in the Guillermo del Toro animated series Tales of Arcadia for Netflix. He is also portraying Gordon Cooper on Disney+ Original Series The Right Stuff. He starred in Dolly Parton's Heartstrings as J.J. Sneed.

Early life and education[edit]

Colin O'Donoghue, the son of Con and Mary O'Donoghue, was born and raised in Drogheda, County Louth, in a Roman Catholic family.[2] He has an older brother named Allen.[3] He is the cousin of musician Harry O'Donoghue.[4] He attended Dundalk Grammar School, and later The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.[5] At age 16, he went to Paris for a month to learn French.[6]


O'Donoghue's early career was mainly split between theatre and television work in Ireland and the UK.[7] In 2003, he won the Irish Film and Television Award for "Best New Talent" for his role as Norman in "Home For Christmas".[7]

In 2009, he appeared as Duke Philip of Bavaria in an episode of season 3 of the Showtime historical-fiction series The Tudors. He made his Hollywood film debut alongside Anthony Hopkins in the horror thriller film The Rite (2011).[5] He made an audition video for The Rite in a friend's home studio in Drogheda and sent it to the United States. He plays guitar and sings in a band called The Enemies, formed in 2003 in Ireland.[5]

In 2012, O'Donoghue was cast as Captain Hook/Killian Jones, love interest of the main heroine Emma Swan, in the second season of the hit ABC series Once Upon a Time. In 2014, O'Donoghue was cast as the main character in The Dust Storm, an independent film set in Nashville, Tennessee as a musician named Brennan.[8][9]

Christina Perri wrote a song, "The Words", which she dedicated to Colin's character (Captain Hook) in Once Upon a Time.[10]

In December 2018, O'Donoghue was cast in an episode of the Netflix anthology drama series, Heartstrings.[11] The series premiered on 22 November 2019.[12]

The Enemies[edit]

O'Donoghue was part of the five-piece Irish band, "The Enemies", which was formed in 2003 by O'Donoghue and a close friend, Ronan McQuillan. The Enemies released their self-titled debut EP on 7 March 2011[13] prior to their self-funded first album on track.[14] He played guitar and sang backing vocals on the band's first EP and debut album.

Although the band was unsigned, it was commissioned by General Motors to record tracks for their "Chevy route 66" online campaign.[15] The band worked on the music for Coca-Cola's "5BY20" project.[16] Their debut album Sounds Big on the Radio was to be released in March 2013, which was later scheduled for 2014.[17] In May 2013, he announced he was leaving the band due to the filming schedule of Once Upon a Time.[18]


For his role in Home for Christmas, he was awarded Best New Talent at the 1st Irish Film & Television Awards, held on 1 November 2003.[19]

Personal life[edit]

O'Donoghue married his wife Helen, a schoolteacher, in 2009, shortly after his appearance on The Tudors.[20] The couple have been together since they were eighteen and have two children: a son[21] and a daughter.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Call Girl Brendan Short film
2006 24/7 Nick Short film
2009 The Euthanizer Ben Short film
2011 The Rite Michael Kovak
2012 Storage 24 Mark
2016 The Dust Storm Brennan
2016 Carrie Pilby Professor David Harrison
2018 What Still Remains Peter
2021 Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Douxie (voice)
2022 Luck Gerry (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Rebel Heart Rowe Miniseries; episode 1
2002 Home for Christmas Norman Quested Television film
Irish Film & Television Award for Best New Talent[19]
2004 Love Is the Drug Peter 2 episodes
2005 Proof Jamie 2 episodes
Fair City Emmet Fitzgerald 3 episodes
2006–08 The Clinic Conor Elliott 11 episodes
2009 The Tudors Duke Philip of Bavaria Episode: "The Undoing of Cromwell"
Wild Decembers Young guard Television film
2011 Identity John Bloom Television pilot
2012–18 Once Upon a Time Captain Hook/Killian Jones Main role (season 2–6)
Guest Role (season 7)
Wish Hook/Rogers Guest role (season 6)
Main Role (season 7)
2018 Trollhunters Douxie (voice) 3 episodes
2019 3Below: Tales of Arcadia 2 episodes
Dolly Parton's Heartstrings JJ Sneed Episode: "JJ Sneed"[11]
2020 The Right Stuff Gordon Cooper[23] Main role
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia Douxie (voice)
2022 The Great North Dr. Callahan (voice) 1 episode: "Cillian Me Softly Adventure"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Source
2020 Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Douxie (voice)

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role Source
2015 "The Words" Christina Perri Love interest [24][25]


Year Title[26] Role Theatre Location
Aoife and Isobel Project Theatre Dublin, Ireland
The Dream of a Summer Day Storytellers Theatre Company Dublin, Ireland
Eclipse Olivier Theatre London, England
Eugene Onegin – The Roadshow Something Different Theatre Company Oxford, England
Leaving Quarehawks Theatre Company Monaghan, Ireland
Moonlight Mickey's Calipo Theatre Company Drogheda, Ireland
Othello Second Age Theatre Company Dublin, Ireland
Outlying Islands Island Theatre Company Chicago, US
Sky Road Theatre Royal Waterford Waterford, Ireland
The Taming Of The Shrew Rough Magic Theatre Company Dublin, Ireland
Walking the Road Axis Theatre Vancouver, Canada
What the Dead Want Project Theatre Dublin, Ireland

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Group Award Result Notes
2003 Irish Film and Television Awards Best New Talent Won Home for Christmas
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite On-Screen Chemistry shared with: Jennifer Morrison Nominated Once Upon a Time
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Liplock shared with: Jennifer Morrison Nominated Once Upon a Time
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Liplock shared with: Jennifer Morrison Won Once Upon a Time
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Liplock shared with: Jennifer Morrison Nominated Once Upon a Time
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Scene Stealer Nominated Once Upon a Time

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (2 January 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 26, 2023 includes celebrities Sasha Banks, Ellen DeGeneres". Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  2. ^ Staff (24 January 2011). "Alice Braga & Colin O'Donoghue Talk Devils, Exorcisms & Sir Anthony Hopkins – Alice Braga & Colin O'Donoghue Interview on The Rite, a New Horror Movie from Director Mikael Håfström and Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins". Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  3. ^ Comyn, Alison (23 February 2011). "Colin's film premieres to rave reviews". Drogheda Independent. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  4. ^ O'Donoghue, Harry (4 November 2014). "August 21, 2013". Harry O'Donoghue. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c O'Doherty, Cahir (19 January 2011). "Colin O'Donoghue's 'Rite' of Passage". IrishCentral. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  6. ^ Dominguez, Robert (26 January 2011). "Filmed on Location: Colin O'Donoghue of 'The Rite'". Daily News. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Official Website of Colin O'Donoghue". Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  8. ^ Profile,; accessed 8 September 2015.
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed 8 September 2015.
  10. ^ music video,; accessed 6 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b Petski, Denise (19 December 2018). "Colin O'Donoghue & Willa Fitzgerald Among Five Cast In 'JJ Sneed' Episode Of Dolly Parton Netflix Anthology". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  12. ^ Sollosi, Mary (17 October 2019). "First look at the glitz and glamour of Dolly Parton's Heartstrings on Netflix". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  13. ^ "The Enemies – EP by The Enemies". iTunes Store Ireland. Apple. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Pop | Rock | Band | Group | Drogheda". The Enemies Music. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  15. ^ "ABOUT". THE ENEMIES. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  16. ^ Entertainment. "The Enemies making friends around the globe". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  17. ^ "The Enemies on Twitter". Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Colin o'donoghue on Twitter". Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  19. ^ a b Staff. "Winners of the 1st Annual Irish Film & Television Awards",; retrieved 1 February 2012.
  20. ^ Molony, Julia (9 September 2013). "SUCH a wicked right hook". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 August 2014. His first step to stardom took the form of a small part in The Tudors, aka almost every Irish actor's rite of passage. It was here that fate intervened on behalf of our hero. Important people in LA saw his appearance in the show – all eight minutes of it, and on the strength of that, invited him over to LA to sign with a Hollywood agency. The only snag was that all this happened just a few weeks before he was due to marry his childhood sweetheart back in Ireland.
  21. ^ Colin O'Donoghue [@colinodonoghue1] (5 August 2013). "I'd like to welcome my beautiful baby boy, Evan into the world!! Born early Thursday morning. So proud to be a father!!" (Tweet). Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Colin O'Donoghue [@colinodonoghue1] (14 May 2017). "Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful Mum, and to my amazing wife who delivered a beautiful daughter this week! Woohoo!!" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 May 2017 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (12 July 2019). "'The Right Stuff': Colin O'Donoghue To Star In Nat Geo Series In Recasting". Deadline. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  24. ^ Wass, Mike (26 January 2015). "Christina Perri's "The Words" Video Is A Fairytale (Of Sorts) Starring 'Once Upon A Time' Actor Colin O'Donoghue: Watch". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  25. ^ Christina Perri (25 January 2015). "Christina Perri - The Words [Official Video]". YouTube. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2014.

External links[edit]