Michael Byrne (actor)

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Michael Byrne
Born (1943-11-07) 7 November 1943 (age 79)
London, England
Years active1962–present

Michael Byrne (born 7 November 1943) is a British actor known for his roles in the National Theatre, Hollywood films, and television shows.

Early life[edit]

Byrne was born in London, England, to Helen Byrne of Kilkenny, Ireland, a single parent.

Life and career[edit]

Byrne is a long-established stage actor, having joined the National Theatre in 1964 and appearing in many seasons since. He has also appeared on stage throughout the world. He has numerous theatre credits to his name including: Roberto Miranda in Death and the Maiden at the Royal Court, Maskwell in The Double Dealer and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing at the National Theatre, Reg in Butley at The Criterion, and also The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Romeo and Juliet, Mayor of Zalamea, All My Sons, Lulu, Faith Healer, Duchess of Malfi, A Slight Ache, and Molly Sweeney amongst many others.

During his career he has played many German military roles such as Colonel Vogel in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Major Schroeder in Force 10 from Navarone, Reinhard Beck in The Scarlet and the Black and General Olbricht in The Plot to Kill Hitler. He was also the SS interrogator in Rogue Male. Byrne appeared as a Jewish concentration camp survivor who is instrumental in the capture of a Nazi war criminal (played by Sir Ian McKellen) in the film Apt Pupil.

He is also familiar to audiences as Smythe, a soldier who attempts to rape William Wallace's wife and first inspires Wallace to seek independence from England in the film Braveheart.

His other film credits include The Eagle Has Landed, Butley, A Bridge Too Far, The Medusa Touch, The Saint, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Good Father, The Sum of All Fears, Gangs of New York, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Mortdecai.

On television, he has appeared in Thriller, Tales of the Unexpected, The Professionals (TV Series), The Devil's Crown, Smiley's People, Yes, Prime Minister, Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, Between The Lines, Sharpe, Hornblower, A Touch of Frost, (The episode "Quarry", in which he played the father of Allie Byrne, his real-life daughter), Agatha Raisin (Hell’s Bells), Midsomer Murders (The Ghost of Causton Abbey), The Mists of Avalon, Waking the Dead, The Body Farm, Honest, Hamish Macbeth, and Casualty.

From April 2008 to January 2010, Byrne starred in Coronation Street, as Ted Page, Gail Platt's long lost father and the ex-lover of Audrey Roberts.

Byrne appeared in State of Play at the Edinburgh Festival written by Zia Trench.

He played Romeo to Siân Phillips' Juliet at the Bristol Old Vic.

He played Alfred Maxwell in BBC's Casualty, a terminally ill man with motor neuron disease and his friendship with clinical lead Connie Beauchamp.

He plays Bruce Titchener in The Archers.


Year Title Role
1963 The Scarlet Blade Lt. Hawke
The Silent Playground Roger
1972 Henry VIII and His Six Wives Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
1974 Butley Reg Nuttall
Vampyres Playboy
1975 Conduct Unbecoming 2nd Lt. Toby Strang
1976 The Omen Monk
The Eagle Has Landed Karl
1977 A Bridge Too Far Giles Vandeleur
Telefon Soviet Military Officer
1978 The Medusa Touch Sgt. Duff
Force 10 from Navarone Maj. Schroeder
1984 Champions Richard Hussey
1985 The Good Father Leonard Scruby
1986 Oedipus the King Chorus
1988 Saracen Colonel Patrick Ansell
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Ernst Vogel
1994 Nostradamus Inquisitor
1994 Sharpe Major Nairn
1995 Braveheart Smythe
1997 The Saint Yuri Vereshagin
The Island on Bird Street Bolek
Tomorrow Never Dies Admiral Kelly
1998 Gunshy Lange
This Is My Father Michael Finnegan
Apt Pupil Ben Kramer
Hornblower, The Even Chance Captain Keene
1999 Mauá: The Emperor and the King Richard Carruthers
2000 Battlefield Earth Parson Staffer
Proof of Life Lord Luthan
2001 The Musketeer Treville
2002 The Sum of All Fears Anatoli Grushkov
Gangs of New York Horace Greeley
Sunday Lord Widgery
2004 Beyond the Sea Dr. Andretti
2009 Blood: The Last Vampire Elder
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Gellert Grindelwald
2012 Outpost: Black Sun Neurath
Quartet Frank White
2013 Diana Christiaan Barnard
2014 The First Line Richard
2015 Mortdecai The Duke
2018 The Last Witness Coroner
Intrigo: Death of an Author Keller
TBA Sins of the Father Sebastian
2022 Strike Roy Phipps


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