Michael Byrne (actor)
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7 November 1939 |
London, England, UK
Byrne was born in London, England to Helen Byrne of Kilkenny Ireland, a single parent.
Michael, through his mothers work at the Anna Freud war nursery, was fortunate enough to be supported throughout his childhood by refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. This support continued far beyond nursery and indeed included funding for his first year of Drama School. He was then awarded the Gielgud scholarship.
Life and career
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 also The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Romeo and Juliette, Mayor of Zalamea, All my sons, Lulu, Faith Healer, Duchess of Malfi, A slight Ache, Molly Sweeney amongst many others.
During his career he has played many 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, General Olbricht in The Plot to Kill Hitler . He is 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 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 Tales of the Unexpected, The Devil's Crown, Smiley's People, Yes, Prime Minister, Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, Between The Lines, Sharpe, A Touch of Frost,The Mists of Avalon, Waking the Dead, The Body Farm, Honest, Hamish Macbeth, and Casualty.
Byrne appeared in State of Play at the Edinburgh Festival written by Zia Trench.
He plays Bruce Titchener in The Archers.
- The Scarlet Blade (1963) .... Lt. Hawke (uncredited)
- The Image (1969) .... The Artist
- Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972) .... Edward Seymour
- Vampyres (1974) .... Playboy
- Butley (1974) .... Reg Nuttall
- Conduct Unbecoming (1975) .... 2nd Lt. Toby Strang
- Rogue Male (1976) .... Monk (uncredited)
- The Eagle Has Landed (1976) .... Karl
- A Bridge Too Far (1977) .... Lt. Col. Giles Vandeleur
- Telefon (1978) .... Soviet Military Officer (uncredited)
- The Medusa Touch (1978) .... Duff
- Force 10 from Navarone (1978) .... Maj. Schroeder
- The Scarlet and the Black (1983) .... Reinhard Beck
- Champions (1984) .... Richard Hussey
- The Good Father (1985) .... Leonard Scruby
- Buster (1988) .... Poyser
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) .... SS-Standartenführer (colonel) Ernst Vogel
- The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990) .... Gen. Olbricht
- Nostradamus (1994) .... Inquisitor
- Braveheart (1995) .... Smythe
- The Saint (1997) .... Vereshagin, Tretiak's Aide
- The Island on Bird Street (1997) .... Bolek
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) .... Admiral Kelly (HMS Bedford)
- Gunshy (1998) .... Lange
- Apt Pupil (1998) .... Ben Kramer
- Battlefield Earth (2000) .... Parson Staffer
- Proof of Life (2000) .... Lord Luthan
- The Musketeer (2001) .... Treville, Head of the Musketeers
- The Sum of All Fears (2002) .... Anatoly Grushkov
- Gangs of New York (2002) .... Horace Greeley
- Beyond the Sea (2004) .... Dr. Andretti
- The Mark of Cain (2007) .... Lieut General Strathairn
- Blood: The Last Vampire (2009) .... Elder
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) .... Gellert Grindelwald
- Outpost: Black Sun (2012) .... Neurath
- Quartet (2012) .... Frank White
- Diana (2013) .... Christiaan Barnard
- Mortdecai (2015) .... The Duke