Date of birth : 1950-05-12
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality : Irish
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-26
Gabriel Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined Londo's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. The actor has now starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing and Stigmata, in addition to writing two. Byrne's producing credits include the Academy Award-nominated In the Name of the Father. Currently, he is receiving much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment.
Byrne, the first of six children, was born in Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland, the son of a cooper and soldier, Dan, and a hospital nurse from Galway, Eileen (née Gannon). His siblings are Donal, Thomas, Breda, and Margaret. Another, Marian, died at a young age. Byrne was raised a strict Roman Catholic and educated in Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, where he later taught Spanish and History. About his early training to become a priest, he said in an interview, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that one had a vocation. I realised subsequently that I didn't." He attended University College Dublin, where he studied archaeology and linguistics, becoming proficient in Irish. He played football in Dublin with the Stella Maris Football Club in Drumcondra.
In January 2010, he spoke in an interview on The Meaning of Life about being sexually abused by priests during his childhood.
Byrne worked in archeology after he left UCD but maintained his love of his language, writing Draíocht (Magic), the first drama in Irish on Ireland's national Irish television station, TG4, in 1996.
He discovered his acting ability as a young adult. Before that he worked at several occupations which included being an archaeologist, a cook, a bullfighter, and a Spanish schoolteacher. He begin acting when he was 29. He began on stage at the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, later he joined the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal National Theatre in London.
Byrne came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans, later starring in the spin-off series, Bracken. He made his film début in 1981 as Lord Uther Pendragon in John Boorman's King Arthur epic, Excalibur.
In 2007 Byrne was presented with the first of the newly created Volta awards at the 5th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. This was for lifetime achievement in acting. He also received the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, of Trinity College, Dublin on February 20, 2007. He was awarded an honorary degree in late 2007 by the National University of Ireland, Galway, in recognition of Byrne's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film".
2006 : Played ; Jindabyne ; Emotional Arithmetic
2008 - 2010 : In Treatment
Golden Globe Award win and Emmy Award nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
2009 : Butte, America ; Perrier's Bounty ; Leningrad
Awards and nominations:
2008 : Dingle Film Festival Gregory Peck Excellence in the Art of Film Award
2009 : Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
View the full website biography of Gabriel Byrne.