Gabriel James Byrne
12 May 1950
|Occupation||Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
(m. 1988; div. 1999)
Hannah Beth King
Gabriel James Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, cultural ambassador, audiobook narrator and author. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish drama serial The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken.
He has starred in more than 70 films for some of cinema's best known directors. For his Broadway work, he has received three Tony nominations for roles in the work of Eugene O'Neill as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award for A Touch of the Poet. For his television work, Byrne has been nominated for three Emmys. For his performance in HBO's American drama In Treatment (2008–2010) in the role of Paul Weston, one of his most identifiable roles, he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Satellite Awards.
He has starred in many films, including: Excalibur (1981), Miller's Crossing (1990), The Usual Suspects (1995), Stigmata (1999), End of Days (1999), Spider (2002), Jindabyne (2006), Vampire Academy (2014), The 33 (2015), and Hereditary (2018), and co-wrote The Last of the High Kings (1996). Byrne has also produced several films, including the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father (1993). Since 2019, he has starred in a TV series adaptation of War of the Worlds.
In 2018, Byrne was awarded the Irish Film and Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Irish cinema. In 2020, he was listed at number 17 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Gabriel Byrne was born in Walkinstown, Dublin, the son of devoutly Roman Catholic parents: a cooper and soldier, Dan, and a hospital nurse, Eileen (née Gannon), from Elphin, County Roscommon. He has five younger siblings: Donal, Thomas, Breda, Margaret, and a sister who died at an early age, Marian.
He attended 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.
Byrne worked in archaeology when he left UCD. He maintained his love of his language, later writing the first television drama in Irish, Draíocht, on Ireland's national Irish-language television station, TG4, when it began broadcasting in 1996.
Before becoming an actor, Byrne had many jobs, including archaeologist, cook, and Spanish and history school teacher at Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin. He started acting at age 29, and began his career on stage with the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He later joined the Performing Arts Course at Roslyn Park College in Sandymount. He came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans, subsequently starring in his own spin-off series, Bracken. His first play for television was Michael Feeney Callan's Love Is ... (RTÉ). He made his film debut in 1981, as King Uther Pendragon in John Boorman's King Arthur epic, Excalibur.
In 1983, he appeared with Richard Burton in the miniseries Wagner, co-starring Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. In 1985, he starred in the acclaimed political thriller Defence of the Realm, though he subsequently claimed he had been upstaged by his co-star, veteran actor Denholm Elliott: "I amended the actor's cliché to 'Never work with children, animals or Denholm Elliott'." In the 90s, his production company Plurabelle Films received a first look deal with Phoenix Pictures.
Upon his return to theatre in 2008, he appeared as King Arthur in Camelot with the New York Philharmonic from 7 to 10 May, following the footsteps of veteran actors Richard Burton and Richard Harris. Byrne was cast in a film adaptation of Flann O'Brien's metafictional novel At Swim-Two-Birds, alongside Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy. Actor Brendan Gleeson was set to direct the film. In October 2009, however, Gleeson expressed fear that, should the Irish Film Board be abolished as planned by the Irish State, the production might fall through.
Byrne starred as therapist Paul Weston in the HBO series In Treatment from 2008 to 2010. He was named as TV's "latest Dr. McDreamy" by The New York Times for this role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2008. He also received his first Emmy Award nomination (Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series) for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards that same year.
In 2011, he signed up to appear in a film by director Costa Gavras, Le Capital, an adaptation of Stéphane Osmont's novel of the same name. In 2013, he starred as Earl Haraldson in the first season of Vikings opposite Travis Fimmel and Clive Standen.
Byrne had a 12-year relationship with television producer and presenter Aine O'Connor, from 1974 to 1986.
He began a relationship with actress Ellen Barkin, and relocated to Manhattan to be with her. A year later, in 1988, he married Barkin, with whom he has two children, John "Jack" Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992). The couple separated amicably in 1993, and divorced in 1999.
At the fifth Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2007, Byrne was presented with the first of the newly created Volta awards, for lifetime achievement in acting. He received the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, of Trinity College Dublin on 20 February 2007. In November 2007, he was awarded an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland, Galway; the president of the university, Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said that the award was in recognition of the actor's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film".
Although Byrne is noted as a fiercely private person, he released a documentary for the 20th Galway Film Fleadh in the summer of 2008 called Stories from Home, an intimate portrait about his life. It premiered in the United States in September 2009 at the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival.
Byrne mentioned in interviews and his 1994 autobiography, Pictures in My Head that he hates being called "brooding". He has been listed by People as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive". Entertainment Weekly has also dubbed Byrne as one of the hottest celebrities over the age of 50.
He married his partner, Hannah Beth King, on 4 August 2014 at Ballymaloe House in County Cork. Their daughter, Maisie James, was born in February 2017. As of 2021, Byrne lives with his family in Rockport, Maine.
Byrne is an atheist, and has been vocally critical of the Catholic Church, which he described in a 2011 interview with The Guardian as "repressive of women and minorities and repressive of its followers." However, in the same interview, he said that he still reads the Bible "for the fables".
He was cultural ambassador for Ireland until he criticised The Gathering, a tourism initiative to encourage tourists of Irish heritage to visit the country, describing it as "a scam" and adding that the majority of Irish people "don't give a shit about the Diaspora except to shake them down for a few quid." Byrne also criticised the marketing strategy employed by Guinness known as Arthur's Day as "a cynical piece of exercise in a country which has a huge drinking problem."
|1978||On a Paving Stone Mounted||Unknown|
|1981||Love Is ...||Larry|
|1983||Hanna K.||Joshua Herzog|
|1983||The Keep||Sturmbannfuhrer Erich Kaempffer|
|1985||Defence of the Realm||Nick Mullen|
|1987||Lionheart||The Black Prince|
|1987||Hello Again||Dr. Kevin Scanlon|
|1987||Julia and Julia||Paolo Vinci|
|1989||A Soldier's Tale||Saul|
|1989||Diamond Skulls||Lord Hugo Bruckton|
|1990||Miller's Crossing||Tom Reagan|
|1990||Shipwrecked||Lieutenant John Merrick|
|1992||Into the West||Papa Reilly||Also associate producer|
|1992||Cool World||Jack Deebs|
|1993||Point of No Return (also known as The Assassin)||Bob|
|1993||A Dangerous Woman||Colin Mackey|
|1993||In the Name of the Father||Unknown||Executive producer|
|1994||A Simple Twist of Fate||John Newland|
|1994||Trial by Jury||Daniel Graham|
|1994||Little Women||Professor Friedrich Bhaer|
|1994||Prince of Jutland||Fenge|
|1995||The Usual Suspects||Dean Keaton / Keyser Söze (flashback)||National Board of Review Award for Best Cast|
|1995||Dead Man||Charlie Dickinson|
|1995||Frankie Starlight||Jack Kelly|
|1996||Mad Dog Time||Ben London|
|1996||The Last of the High Kings||Jack Griffin||Also writer and executive producer|
|1996||Somebody Is Waiting||Roger Ellis||Also executive producer|
|1996||Dr. Hagard's Disease||Unknown||Unreleased; also executive producer|
|1997||Smilla's Sense of Snow||The Mechanic|
|1997||The End of Violence||Ray Bering|
|1997||This Is the Sea||Rohan|
|1998||The Man in the Iron Mask||D'Artagnan|
|1998||The Brylcreem Boys||Sean O'Brien||Also co-producer|
|1998||Quest for Camelot||Sir Lionel||Voice|
|1998||Enemy of the State||NSA Agent Fake Brill|
|1999||Stigmata||Father Andrew Kiernan||Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Horror|
Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
|1999||End of Days||The Man / Satan||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|2000||Canone inverso||The Violinist ('Jeno Varga')|
|2000||Mad About Mambo||Unknown||Also executive producer|
|2002||Virginia's Run||Ford Lofton|
|2002||Emmett's Mark||Jack Marlow / Stephen Bracken|
|2002||Horses: The Story of Equus||Narrator (voice)|
|2002||Ghost Ship||Captain Sean Murphy|
|2003||Flight from Death||Narrator (voice)|
|2004||Vanity Fair||The Marquess of Steyne|
|2004||The Bridge of San Luis Rey||Brother Juniper|
|2005||Assault on Precinct 13||Captain Marcus Duvall|
|2006||Jindabyne||Stewart Kane||Nominated—Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
|2007||Emotional Arithmetic||Christopher Lewis|
|2009||Perrier's Bounty||The Reaper||Voice|
|2012||Le Capital||Dittmar Rigule|
|2012||I, Anna||Detective Bernie Reid|
|2013||Just a Sigh (Le Temps de l'aventure)||Doug|
|2013||All Things to All Men||Joseph Corsco|
|2014||Vampire Academy||Victor Dashkov|
|2015||The 33||Andre Sougarret|
|2015||Louder Than Bombs||Gene Reed|
|2015||Nobody Wants the Night||Bram Trevor|
|2016||Carrie Pilby||Mr. Daniel Pilby|
|2016||No Pay, Nudity||Lawrence Rose|
|2017||Mad to Be Normal||Jim|
|2017||Lies We Tell||Donald|
|2018||In the Cloud||Doc Wolff|
|2018||An L.A. Minute||Ted Gold|
|2018||Hereditary||Steve Graham||Also executive producer|
|2018||Atlantic Salmon: Lost at Sea||Narrator (voice)|
|2020||Lost Girls||Richard Dormer|
|2020||Death of a Ladies' Man||Samuel O'Shea|
|2021||Murder at Emigrant Gulch|
|1978–1979||The Riordans||Pat Barry||Drama series|
|1980–1982||Bracken||Pat Barry||Drama series|
|1981||Strangers||Johnny Maguire||Episode: "The Flowers of Edinburgh"|
|1981||The Search for Alexander the Great||Ptolemy||4 episodes|
|1982||Joyce in June||Keogh / Blazes Boylan||Television film|
|1983||Wagner||Karl Ritter||3 episodes|
|1985||Christopher Columbus||Christopher Columbus||4 episodes|
|1985||Mussolini: The Untold Story||Vittorio Mussolini||6 episodes|
|1993||Intimate Portrait||Narrator (voice)||Episode: "Kim Cattrall"|
|1994||Screen Two||The Good Thief||Episode: "All Things Bright and Beautiful"|
|1995||Buffalo Girls||Teddy Blue||Television film|
|1995||Saturday Night Live||Himself / Various Characters||Episode: "Gabriel Byrne/Alanis Morissette"|
|1997||Glenroe||Pat Barry||Episode: "Miley's New Bullock"|
|1997||Weapons of Mass Distraction||Lionel Powers||Television film|
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|2000||Madigan Men||Ben Madigan||12 episodes; also co-executive producer|
|2008–2010||In Treatment||Dr. Paul Weston||106 episodes|
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2008–09)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2008–09)
|2012||Secret State||Tom Dawkins||4 episodes|
|2013||Vikings||Earl Haraldson||6 episodes|
|2016||Marco Polo||Pope Gregory X||Episode: "Let God's Work Begin"|
|2018||Maniac||Porter Milgrim||5 episodes|
|2019||The War of the Worlds||Bill Ward||Canal + series|
|2000||Walter Kerr Theatre (Broadway)||A Moon for the Misbegotten||James 'Jim' Tyrone, Jr.||Nominated for a Tony Award (Best Actor in a Play) and Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Actor in a Play); Winner of the Theatre World Award|
|2002||Bleecker Street Theatre (Off-Broadway)||The Exonerated||Kerry Max Cook||Replacement|
|2005||Studio 54 (Broadway)||A Touch of the Poet||Cornelius Melody||Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play|
|2008||Avery Fisher Hall||Camelot||King Arthur||Performance for the New York Philharmonic's annual musical event from 7–10 May 2008|
|2016||American Airlines Theatre (Broadway)||Long Day's Journey into Night||James Tyrone||Nominated for a Tony Award (Best Actor in a Play)|
Awards and nominations
|1979||Jacob's Awards||Jacob's Award for Best Actor in a TV Series (Drama)||Won||For Bracken|
|1987||Fantasporto||International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor||Won||For Gothic and Defence of the Realm|
|1995||National Board of Review of Motion Pictures||NBR Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble||Won||For The Usual Suspects|
|1998||Satellite Awards||Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television||Nominated||For Weapons of Mass Distraction|
|Grammy Awards||Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (Children)||Nominated||For The Star-Child and The Nightingale and the Rose (Oscar Wilde)|
|1999||Cinequest Film Festival||Maverick Tribute Award||Won|
|2000||Theatre World Awards||Theatre World Award for Acting||Won||For A Moon for the Misbegotten|
|Tony Awards||Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play||Nominated|
|Razzie Awards||Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated||For End of Days and Stigmata|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Actor (Horror)||Nominated||For Stigmata|
|2005||Irish Film and Television Awards||IFTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film||Nominated||For Wah-Wah|
|2006||Inside Film Awards||IF Award for Best Actor||Nominated||For Jindabyne|
|Australian Film Institute Awards||AFI Award for Best Lead Actor||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play||Won||For A Touch of the Poet|
|2007||Jameson Dublin International Film Festival||Volta Award for Lifetime Achievement in Acting||Won||This was the first year for the presentation of the award.|
|2008||Irish Film and Television Awards||IFTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film||Nominated||For Jindabyne|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated||For In Treatment|
|Dingle Film Festival||Gregory Peck Excellence in the Art of Film Award||Won||This is the first year for the presentation of the award, which was named in honour of the late Gregory Peck.|
|Golden Globe Awards||Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama||Won||For In Treatment|
|Satellite Awards||Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama||Nominated|
|2009||Primetime Emmy Awards||Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2016||Tony Awards||Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play||Nominated||For Long Day's Journey into Night|
|2018||Irish Film and Television Awards||Lifetime Achievement Award||Honorary Award Recipient||For his contribution to cinema|
|2021||Best Actor in a Leading Role - Film||Pending||For Death of a Ladies' Man|
In 2007, NUI Galway awarded him an honorary doctorate for his outstanding contribution to Irish and international film, theatre and the arts.
- Pictures in My Head. Dublin: Wolfhound Press Ltd. 1994. ISBN 978-0-86327-462-6.
- Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir. New York: Grove Press. 2021. ISBN 978-0-8021-5712-6.
- Clarke, Donald; Brady, Tara. "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Holiday Homes, Elphin, Co. Roscommon – Rent Self Catering Accommodation in Ireland". myhome.ie.
Mottram, James (18 May 2007). "Gabriel Byrne: Not one of the usual suspects". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
I'm what they call a recovering Catholic.
- "Old boy Gabriel's starring role in city school reunion". Herald.ie.
- "Coming out as atheist: Noel Gallagher & Gabriel Byrne". National Secular Society. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio (2000).
- Wright, Alice (2 August 2013). "One Direction's Louis Tomlinson signs for Doncaster plus 10 other sporting celebs". Metro. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Gabriel Byrne: I was abused as a child". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 20 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- McDonald, Henry (19 January 2010). "Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse". London: Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Gabriel Byrne". IMDb. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- "A flame of love never quenched". The Irish Times. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "Obituary: Denholm Elliott". The Independent. 7 October 1992.
- Cox, Benedict Carver,Dan; Carver, Benedict; Cox, Dan (6 October 1998). "Byrne renews 1st-look film deal with Phoenix". Variety. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
- Gabriel Byrne Tops Kerry Film Fest Jury Lineup
- Jaafar, Ali (2 September 2009). "Parallel eyes Irish projects". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
- Ryan, Conor (15 October 2009). "Gleeson: Film plans will collapse if Bord Snip implemented". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- La Ferla, Ruth (28 February 2008). "New York Times Article – 'He Listens. He Cares. He Isn't Real.'". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Gabriel Byrne Enters 'Le Capital', Irish Actor in Talks To Star". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "Current Features – Mad to be Normal". www.gizmofilms.com. Gizmo Films. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "Hollywood Celebrities". Hollywood.com.
- Polsky, Sara (30 April 2010). "Actor Gabriel Byrne Buys in Nolita's 211 Elizabeth". Curbed.
- "Honorary degree for Irish star". BreakingNews.ie. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- Kay, Jeremy. "Cherrybomb among five US premieres at LA Irish Film Festival". ScreenDaily.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- D'Angelo, Beverly. "GILFy Pleasures: 33 Hotties Over Age 50". EW.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- English, Eoin (7 August 2014). "Gabriel Byrne's secret wedding finalised over coffee and scones in popular Cork restaurant". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Lyall, Sarah (7 January 2021). "This Time, He Stars In His Own Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "'In Treatment' star Gabriel Bryne says he is 'extremely anti-Catholic". IrishCentral.com. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Gabriel Byrne: Religion didn't do me any good". Irish Independent. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- O'Shea, James (4 December 2012). "Gabriel Byrne again slams The Gathering and Arthur's Day: Actor says Ireland needs a real relationship with the Diaspora". Irish Central. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "On a Paving Stone Mounted (1978)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- The Exonerated at the Bleecker Street Theatre, Lortel Archives
- Barton, Ruth (May 2006). Acting Irish in Hollywood: from Fitzgerald to Farrell. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. pp. 163–179. ISBN 978-0-7165-3343-6. OCLC 70173129.
- Byrne, Gabriel (1995). Pictures in My Head. Boulder, Colombia: Roberts Rinehart. ISBN 978-1-57098-046-6. OCLC 33180598.
- Grunert, Andrea (2006). "La lumière derrière le masque : une approche du jeu de Gabriel Byrne". In Starfield, Penny (ed.). Masque et lumière (in French). Corlet: Corlet éditions Diffusion. pp. 222–229. ISBN 978-2-84706-122-2. OCLC 492099503.
- O'Connor, Áine (1996). Leading Hollywood: Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Patrick Bergin, Pierce Brosnan. Dublin: Wolfhound Press. ISBN 978-0-86327-555-5. OCLC 605650228.
- O'Connor, Áine (1997). Hollywood Irish: In Their Own Words; Illustrated Interviews with Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn and Patrick Bergin. Boulder, Colombia: Roberts Rinehart. ISBN 978-1-57098-109-8. OCLC 36919802.
- Gabriel Byrne at IMDb
- Gabriel Byrne at the Internet Broadway Database
- Gabriel Byrne at the BFI's Screenonline
- "Star Bio's: Gabriel Byrne". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007.
- Gabriel Byrne profile, artforamnesty.org; accessed 11 August 2017
- Gabriel Byrne video interview, jewreview.net; accessed 11 August 2017
- Gabriel Byrne discusses his role on In Treatment, npr.org, 30 May 2009
- Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse, Guardian.co.uk, 19 January 2010