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For the Irish radio and television presenter, see Gay Byrne.

Gabriel James Byrne (born 12 May 1950) 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 London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken.

He has appeared in over 35 feature 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).

One of Byrne's most identifiable roles is that of Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment (2008–2011), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Satellite Awards.

In 2018, Byrne was awarded the Irish Film and Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Irish cinema.


Early life[edit]

Byrne was born in Walkinstown, Dublin, the eldest of six children raised by devoutly Roman Catholic parents: a cooper and soldier, Dan, and a hospital nurse, Eileen (née Gannon) from Elphin, County Roscommon.[1] He has four siblings: Donal, Thomas, Breda, and Margaret; another, Marian, died at an early age.[2]

He attended Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, where he later taught Spanish and History.[3] 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."[4] He attended University College Dublin, where he studied archaeology and linguistics,[5] becoming proficient in Irish.

He played football in Dublin with Stella Maris.[6]

In January 2011, he spoke in an interview on The Meaning of Life about being sexually abused by priests during his childhood.[7][8]

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.[9]

Before becoming an actor, Byrne had many jobs, including archaeologist, cook, and Spanish and History schoolteacher at Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, Dublin. He started acting at age 29,[5] and began his career on stage with the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He later joined the Performing Arts Course in Sandymount Dublin 4 (Roslyn Park College) . Byrne came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans,[5] 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.[5]

In 1983, he appeared with Richard Burton in the miniseries Wagner, co-starring Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.[10] In 1985, Byrne 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'."[11]

In 2007 Byrne topped Kerry Film Festival's jury lineup.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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[15] 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.[citation needed]

In 2011, Byrne signed up to appear in a movie by director Costa Gavras; Le Capital,[16] 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.[citation needed]

In 2017, he appeared in Mad to Be Normal (previously titled Metanoia), a biopic of the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing, produced by Gizmo Films.[17]

He was cultural ambassador for Ireland until he criticised the tourism initiative The Gathering, describing it as an attempt by Ireland's politicians and media to fleece wealthy Americans.[18] Byrne 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."[19]

Personal life[edit]

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (April 2014)

Byrne had a 12-year relationship with the TV producer and presenter, Aine O'Connor, from 1974-86.[20]

He had begun a relationship with actress Ellen Barkin, and relocated to New York City to be with her. A year later, in 1988, Byrne 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 then divorced in 1999. Byrne currently resides in Manhattan.[21]

Byrne is actively involved in various charities. In 2004, Byrne was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. He became a patron of Croí (The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation) in 1997 in response to the care given to his mother while she was a patient in a Galway hospital.[citation needed]

At the 5th 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 this award is in recognition of the actor's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film".[22]

Although the actor 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 US in September 2009 at the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival.[23]

Byrne mentioned in interviews and his 1995 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.[24]

Byrne married his partner, Hannah Beth King, on 4 August 2014 at Ballymaloe House in County Cork, Ireland.[25] The couple had a baby girl in February 2017.[26]




Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Holiday Homes, Elphin, Co. Roscommon – Rent Self Catering Accommodation in Ireland".
  2. ^ Mottram, James (18 May 2007). "Gabriel Byrne: Not one of the usual suspects". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 August 2017. I'm what they call a recovering Catholic.
  3. ^ "Old boy Gabriel's starring role in city school reunion".
  4. ^ "Coming out as atheist: Noel Gallagher & Gabriel Byrne". National Secular Society. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Stated on Inside the Actors Studio (2000).
  6. ^ Wright, Alice (2 August 2013). "One Direction's Louis Tomlinson signs for Doncaster plus 10 other sporting celebs". Metro. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Gabriel Byrne: I was abused as a child". London: 20 January 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  8. ^ McDonald, Henry (19 January 2010). "Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse". London: Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Gabriel Byrne". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  10. ^ "A flame of love never quenched". The Irish Times. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Obituary: Denholm Elliott". The Independent. 7 October 1992.
  12. ^ Gabriel Byrne Tops Kerry Film Fest Jury Lineup
  13. ^ Jaafar, Ali (2 September 2009). "Parallel eyes Irish projects". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  14. ^ Ryan, Conor (15 October 2009). "Gleeson: Film plans will collapse if Bord Snip implemented". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  15. ^ Ferla, Ruth La (28 February 2008). "New York Times Article – 'He Listens. He Cares. He Isn't Real.'". Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Gabriel Byrne Enters 'Le Capital', Irish Actor in Talks To Star". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Current Features – Mad to be Normal". Gizmo Films. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Gabriel Byrne: Religion didn't do me any good". Irish Independent. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Hollywood Celebrities".
  21. ^ Polsky, Sara (April 30, 2010). "Actor Gabriel Byrne Buys in Nolita's 211 Elizabeth". Curbed.
  22. ^ "Honorary degree for Irish star". 27 November 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  23. ^ Kay, Jeremy. "Cherrybomb among five US premieres at LA Irish Film Festival". Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  24. ^ D'Angelo, Beverly. "GILFy Pleasures: 33 Hotties Over Age 50". Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Gabriel Byrne newborn daughter". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  27. ^ "On a Paving Stone Mounted (1978)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  28. ^ The Exonerated at the Bleecker Street Theatre, Lortel Archives

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. 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.

External links[edit]

  • Gabriel Byrne on IMDb
  • Gabriel Byrne at the Internet Broadway Database
  • "Star Bio's: Gabriel Byrne". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007.
  • Gabriel Byrne profile,; accessed 11 August 2017
  • Gabriel Byrne video interview,; accessed 11 August 2017
  • Gabriel Byrne discusses his role on In Treatment,, 30 May 2009
  • Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse,, 19 January 2010

Girl online and hitch get acquainted

Girl online and hitch get acquainted

Girl online and hitch get acquainted

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