Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$10 million
Date Of BirthMay 12, 1950
SpouseHannah Beth King (m. 2014), Ellen Barkin (m. 1988–1999)
FactAutobiography titled "Pictures in My Head"

Gabriel Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined the Abbey Theatre in the 1970s. Byrne’s screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and later starred in his breakthrough film role as an Irish terrorist in the British drama film Excalibur. He has worked on both stage and screen, earning an Tony Award for his role in the play A Life in the Theatre and an Academy Award nomination for his role as a repressed father in the film In the Name of the Father. Byrne has also starred in several films including The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing and Stigmata. He has also directed two films, The Last of the High Kings and Jindabyne.

Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland, on May 12, 1950. His parents, Daniel and Brigid (née Doyle), were both teachers. He has four older siblings: Donal, Thomas, Breda, and Margaret; another, Marianne, died at a young age. Byrne was raised a Catholic and educated by the Christian Brothers at Ardscoil Éanna in Crumlin, where he later taught Spanish and History. He later attended University College Dublin (UCD), where he studied archaeology and linguistics. He played football for Bohemian F.C. and was a member of the National University of Ireland team that won the 1973–74 Intervarsity Cup. He later became involved with the Dublin Shakespeare Festival, where he performed in productions of Othello and Macbeth.

Byrne’s professional acting career began in the Focus Theatre in 1976, where he spent two years as an actor and assistant director. He then joined the Abbey Theatre, where he performed in a number of productions including Hamlet and The Playboy of the Western World. He made his screen debut in 1977 with a small role in the Irish soap opera The Riordans. Byrne’s breakthrough film role came in 1981 when he played an Irish terrorist in the British drama film Excalibur. He has since appeared in over 60 films including The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing and Stigmata. He has also starred in several stage productions, winning a Tony Award for his role in the play A Life in the Theatre.

Byrne has been married twice: first to actress Ellen Barkin from 1988 to 1999, with whom he has two children; and secondly to Hannah Beth King since 2001. He has three children from his second marriage. Byrne is a patron of the Dublin International Film Festival and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was appointed an honorary cultural ambassador for Ireland by then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern in 2003. In 2010, Byrne was presented with an Honorary Doctorate by National University of Ireland Galway in recognition of his contributions to Irish film and television.

General Info

Full NameGabriel Byrne
Net Worth$10 million
Date Of BirthMay 12, 1950
Height1.78 m
ProfessionScreenwriter, Film producer, Author, Film director, Actor, Teacher, Cook, Archaeologist
EducationUniversity College Dublin


SpouseHannah Beth King (m. 2014), Ellen Barkin (m. 1988–1999)
ChildrenRomy Marion Byrne, Jack Daniel Byrne
ParentsEileen Gannon, Dan Byrne
SiblingsDonal Byrne, Margaret Byrne, Breda Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Marian Byrne


AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play
NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Play, Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor, Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or...
MoviesThe Usual Suspects, Louder Than Bombs, Miller's Crossing, End of Days, The Man in the Iron Mask, Stigmata, Ghost Ship, Little Women, Vampire Academy, Excalibur, Point of No Return, Just a Sigh, The 33, Vanity Fair, Into the West, Cool World, Assault on Precinct 13, Dead Man, I, Anna, Enemy of the St...
TV ShowsIn Treatment, Vikings, Quirke, The Riordans, Madigan Men, Mussolini: The Untold Story, Glenroe, Live from Lincoln Center, Bracken, Strangers

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1I like the level of anonymity I have now. When I was doing In Treatment (2008), it became a nightmare - much more than it had been before that. You have to be very careful with television. I love working but I don't want that kind of attention again.
2Unfortunately, I experienced some sexual abuse. It was a known and admitted fact of life amongst us that there was this particular man, and you didn't want to be left in the dressing room with him. There were certain boundaries, sexual boundaries, that were crossed.
3[on being beaten in school, specifically in math class] - I feared being beaten, and I was beaten very regularly. It did affect my sense of myself. ... I didn't feel that I suffered at the time. I just felt it was the way of the world. It took many years to come to terms with and to forgive those incidents that I felt had deeply hurt me.
4[on dealing with depression] - A single negative thought begins in your head. That single negative thought interacts with another negative thought and becomes a reality. And the world seems like the darkest, bleakest, blackest place that you can possibly be. And it has nothing to do with logic, it has nothing to do with reality. It's a chemical, and I suppose ultimately becomes a spiritual, imbalance in the body and in the mind. But it feels like the truth. That's what's so insidious about it.
5A lot of people who live in America, and it's not their fault, have a stereotypical view of Ireland. You get a movie like The Quiet Man (1952) and people arrive at Shannon airport and expect to be met by Barry Fitzgerald.
6It's the job of the director to be like a great orchestra leader, and bring out the music that the writer wrote, through the instruments, which are the actors.
7I did a play by Eugene O'Neill called "A Touch of the Poet" on Broadway a few years ago. I remember looking out into the audience at one point, and the theater was packed with wealthy, white-haired people. After the curtain call I turned to one of the other actors and said 'Theater is dead.' He laughed and said "That's a good one." I said 'No, seriously, theater as we're doing it now is dead. There's no audience. There's no one under 60 out there. They're all white. And they can all afford $300 for a night.
8[on working with Natasha Richardson on Gothic (1986)] It was a privilege for me to work with her in her first film. Her magnetism was incontestable, both as a person and as an actress. When you're working with somebody you see them in a very different light. I just knew she was special.
9I think the reason certain societies thrive while others don't is the society that is open to new ideas is going to thrive, while the ones that don't, that oppose any outside or opposing cultural influences, those are in trouble, and I think America has done the latter over the past 20 or more years. The worse it is for America, the worse it is for the rest of us.
10American movies to me - and, I mean, I've said this before a million times - are becoming more and more homogeneous because the marketing objective - and marketing now plays such a major role in movies that it almost obliterates everything else - the marketing objective is the lowest common denominator. "You can't put that in; let's put the car chase, let's put the sex scene, let's put the fight in, let's get them back together, they end up happily, they walk off into the sun..." So that there's a formulaic predictability to American movies. That, allied with the cynicism of the way movies are put together - product placement and spin-offs and toys and all kinds of crap that, you know, have nothing to do with the telling of stories - they've turned American movies into McMovies. So that when the movie-goer gets his movie, it's like a hamburger: he doesn't want a piece of aubergine in there; he wants his onion, his tomato, his hamburger and his bun. And he doesn't want the bun hard, he wants it soft. And he wants it in two minutes.
11Sometimes, the vanity of actors is that we imagine we're so completely different on screen from who we are in real life. When really, all actors play themselves.
12I've always felt that acting is about exposure. You expose yourself in the choices you make. It's when you present yourself as truthfully as you can, in a given situation, that you are being that character. Even though you're being yourself.
13The truth is that actors don't really have any control over the end product. To think that you have control is a delusion and it's also incredibly frustrating to be investing that much hope into something that essentially boils down to marketing. So you try to do movies that you feel connected with and you work with directors and actors you admire.
14I would like to break out of this "dark, brooding" image, cause I'm actually not like that at all. In Ireland, brooding is a term we use for hens. A brooding hen is supposed to lay eggs. Everytime somebody says "He's dark and brooding" I think: "He's about to lay an egg".


1Not a relation of Rose Byrne.
2Didn't start acting until he was twenty-nine years old.
3In Live from Lincoln Center: Camelot (2008) Gabriel Byrne plays King Arthur. In Excalibur (1981) he plays Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon.
4Cites Federico Fellini's Amarcord (1973) as one of his all-time favorite movies.
5Learned to speak Gaelic in college and still speaks it fluently.
6Speaks English and Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic).
7He was a football played with the Stella Maris Football Club in Drumcondra, Dublin.
8He's a patron of The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation, Croi, since 1997.
9He has Irish citizenship and resident alien status in the United States.
10Son of Dan Byrne and Eileen Gannon.
11Older brother of Donal, Thomas, Breda, Margaret and Marian (deceased).
12Has appeared in 3 roles romantically opposite Laura Linney, "A Simple Twist of Fate," "P.S." and "Jindabyne.".
13Although he separated from Ellen Barkin in 1993, he did not file for divorce until May 1999.
14Was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten."
15Autobiography titled "Pictures in My Head"
16Educated by the Christian Brothers in Dublin.
17He went from a priest in Stigmata (1999) to Satan in End of Days (1999).
18In a November 1999 interview with the New York Post, he claimed to have been molested by his Latin teacher while at an English seminary preparing for priesthood.
19Before becoming an actor, he was an archaelogist, a schoolteacher, a short-order cook, and a bullfighter.
20Started acting at the age of 29 and he went to America for the first time when he was 37.
21Has a son, Jack Daniel, born 1989; and a daughter, Romy Marion, born 1992.




Hanna K.1983Joshua Herzog
The Rocking Horse Winner1983ShortBassett
Joyce in June1982TV MovieKeogh / Blazes Boylan
Bracken1980-1982TV SeriesPat Barry
Strangers1981TV SeriesJohnny Maguire
The Search for Alexander the Great1981TV Mini-SeriesPtolemy
Excalibur1981Uther Pendragon
The Outsider1979
The Riordans1978-1979TV SeriesPat Barry
On a Paving Stone Mounted1978
Wings of Ash: A Dramatization of the Life of Antonin Artaud1978Short
The Burke Enigma1978TV Series
Last of Summer1978TV Series
An L.A. Minute2017post-productionTed Gold
Hamlet Revenantpre-production
Lies We Tellpost-productionDonald
Mad to Be Normal2017Jim
No Pay, Nudity2016Lawrence Rose
Carrie Pilby2016Mr. Pilby
Marco Polo2016TV SeriesPope Gregory X
The 332015Andre Sougarret
Louder Than Bombs2015Gene
Nadie quiere la noche2015Bram
Vikings: Athelstan's Journal2015TV SeriesEarl Haraldson
Quirke2014TV Mini-SeriesQuirke
Vampire Academy2014Victor Dashkov
Le temps de l'aventure2013Doug
Vikings2013TV SeriesEarl Haraldson
All Things to All Men2013Joseph Corso
Secret State2012TV Mini-SeriesTom Dawkins
Le capital2012Dittmar Rigule
I, Anna2012D.C.I. Bernie Reid
In Treatment2008-2010TV SeriesDr. Paul Weston
Leningrad2009Parker (as Gebriel Birn)
Perrier's Bounty2009Voice of The Reaper (voice)
2:222008Detective Swain (uncredited)
Live from Lincoln Center2008TV SeriesKing Arthur
Still Birth Chicken2008Short
Emotional Arithmetic2007Christopher Lewis
Jindabyne2006Stewart Kane
Wah-Wah2005Harry Compton
Assault on Precinct 132005Capt. Marcus Duvall
The Bridge of San Luis Rey2004Brother Juniper
P.S.2004Peter Harrington
Vanity Fair2004The Marquess of Steyne
Patrick2004TV Movie documentaryPatrick (voice)
Ghost Ship2002Murphy
Spider2002Bill Cleg
Emmett's Mark2002Jack Marlow Stephen Bracken
Virginia's Run2002Ford Lofton
When Brendan Met Trudy2000Special Appearance
Canone inverso - Making Love2000The Violinist
Madigan Men2000TV SeriesBenjamin Madigan
End of Days1999The Man
Stigmata1999Father Andrew Kiernan
Enemy of the State1998Brill
Quest for Camelot1998Lionel (voice)
The Brylcreem Boys1998Commandant O'Brien
The Man in the Iron Mask1998/ID'Artagnan
Polish Wedding1998Bolek
Pirates1998Narrator (voice)
This Is the Sea1997Rohan
Weapons of Mass Distraction1997TV MovieLionel Powers
The End of Violence1997Ray Bering
Glenroe1997TV SeriesPat Barry
Smilla's Sense of Snow1997The Mechanic
Draiocht1996TV MovieFather
Dr Hagard's Disease1996
Somebody Is Waiting1996Roger Ellis
The Last of the High Kings1996Jack Griffin
Mad Dog Time1996Ben London
Frankie Starlight1995Jack Kelly
Dead Man1995Charlie Dickinson
Buffalo Girls1995TV Mini-SeriesTeddy Blue
Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone?1995Narrator (voice)
The Usual Suspects1995Keaton
Little Women1994Friedrich Bhaer
Trial by Jury1994Daniel Graham
A Simple Twist of Fate1994John Newland
Screen Two1994TV SeriesThe Good Thief
Royal Deceit1994Fenge
A Dangerous Woman1993Mackey
Point of No Return1993Bob
Into the West1992Papa Reilly
Cool World1992Jack Deebs
Shipwrecked1990Lt. John Merrick
Miller's Crossing1990Tom Reagan
Dark Obsession1989Lord Hugo Bruckton
A Soldier's Tale1989Saul
The Courier1988Val
Hello Again1987Kevin Scanlon
Julia and Julia1987Paolo
Lionheart1987Black Prince
Defense of the Realm1986Nicholas 'Nick' Mullen
Mussolini: The Untold Story1985TV Mini-SeriesVittorio Mussolini
Christopher Columbus1985TV Mini-SeriesChristopher Columbus
Reflections1984William Masters
The Treatment1984TV MovieFather Michael
The Keep1983Kaempffer
Wagner1981-1983TV SeriesKarl Ritter


Tent City, U.S.A.2012TV Movie documentary executive producer
Madigan Men2000TV Series co-executive producer - 2 episodes
Mad About Mambo2000executive producer
The Brylcreem Boys1998co-producer
Dr Hagard's Disease1996executive producer
Somebody Is Waiting1996co-producer
The Last of the High Kings1996co-executive producer
In the Name of the Father1993executive producer
Into the West1992associate producer


Draiocht1996TV Movie
The Last of the High Kings1996


Mad Dog Time1996performer: "My Way"


Prodigal Sons2008Documentary many thanks


The 70th Annual Tony Awards2016TV SpecialHimself / lead actor nominee for 'Long Day's Journey Into Night.'
Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach2016DocumentaryHimself - Actor
Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me to Be?2014DocumentaryHimself
Behind the Sword in the Stone2013DocumentaryHimself
Danny Boy: The Ballad That Bewitched the World2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
A Man's Story2010DocumentaryHimself
Dreaming the Quiet Man2010DocumentaryHimself
Independent Lens2009TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards2009TV SpecialHimself - Nominee
Xposé2009TV SeriesHimself
The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards2008TV SpecialHimself - Nominee
TV Guide Live at the Emmy Awards2008TV SpecialHimself
Gabriel Byrne: Stories from Home2008DocumentaryHimself
AFI's 10 Top 10: America's 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres2008TV MovieHimself
The 62nd Annual Tony Awards2008TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Charlie Rose1995-2008TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Graham Norton Show2007TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Up Close with Carrie Keagan2007TV SeriesHimself - Guest
4th Irish Film and Television Awards2007TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
At the Movies2006TV SeriesHimself
Tubridy Tonight2006TV SeriesHimself
Enough Rope with Andrew Denton2005TV SeriesHimself
Riverdance: The Ten Years2005Video documentaryHimself
HBO First Look2005TV Series documentary shortHimself
2nd Irish Film and Television Awards2004TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The Late Late Show2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
NY Graham Norton2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality2003TV Movie documentaryNarrator
Tinseltown TV2003TV SeriesHimself
The 100 Greatest Movie Stars2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
RIP 20022002TV Movie documentaryHimself / interviewee
The View2002TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Horses: The Story of Equus2002Documentary shortNarrator
Keyser Söze: Lie or Legend?2002Video documentary shortHimself
Round Up: Deposing 'The Usual Suspects'2002Video documentaryHimself
The 100 Greatest Films2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
The 2001 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards2001TV SpecialHimself (uncredited)
Inside the Actors Studio2000TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Late Show with David Letterman1994-2000TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
The 54th Annual Tony Awards2000TV SpecialHimself - Nominee
End of Days: The Beginning2000Video documentary shortHimself
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 20002000TV SpecialHimself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1993-2000TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Rosie O'Donnell Show2000TV SeriesHimself
Divine Rites: The Story of Stigmata1999TV Short documentaryHimself
WWE Smackdown!1999TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993-1997TV SeriesHimself - Guest
1996 MTV Movie Awards1996TV SpecialHimself
Past Into Present1996Himself
The 18th Annual CableACE Awards1996TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Introducing 'The Usual Suspects'1995Video documentary shortHimself
Saturday Night Live1995TV SeriesHimself - Host / Keith Richards / Robin Walker
Lauren Hutton and...1995TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Out of Ireland1995TV Movie documentary voice
The Little Picture Show1994TV SeriesHimself
Intimate Portrait1993TV Series documentaryNarrator
Late Night with David Letterman1993TV SeriesHimself
The 49th Annual Golden Globe Awards1992TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member
Today1990TV SeriesHimself - Guest

Archive Footage

A World War II Fairytale: The Making of Michael Mann's 'The Keep'2017Documentary post-productionHimself
Vikings: Athelstan's Journal2015TV SeriesEarl Haraldson
Edición Especial Coleccionista2011TV SeriesHimself / Dean Keaton
The Women of SNL2010TV MoviePriest
The Graham Norton Show2008TV SeriesHimself
Saturday Night Live in the '90s: Pop Culture Nation2007TV Special documentaryFather (uncredited)
Heroes of Comedy: Women on Top2003TV Mini-Series documentary
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Molly Shannon2001Video shortFather (uncredited)
Saturday Night Live 251999TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredited)
In Flags or Flitters: Pictures of Dublin1993TV Movie documentaryHimself


Won Awards

2009Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - DramaIn Treatment (2008)
1999Maverick Tribute AwardCinequest San Jose Film Festival
1995ACCAAwards Circuit Community AwardsBest Cast EnsembleThe Usual Suspects (1995)
1995NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest Acting by an EnsembleThe Usual Suspects (1995)
1987International Fantasy Film AwardFantasportoBest ActorGothic (1986)
1979Jacob's AwardJacob's AwardsBest Actor in a TV Series - DramaBracken (1980)

Nominated Awards

2013IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor TVSecret State (2012)
2010IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Lead Role in TelevisionIn Treatment (2008)
2009Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesIn Treatment (2008)
2009OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Actor in a Drama SeriesIn Treatment (2008)
2009Satellite AwardSatellite AwardsBest Actor in a Series, DramaIn Treatment (2008)
2008Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesIn Treatment (2008)
2008Evening Standard British Film AwardEvening Standard British Film AwardsBest ActorJindabyne (2006)
2008IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Lead Role in a Feature FilmJindabyne (2006)
2008Satellite AwardSatellite AwardsBest Actor in a Series, DramaIn Treatment (2008)
2007Movies for Grownups AwardAARP Movies for Grownups AwardsBest ActorWah-Wah (2005)
2006AFI AwardAustralian Film InstituteBest Lead ActorJindabyne (2006)
2006IF AwardIF AwardsBest ActorJindabyne (2006)
2005IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Feature FilmWah-Wah (2005)
2000Blockbuster Entertainment AwardBlockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Actor - HorrorStigmata (1999)
2000Razzie AwardRazzie AwardsWorst Supporting ActorEnd of Days (1999)
1998Golden Satellite AwardSatellite AwardsBest Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for TelevisionWeapons of Mass Distraction (1997)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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