Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseSonia Forbes-Adam
MarkOften plays characters with a robust lust for life and drink
FactIn 2003, he starred in a very amusing series of television commercials for Yellow Pages telephone directories.

James Nesbitt is an actor from Northern Ireland. He has appeared in numerous films and television programmes, most notably as Bofur in The Hobbit film trilogy, Adam Williams in Cold Feet, and J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland. He has also had roles in Waking Ned, Bloody Sunday, Lucky Number Slevin, and The Missing.

Nesbitt was born on 15 January 1965 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, to May (née Cleland) and James Nesbitt, a civil engineer. He was brought up as a Presbyterian Protestant. He has two older sisters, Anne and Liz, and a younger brother, Ross, who is also an actor. Nesbitt was educated at Ballymena Academy; he played rugby and was an enthusiastic member of the drama club. He later attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Nesbitt’s first professional role was as an extra in the BBC series Going Straight (1978), which starred Robert Carlyle. His first major role came when he played Adam Williams in the ITV series Cold Feet (1997–2003), which earned him a British Comedy Award and a BAFTA nomination. He has since appeared in numerous films and television programmes, most notably as Bofur in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), Adam Williams in Cold Feet (1997–2003), J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland (2004), Waking Ned (1998), Bloody Sunday (2002), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), and The Missing (2014).

Nesbitt has been married to Sonia Forbes-Adam since 2011; the couple have two daughters. He was previously married to Lisa McAllister from 2004 to 2010; the couple have one son. Nesbitt is a patron of the charities Action for Stammering Children and Mencap.

General Info

Full NameJames Nesbitt
Height1.82 m
ProfessionComedian, Voice Actor, Presenter
EducationCentral School of Speech and Drama, Coleraine Academical Institution, Ulster University


SpouseSonia Forbes-Adam
ChildrenPeggy Nesbitt, Mary Nesbitt
ParentsJames Nesbitt, May Nesbitt
SiblingsMargaret Nesbitt, Andrea Nesbitt, Kathryn Nesbitt


AwardsBritish Independent Film Award for Best Actor, British Comedy Award for the Best TV Comedy Actor, National Television Award for Most Popular Comedy Performer
NominationsBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, National Television Award for Most Popular Actor, Critics'...
MoviesThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Five Minutes of Heaven, Waking Ned, The Way, Match Point, Bloody Sunday, Lucky Break, Matching Jack, Welcome to Sarajevo, Coriolanus, Outcast, Cherrybomb, The Most Fertile Man in Irelan...
TV ShowsThe Missing, Cold Feet, Jekyll, Murphy's Law, Monroe, Midnight Man, Occupation, The Passion, The Deep, The Canterbury Tales, All-Star Cup, James Nesbitt's Ireland

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Often plays characters with a robust lust for life and drink
2Thick irish accent


1[on Babylon (2014)] It felt like we were almost making a documentary. There's a lot of ultra realistic camera-work. I think the tone is underscored by comic elements - some of the characters are very funny - but it's true to life because as dramatic as the situations are, comedy seeps out thanks to the relationships between all the officers. But we all played it for real, not for laughs.
2Several years ago, I began losing my hair, and like a lot of men, it was a major concern to me, in fact it was practically an obsession. But, also I'm an actor, so I'm in the public eye a lot and I really felt that my hair loss could affect my career prospects.
3I feel old and vulnerable. I now realise that I knew nothing and know nothing, but back when my career was beginning, I thought I was a man when, in fact, I was a dewy-eyed boy who'd not seen an avocado or eaten a tomato.
4When I was at drama school, I was totally broke, and a lot of my mates had jobs and were financially very good to me, so if, for example, I take them away on a trip to a football match in Europe, it means that I can pay them back a bit.
5Funnily enough, Northern Ireland is a great example of where politics can win over conflict. The decision to down arms and follow a political path would have been unthinkable once. It shows just what is possible.
6It's ridiculous, but it's horrible going bald. Anyone who says it isn't is lying.
7My mother taught me what it is to have a sense of humour; my dad, who was a headmaster, everything you need to know about hard work. My dad is the most decent man you could come across.
8Like the character I played in 'Jekyll', we all have different masks we put on for different occasions. As much as we all want to lead decent lives, we're also attracted by the idea that something dark may lurk within us.
9Ours was a very progressive Protestant family, but my parents were God-loving rather than God-fearing. We went to church, and I still go with my mum and dad when I return home - it's a family thing. I played flute in my dad's marching band, but I had an integrated upbringing. We had a lot of Catholic friends.
10I'd be a very easy therapist's subject.
11I'm not strong-willed enough or unkind enough... or maybe simply not wise enough to tell a journalist that a subject is out of bounds.
12I'm not an actor who is often asked to be in period things.
13I thought I was God's gift to mankind and the greatest Irishman since George Best.
14I didn't much like Las Vegas. The noise of the place and the whole 24-hour, 'let's play the slot machines all night' culture of the place just left me cold.
15I was one of the many kids in Northern Ireland who grew up in the countryside and had an idyllic childhood well away from the Troubles.
16I never forget that I'm extremely fortunate.
17I spend my money on holidays and eating out, and it allows me to be generous.
18I've heard some duff Irish accents. The worst must be Mickey Rourke.
19The thing to remember is that the work comes first, and not to get distracted by anything else. If you keep focused on the work, everything else will fall into place. That's my mantra now.


1He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2016 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland.
2His two daughters, Mary and Peggy, both star alongside him (Bofur) in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), playing the two daughters (Tilda and Sigrid) of Luke Evans (Bard).
3In 2003, he starred in a very amusing series of television commercials for Yellow Pages telephone directories.
4In 2004, he appeared in advertisements for the Sky 'Premiership season ticket' pay per view offer.
5In March 2010, the University of Ulster appointed James Nesbitt as its first ever Northern Ireland-born Chancellor. He succeeded former London Lord Mayor Sir Richard Nichols in the role.
6After starring in Jekyll (2007), written by Doctor Who (2005) writer Steven Moffat, some press reports speculated that he would be the next star of Doctor Who (2005). In a 2008 interview with a British television magazine, Nesbitt dismissed the reports, stating that he didn't think he could follow Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant and he felt that at the age of 43, he would be considered too old for the part anyway.
7Was offered a major guest part in the David Tennant's First Season of Doctor Who (2005) but was not free.
8Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London.
9His sister was the school music teacher of Jayne Wisener.
10Is an avid supporter of Coleraine Football Club and has donated money to the club.
11His mother-in-law is actress Penelope Munday.
12A supporter of Manchester United Football Club
13Met his wife in 1989 whilst performing a world tour of Hamlet (she was understudying Ophelia, he was playing Guildenstern), shortly after leaving their respective drama schools.
14Children: Peggy born 1997 and Mary born 2001.
15Appeared at the CineMagic World Screen Festival for Young People 2002 in Belfast, N.I.
16Good friends with Jerome Flynn, they play soccer together.




Stan Lee's Lucky Man2016-2017TV SeriesHarry / Harry Clayton
Cold Feet1997-2016TV SeriesAdam Williams
The Secret2016TV Mini-SeriesColin Howell
The Missing2014TV SeriesTony Hughes
Babylon2014TV Mini-SeriesRichard Miller
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies2014Bofur
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug2013Bofur
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey2012Bofur
Monroe2011-2012TV SeriesGabriel Monroe
Coriolanus2011Tribune Sicinius
The Deep2010/IShortClem Donnelly
The Way2010/IJack
The Deep2010TV Mini-SeriesClem Donnelly
Matching Jack2010Connor
Occupation2009TV SeriesMike Swift
Five Minutes of Heaven2009Joe - 2008
Midnight Man2008TV Mini-SeriesMax Raban
The Passion2008TV Mini-SeriesPilate
Fairy Tales2008TV Mini-SeriesHans M. Prince
30 Ways to Make More Time2008Video short
Murphy's Law2003-2007TV SeriesTommy Murphy
Jekyll2007TV Mini-SeriesDr. Tom Jackman Mr Hyde Dr Jekyll
0.02702702006ShortDistraught Man
Match Point2005Detective Banner
Big Dippers2005TV MovieRay
Quite Ugly One Morning2004TV MovieJack Parlabane
Passer By2004TV MovieJoe Keyes
Wall of Silence2004TV MovieStuart Robe
The Boys & Girl from County Clare2003uncredited
Canterbury Tales2003TV Mini-SeriesNick Zakian
Tractor Tom2003TV SeriesMatt (2003) (voice)
Bloody Sunday2002Ivan Cooper
Murphy's Law2001TV MovieThomas Murphy
Lucky Break2001James 'Jimmy' Hands / Lord Nelson in Show
Furry Story2000ShortDad (voice)
Wild About Harry2000Walter Adair
The Most Fertile Man in Ireland2000'Mad Dog' Billy Wilson
Playing the Field1998-2000TV SeriesJohn Dolan
Women Talking Dirty1999Stanley
Body Story1998TV SeriesNarrator (voice)
Waking Ned Devine1998Pig Finn
Ballykissangel1996-1998TV SeriesLeo McGarvey
Touching Evil1998TV SeriesDavid Laney
Resurrection Man1998Ryan
Jumpers1997ShortGerald Clarke
The James Gang1997Graham Armstrong
This Is the Sea1997Constable Hubert Porter
Welcome to Sarajevo1997Gregg
Common As Muck1997TV SeriesPriest
Jude1996Uncle Joe
Soldier Soldier1995TV SeriesCorporal Bryan Casey
Go Now1995Tony
Searching1995TV SeriesDuncan
Between the Lines1994TV SeriesSean Phelan
The All New Alexei Sayle Show1994TV SeriesVarious Characters
Lovejoy1993TV SeriesJerry Boyle
Screenplay1993TV SeriesNiall
Comedy Playhouse1993TV SeriesSkeeball
Covington Cross1992TV SeriesHumphrey
Young Indiana Jones1992TV SeriesYuri
Boon1991TV SeriesMartin Mulholland
Hear My Song1991Fintan O'Donnell
Screen Two1989TV SeriesYoung Man
Jonny Briggs1986TV SeriesRobber
The End of the World Man1986Policeman
The Ties of Blood1985TV Mini-SeriesPrivate Smart
Play for Today1984TV SeriesB Special


Murphy's Law2004-2007TV Series creative consultant - 8 episodes


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey2012performer: "Blunt the Knives", "Misty Mountains", "Man in the Moon", "Merry Inn" uncredited / writer: "Man in the Moon"
Cold Feet2000TV Series performer - 1 episode
Playing the Field1999TV Series performer - 1 episode
Hear My Song1991performer: "Movin'"


One Hundred and Eighty: The Tour Documentary2005Video documentary short special thanks


Rencontres de cinéma2012TV SeriesHimself
Vivir de cine2012TV SeriesHimself
Janela Indiscreta2012TV SeriesHimself
Big Morning Buzz Live2012TV SeriesHimself
Living the Life2012TV SeriesHimself
This Morning2001-2012TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
Northern Ireland's Greatest Haunts2009-2010TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Narrator
Alex Higgins: The People's Champion2010TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
The British Academy Television Awards2010TV Movie documentaryHimself
National Movie Awards2010TV SpecialHimself - Host
Chris Moyles Quiz Night2010TV SeriesHimself
The Friday Show2009TV SeriesHimself
Xposé2009TV SeriesHimself
The One Show2007-2009TV SeriesHimself
George Best: The Legacy2009Video documentaryNarrator
National Movie Awards2008TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Drama Trails2008TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Never Mind the Buzzcocks2008TV SeriesHimself
James Ellis: An Actor's Life2007TV MovieHimself - Actor
A Question of Sport2007TV SeriesHimself
Breakfast2001-2007TV SeriesHimself
The Dame Edna Treatment2007TV SeriesHimself
Parkinson2002-2007TV SeriesHimself
The British Academy Television Awards2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Podge and Rodge Show2007TV SeriesHimself
4th Irish Film and Television Awards2007TV SpecialHimself
The 50 Greatest Television Dramas2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Friday Night Project2007TV SeriesHimself - Guest Host
All*Star Cup 20062006TV MovieHimself - Team Europe
Richard & Judy2002-2006TV SeriesHimself
The Play's the Thing2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Tubridy Tonight2006TV SeriesHimself
Cattle Drive2006TV SeriesHimself
OFI Sunday2005TV SeriesHimself
3rd Irish Film and Television Awards2005TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host / Presenter
All-Star Cup 20052005TV SeriesHimself
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross2003-2005TV SeriesHimself
Top Gear2005TV SeriesHimself
Eat My Goal2004VideoHimself - Host
The Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 20042004TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Outstanding Performance in a TV Drama
2nd Irish Film and Television Awards2004TV SpecialHimself - Host / Presenter
The Late Late Show2004TV SeriesHimself
Kelly2001-2004TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood Greats2004TV Series documentaryHimself
The South Bank Show2004TV Series documentaryHimself
2003 TV Moments2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
The British Comedy Awards 20032003TV SpecialHimself
The Importance of Being Famous2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Irish Film and Television Awards2003TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host
The National Television Awards2003TV SpecialHimself
The Terry and Gaby Show2003TV SeriesHimself
Bloody Sunday: History Retold2003Video documentary shortHimself
Bloody Sunday: Ivan Cooper Remembers2003Video documentary shortHimself
Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do2003TV SpecialHimself
Cold Feet: The Final Call2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Oblivious2003TV SeriesHimself
Patrick Kielty... Almost Live!2003TV SeriesHimself
Body Story 22001TV SeriesHimself - Narrator
The Brian Conley Show2001TV SeriesHimself
The Johnny Vaughan Film Show1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Comic Relief: The Record Breaker1999TV SpecialHimself
The Jonathan Ross Show2013-2016TV SeriesHimself
BAFTA Televsion Awards 20162016TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway2016TV SeriesHimself - Guest Announcer
National Television Awards2016TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The Graham Norton Show2008-2016TV SeriesHimself
Alan Carr: Chatty Man2014TV SeriesHimself
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire2014TV SeriesHimself
River Deep, Mountain High: James Nesbitt in New Zealand2013DocumentaryHimself
The Arts Show2013TV Series documentaryHimself (interviewee)
10th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards2013TV SpecialHimself - Presenter

Archive Footage

Let's Do It: A Tribute to Victoria Wood2016TV Movie documentaryHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)
LEGO the Hobbit: The Video Game2014Video GameBofur
The Graham Norton Show2008TV SeriesHimself
A Question of Sport2007TV SeriesHimself
Greatest Before They Were Stars TV Moments2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Trenches of Hell1999VideoYuri


Won Awards

2015Gold PandaSichuan TV FestivalBest Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionThe Missing (2014)
2010Best ActorNew York City Horror Film FestivalOutcast (2010)
2003IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a TV DramaFor the "Murphy's Law" series of films.
2003National Television AwardNational Television Awards, UKMost Popular Comedy PerformanceCold Feet (1997)
2003TV Quick AwardTV Quick Awards, UKBest ActorCold Feet (1997)
2002British Independent Film AwardBritish Independent Film AwardsBest ActorBloody Sunday (2002)
2002Best ActorStockholm Film FestivalBloody Sunday (2002)
2002TRIC AwardTelevision and Radio Industries Club AwardsTV Drama Performer of the Year
2000British Comedy AwardBritish Comedy AwardsBest TV Comedy ActorCold Feet (1997)

Nominated Awards

2015BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Leading ActorThe Missing (2014)
2015Critics' Choice TV AwardCritics Choice Television AwardsBest Actor in a Movie/Limited SeriesThe Missing (2014)
2015IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Supporting Role - FilmGold (2014)
2013OFTA Film AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Music, Original SongThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
2010Broadcasting Press Guild AwardBroadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest ActorOccupation (2009)
2010Golden NymphMonte-Carlo TV FestivalOutstanding Actor in a Mini-SeriesOccupation (2009)
2008Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for TelevisionJekyll (2007)
2008DaggerCrime Thriller Awards, UKBest Leading ActorMidnight Man (2008)
2008Golden NymphMonte-Carlo TV FestivalOutstanding Actor - Mini SeriesJekyll (2007)
2007IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Lead Role in TelevisionMurphy's Law (2003)
2005IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in TelevisionMurphy's Law (2003)
2004IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a TV DramaWall of Silence (2004)
2004National Television AwardNational Television Awards, UKMost Popular ActorCanterbury Tales (2003)
2003BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorBloody Sunday (2002)
2003IFTA AwardIrish Film and Television AwardsBest Actor in a Feature FilmBloody Sunday (2002)
2001British Comedy AwardBritish Comedy AwardsBest TV Comedy ActorCold Feet (1997)
1999British Comedy AwardBritish Comedy AwardsBest TV Comedy ActorCold Feet (1997)
1999ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a CastWaking Ned (1998)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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