- Gabriel Byrne
caption=Byrne holding his Herald Angel, an award given to him at the 2006
Edinburgh International Film Festival.
birthname=Gabriel James Byrne
birthdate=birth date and age|1950|5|12|mf=n
Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, author
yearsactive=1979 – present
Ellen Barkin(1988 – 1999)
awards = Jacob's Award for Best Actor in a TV Series
NBR Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
The Usual Suspects"
Gabriel James Byrne (Irish: " Gabriel Séamas Ó Broin "; born
12 May, 1950) is an Emmy- and Tony-nominated Irish actor, film director, film producerand writer, as well as a Grammy-nominated audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatrebefore he joined London’s Royal Court Theatrein 1979. Byrne's TV début came in the Irish soap opera " The Riordans" and the spin-off show "Bracken". The 1981 Arthurian epic, "Excalibur", marked the start of his film career; the actor has now starred in over thirty-five feature films, such as " The Usual Suspects", " Miller's Crossing", "Stigmata " and "The Man in the Iron Mask", in addition to writing two. Byrne's producing credits include the Academy Award-nominated "In the Name of the Father".
Byrne, the first of six children, was born in
Dublin, Ireland, the son of a cooper, Dan, and a hospital nurse, Eileen (née Gannon). [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/89/Gabriel-Byrne.html FilmReference.com - Gabriel Byrne Biography] Retrieved on 2007- November 28.] His siblings are Donal, Thomas, Breda, Margaret, and Marian, who had passed away at a young age. Byrne was raised Catholic[ [http://arts.independent.co.uk/film/features/article2554630.ece The Independent - Gabriel Byrne: Not one of the usual suspects] Retrieved on 2007- November 28.] and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers. Despite spending five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a priest, he said in an interview, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation. I have realised subsequently that I didn't have one at all. I don't believe in God. But I did believe at the time in this notion that you were being called." [ [http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/byrne%20an%20atheist%20despite%20religious%20past_1027924 BYRNE AN ATHEIST DESPITE RELIGIOUS PAST] ] [ [http://www.secularism.org.uk/79004.html The National Secular Society - Coming out as atheist: Noel Gallagher & Gabriel Byrne] ] . He attended University College Dublin, where he studied archaeology and linguistics, becoming proficient in Irish. He played football in Dublinwith the famous Stella Maris Football Club in Drumcondra and has fond memories of his time spent there.
Byrne worked in archaeology when he left UCD but maintained his love of his language, writing the first drama in Irish, "
Draíocht", on Ireland's national Irish television station, TG4, when it began broadcasting in 1996.
He discovered his passion for acting later in his life. Before becoming an actor, Byrne worked at everything from an archaeologist to a cook, to a bullfighter to a Spanish schoolteacher. When he finally found acting aged 29, he began his career on stage with the
Focus Theatreand the Abbey Theatrein Dublin, later joining the Royal Court Theatreand the Royal National Theatrein London.
The actor came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show "
The Riordans", subsequently starring in his own spin-off series, "Bracken". He made his film début in 1981 as Lord Uther in John Boorman's classic King Arthurepic, "Excalibur".
Byrne currently stars as therapist Dr. Paul Weston in the new, critically acclaimed
HBOprimetime weeknight series " In Treatment". He was coined as TV's "latest Dr. McDreamy" by the New York Times[ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/fashion/28BYRNE.html?ei=5088&en=5d8e8050b8d15c87&ex=1361854800&adxnnl=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1204960608-gkq5MmDSJLs01tOw5/eD0w New York Times Article - 'He Listens. He Cares. He Isn't Real.'] ] for this role, and received his first-ever Emmy Award nomination (Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series) for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards(although he lost out to Bryan Cranstonof " Breaking Bad") held on September 21, 2008.
Upon his return to theatre in 2008, he appeared as King Arthur in Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot" with the
New York Philharmonicfrom May 7 to May 10, following the footsteps of veteran actors Richard Burtonand Richard Harris.
In 1988, Byrne married actress
Ellen Barkinwith whom he has two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992). The couple separated amicably in 1993 and divorced in 1999.
Byrne currently resides in
Brooklyn, New York, and is a fan of Chelsea FC[ [http://www.chelseafc.com/article.asp?article=99643&Title=Celebrities&lid=Navigation+-+Fan+Zone&sub=Celebrities&nav=&sublid= Chelsea F.C. Official Website (requires registration)] Retrieved on 2007- November 28.] .
The actor is also actively involved in various charities, in addition to being a human rights activist. In 2004, Byrne was appointed a
UNICEF IrelandAmbassador. He became a patron of Croi (The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation) in 1997 in response to the superb care given to his mother while she was a patient in a Galway hospital, and has worked tirelessly for the Foundation since.
At the 5th
Jameson Dublin International Film Festivalin 2007, Byrne was presented with the first of the newly created Volta awards, for lifetime achievement in acting. He also received the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, of Trinity College, Dublinon February 20, 2007. In November of that same year, he was awarded an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland, Galway; the president of the University, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said that this award is in recognition of the actor's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film". [ [http://breakingnews.iol.ie/entertainment/story.asp?j=235325256&p=z353z595z Ireland On-Line - Honorary degree for Irish star] Retrieved on 2007- November 28.]
As of 2008, he is dating actress Anna George. In the past, Byrne has been romantically linked with actress
Julia Ormond(his co-star in "Smilla's Sense of Snow") and model Naomi Campbell.
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.
Byrne mentioned in interviews and his 1995 autobiography, "Pictures In My Head" that he hates being called "brooding". For the past few years, he has been listed by "People" as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive". "
Entertainment Weekly" has also recently dubbed Byrne as one of the hottest celebrities over the age of 50. [ [http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20202055_27,00.html GILFy Pleasures: 33 Hotties Over Age 50] Retrieved on 2007- June 7.]
* [http://tribute.aol.ca/bio.asp?id=1037 Gabriel Byrne's Biography]
* [http://www.artforamnesty.org/view_artist.php?id=35 Gabriel Byrne's entry in Art of Amnesty]
* [http://www.jewreview.net/article.php?id=1329 JewReview.net Gabriel Byrne video interview on Jindabyne and In Treatment]
* [http://www.byrneholics.com Byrneholics - The Ultimate Gabriel Byrne Fan Site]
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