Brendan Gleeson Biography

Brendan Gleeson photo

Born: November 09, 1955


Date of Birth: November 9, 1955

Born in Dublin, Brendan Gleeson started performing as a child in local stage productions. While furthering his studies at University College, he underwent an audition for the National Theatre of Ireland, Abbey Theatre, that was a complete disaster. He put aside his dreams of acting professionally and instead, went on to become a high school teacher. In 1989, after ten years of teaching, he decided to give acting another try. In a strange twist of fate, the first role he landed was in a stage production at the Abbey Theatre. Not long after, he made his feature film debut playing a small role in The Field (1990) starring Richard Harris. A variety of work in both feature films and TV movies followed, and in 1994, he landed a regular role in the television series Lifeboat.

Brendan's big break came when he landed the role of Hamish in Mel Gibson's blockbuster, Braveheart (1995). The film was nominated for no less than 10 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture and a Best Director award for Gibson. Brendan had hit the big time, and he went on to appear in 10 films in the next two years, including Michael Collins (1996) starring Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts, and Turbulence (1996) starring Ray Liotta. In 1998, he landed the starring role in The General, playing true-life gangster Martin Cahill. Gleeson won several awards for his portrayal, including the Boston Society Film Critics Award for Best Actor, the Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture and the London Critics Circle Film award for British Actor of the Year.

He has since gone on to play roles in major Hollywood films such as Mission: Impossible II (2000), Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), Gangs of New York (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and Troy (2004), and back home in Britain, played Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). Some of his films include Albert Nobbs (2011) alongside Glenn Close, Safe House (2012) with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, The Raven (2012) and the animated feature The Pirates! Band of Misfits where he voiced the character of The Pirate with Gout.

More recently, he starred in The Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The Grand Seduction (2014), Suffragette (2015), In the Heart of the Sea (2015), Trespass Against Us (2016), Assassin's Creed (2016) and the crime drama Live by Night (2017). His latest role is in the film Paddington 2 (2018).

Brendan married his wife, Mary, in 1982. They have four sons: Domhnall Gleeson, Fergus Gleeson, Brian Gleeson and Rory Gleeson.

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