Jonathan Rhys Meyers biography
Date of Birth: July 27, 1977
Birth Name: Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers moved to County Cork with his parents when he was just a year old. Two years later, Jonathan's father walked out on him and his three younger brothers. Without a man's guidance, the boy became too much of a handful for his mother to cope with and ended up spending time in an orphanage before going to live on a dairy farm in Buttevant, Cork, with a local farmer, Christopher Croffs, and his family. Rhys-Meyers became Croff's legal ward and went on a life-altering trip to Egypt with him.
As a delinquent who hung around arcades and pool halls, he was kicked out of school when he was 15 and busted for driving without a license. One day while playing pool, he was approached by casting directors from Warner Bros. who were casting a film called The War Of The Buttons. He agreed to audition and was brought to see the director. Though he didn't get the part, he was soon called in to audition for a soup commercial and landed his first acting job. The next gig was working with Albert Finney and Rufus Sewell in A Man of No Importance(1994) and as a murderer in Michael Collins (1996). He finally got the chance to do a lead role in The Disappearance of Finbar Flynn (1997).
Since then he's appeared in many films and television projects. Some of his roles include Samson in the TV movie Samson and Delilah, Brian Slade in velvet goldmine (1998) and Young Nic in The Loss Of Sexual Innocence (1999). Other projects include Bend it Like Beckham (2002), Alexander (2004) with Colin Farrell, and the TV movie Elvis, for which he won a 2006 Golden Globe.
He's since received two Golden Globe award nominations (in 2008 & 2009) for his role as King Henry VIII in The Tudors. He played the supporting role of Valentine in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) alongside Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower and more recently, played Jack alongside Antonio Banderas in Black Butterfly (2017).
Meyers is his mother's maiden name, and Jonathan added it to his name when he took up acting. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his horse, Belle.