Brendan Gleeson Biography

Brendan Gleeson is an award-winning Irish actor, director, and teacher. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Brendan Gleeson
Quick Facts

Birthday: March 29, 1955

Nationality: Irish

Famous: Actors Irish Men

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aries

Born in: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Mary Gleeson (m. 1982)

father: Frank Gleeson

mother: Pat

children: Domhnall and Brían

City: Dublin, Ireland

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Brendan Gleeson is an award-winning Irish actor, director, and former teacher who is well-known for his portrayal of Professor Alastor Moody (Mad Eye) in three of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, and as Winston Churchill in the movie ‘Into the Storm’, for which he bagged an Emmy Award in 2009. With over 90 movies to his name, he has won two ‘British Independent Film Awards’ and three ‘Irish Film and Television Awards’, and has been nominated thrice for the ‘Golden Globes’ and twice for the ‘BAFTA Awards’ as well. As a young boy, he paid great attention to detail in dramas and plays, and studied various Irish playwrights. During his high-school years, he participated in school dramas and stage productions. In the early years of his career, he worked in television films, short films, and even gave voice-overs for documentaries. His breakthrough role came in 1995 in Mel Gibson’s hit movie ‘Braveheart’, and since then he has delivered poignant performances in supporting roles in films like ‘Gangs of New York’, ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Troy’, and ‘Mission: Impossible 2’. He also played engaging leading roles in movies such as ‘The Guard’, ‘Calvary’, and ‘The General’. With exceptional acting skills and a long acting career, he has been a guide and mentor for various actors in the Hollywood film fraternity.

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Brendan Gleeson
Childhood & Early Life
  • Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland on 29th March 1955 to Pat and Frank Gleeson. He has a younger brother, Frank Gleeson. As a young child he was described as an ardent reader of various Irish playwrights like Samuel Beckett.
  • As a teenager, he took drama classes and acted in various high-school plays like ‘Waiting for Godot’, and also devoted a couple of years to the ‘Dublin Shakespeare Festival.’ He received his education from ‘St Joseph’s CBS’, Fairview, Dublin.
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Career
  • As an aspiring actor, Brendan Gleeson received an invitation from the ‘Royal Shakespeare Company’ to audition, whereupon he spent a couple of years doing stage shows. It was in his mid-thirties that he started auditioning in the UK for short films and began playing different roles.
  • After a period of struggle, he started working as a theatre actor in noted plays like ‘Wasters’ (1985), ‘Brownbread’ (1987), and ‘Home’(1988). He also wrote and directed two successful plays during this period – ‘The Birdtable’ (1987) and ‘Breaking Up’ (1988).
  • He started his professional film career in 1989, playing the role of Brendan Dowd in the television film ‘Dear Sarah’. Soon he was given another role in the Irish television film, ‘Hard Shoulder’ (1990), where he played the role of a lorry driver.
  • His career actually took off with the movie called, ‘The Field’ (1990), directed by Jim Sheridan, where Brendan Gleeson played the character of a quarryman. Moving forward, he received mediocre roles in television films like ‘In the Border Country’ (1991) and ‘Saint Oscar’ (1991).
  • He played the role of Michael Collins, an Irish Republican, in the historical television film ‘The Treaty’ (1990) and won the Jacob’s Award in 1992.
  • With an award to his name, he was cast in short films and movies like the ‘The Bargain Shop’, ‘M.A.N.: Matrix Adjusted Normal’, a romantic adventure film ‘Far and Away’, ‘Into the West’, The Snapper’, and ‘The Screenplay’.
  • He made his big breakthrough in 1995, where he appeared alongside Mel Gibson in the box office hit ‘Braveheart’ where he played the character of Hamish Campbell, William Wallace’s (Mel Gibson) most trusted friend.
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  • After Braveheart’s huge success, Brendan Gleeson started receiving better roles. The same year, as he was cast in the movie called ‘Kidnapped’, an adventure drama film, where he plays the role of Colin Roy Campbell.
  • He also worked alongside his old friend and colleague, Liam Neeson in the historical biopic ‘Michael Collins’ which was written and directed by Neil Jordan in 1996. He played the supporting role of Liam Tobin, an officer in the Irish Army.
  • With multiple successful movies to his name, Brendan Gleeson started getting quality roles in movies like ‘Trojan Eddie’ (1996) and ‘Turbulence’ (1997). His role in ‘I Went Down’ (1997) as Bunny Kelly landed him a nomination for the ‘National Society of Film Critics Award’ for the Best Actor’.
  • Another memorable role came in 1998, in the movie, ‘The General’, where he played the role of Martin Cahill, an Irish Criminal. He was nominated by the ‘National Society of Film Critics Award for the Best Actor’ and the ‘Satellite Award for the Best Actor’ in Motion Picture Drama.
  • He played the role of a sheriff in the monster horror film ‘Lake Placid’ (1999). He bagged a supporting role in the biggest movie sequel of all time, ‘Mission: Impossible 2’ (2000), where he played John C. McCloy, CEO of ‘Biocyte’.
  • The new millennium brought in a flurry of movies for Brendan Gleeson, as he bagged good roles in movies like ‘Harrison’s Flowers’ (2000), ‘Caca Milis’ (2001), ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’ (2001), ‘Dark Blue’ (2002). His performance in the films ‘28 Days Later’ (2002) and ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002) earned him critical acclaim.
  • He played the character of Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon in the movie ‘Troy’ (2004), which was a box office hit all the over the world. The same year he appeared in the psychological thriller ‘The Village’, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
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  • In 2005, he was given the role of Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody in the super-hit franchise, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, and in 2007, he reprised the role in ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’.
  • The black comedy crime film, ‘In Bruges’ (2008), starring Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremie Renier, and Brendan Gleeson, and written and directed by Martin McDonagh, received critical acclaim.
  • He was nominated for multiple awards like ‘IFTA Award’ for the best actor in lead role, ‘BAFTA Award’ for the best actor in supporting role, ‘British Independent Film Award’ for the best actor, the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the best actor, and the ‘Satellite Award’ for the best actor.
  • He also gave a voiceover for the animated fantasy film, ‘The Secret of Kells’ (2009) for the character of Abbot Cellach.
  • In the same year, he was also nominated for the ‘IFTA Award’ for playing the character of Darren Perrier in the movie ‘Perrier’s Bounty’ and he was again cast as Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody for the next sequel – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ (2010).
  • Brendan Gleeson was nominated for the ‘IFTA Award’, in the category for actor in the best supporting role as Dr. Holloran in the Irish drama, ‘Albert Nobbs’(2011).
  • He acted in various movies from 2011–14, some of them being ‘The Cup’, ‘Safe House’, ‘The Raven’, and ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!’ He added more feathers to his cap by winning three awards in the category of best actor for the Irish Drama Film ‘Calvary’ (2014), directed by John Michael McDonagh, where he played the role of Father James Lavelle.
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  • In 2015, he was awarded the best supporting actor by ‘Independent British Film Award’ for his role as Arthur Steed, in the historical drama film ‘Suffragette,’ directed by Sarah Gavron.
  • In the recent years, he has acted in notable movies like ‘In the heart of the Sea’ (2015), ‘Assassin’s Creed’ (2016), ‘Hampstead’ (2017), ‘Mr. Mercedes’ (2017), and ‘Paddington’(2017).
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Major Works
  • Brendan Gleeson played the character of Winston Churchill in the television film ‘Into the Storm’ (2009) for which he was awarded the ‘Emmy Award’ for outstanding lead actor and the ‘Satellite Award’ for the best actor, and was nominated for the ‘IFTA Award’, ‘British Academy Television Award’, and the ‘Golden Globe Awards’.
  • He was highly appreciated for the role of Sergeant Gerry Boyle in the movie ‘The Guard’ (2011), for which he was nominated for awards like ‘Golden Globe Award’, ‘Satellite Award’, ‘IFTA Award’, and the ‘British Independent Film Award’ for the best actor in a lead role.
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Awards & Achievements
  • Brendan Gleeson won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for ‘Into the Storm’ (2009).
  • He is recipient of three IFTA Awards and two BIFA Awards. In 2014, he won the IFTA Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role – Film for his role in ‘Calvary.’
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Personal Life
  • Brendan Gleeson has been married to Mary Weldon since 1982. The duo has four children, namely – Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Fergus Gleeson, and Rory Gleeson. Out of the four, Domhnall and Brian are actors and writers who have been cast for roles in Hollywood.
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Trivia
  • He is a good fiddle player, and has been seen playing it in some of his movies.
  • He was a teacher for nearly a decade, and taught subjects like Mathematics, English, Irish, and Physical Education.
  • He has made an appearance with all his sons in the Comedy TV movie, ‘Immaturity for Charity’.
  • Has done many films with actor and friend Liam Neeson.
  • He is also actively involved in charity and has donated to the St. Francis Hospice, Ireland.
  • His younger brother, Frank Gleeson, is known for his contribution to movies like ‘Patrick’ (2004) and ‘The Tiger’s Tail’ (2006).
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1. Braveheart (1995)

  (War, History, Biography, Drama)

2. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

  (Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi)


3. In Bruges (2008)

  (Drama, Comedy, Thriller, Crime)

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)



5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

6. 28 Days Later... (2002)

  (Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Drama)




7. Six Shooter (2004)

  (Short, Comedy, Drama)

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)





Awards

Primetime Emmy Awards
2009 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Into the Storm (2009)

See the events in life of Brendan Gleeson in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Brendan Gleeson Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/brendan-gleeson-34142.php
Last Updated
- September 14, 2017

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