Jack Gleeson is an Irish former actor who portrayed the character of ‘Joffrey Baratheon’ in the American fantasy drama television series ‘Game of Thrones’. He has his own touring theatre company with an off-Broadway puppet show called ‘Bears in Space,’ in which he also stars. Even though he is no longer active as an actor, he used to be a much sought-after young actor during his hey days. He appeared in small roles in films like ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Shrooms’, and ‘A Shine of Rainbows’ before gaining fame with the popular role of ‘Joffrey Baratheon’, a lovechild who was born from an incestuous liaison between the ‘Lannister’ siblings. This role made him a well-known figure. However, Gleeson is not someone who really wanted to become an actor. He never desired the life of a celebrity; in fact, he despises the baggage that comes with it. Therefore, he decided to quit acting at the prime of his career. He then went on to study philosophy at the prestigious Trinity College, Dublin. Eventually, he started his own touring theatre company.
As a young boy, Jack Gleeson joined his local community theatre to engage himself in something besides studying. This led to his appearances in some shows and paved the way to a career in acting. He appeared as ‘Jack’ in a short film titled ‘Moving Day’, in 2002. This role was followed by two more appearances in similar short films, ‘Fishtale’ and ‘Tom Waits Made Me Cry’, as a backup actor.
In 2005, Gleeson appeared in a minor role as a kid in Christopher Nolan’s directorial venture, ‘Batman Begins’, a superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman. Even though the film was a huge hit at the box office and marked the beginning of a new era for the superhero movies, Gleeson’s role was not particularly a memorable one, mainly because of the little onscreen time he was offered.
He later appeared in Paddy Breathnach’s horror film ‘Shrooms’ in 2007. Two years later, he appeared as ‘Seamus’ in the family drama film ‘A Shine of Rainbows’.
Jack Gleeson was signed for the role of ‘Joffrey Baratheon’ in the HBO fantasy drama television series ‘Game of Thrones’. Gleeson played the elder lovechild born from an incestuous relationship between Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei Lannister. Gleeson’s character was a negative one; the actor was praised by the critics for the level of hatred his character received from the audience! He was part of the show between 2011 and 2014, appearing in a total of 26 episodes.
Jack Gleeson earned numerous nominations for his negative role in the television show. He was nominated at the Saturn Awards for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series and for the Young Hollywood Award: We Love to Hate You. He was also nominated for the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2011 and 2013. He won the IGN People's Choice Award for Best TV Villain (2012-13).
Since his last appearance in the show, Gleeson has not tried to get any other roles in films or television shows. In his own words, he has admitted to not being a fan of acting and has stated that he pursued the career just because he felt it was worth a try. He has since formed his own off-Broadway touring theatre company which debuted with the puppet show named ‘Bears in Space.’
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Family & Personal Life
Jack Gleeson was born in Cork, a city in south-west Ireland, on May 20, 1992. He has two sisters named Rachel and Emma Gleeson, with whom he used to attend the local community theater group in his childhood.
He is a very reserved person who likes to maintain his privacy and stay away from unwanted media attention. He never liked the life of a celebrity and this was the main reason he quit his acting career despite doing so well.