Childhood & Early Life
Kevin McNally was born as Kevin Robert McNally on April 27, 1956 in Bristol, England. Ever since he was a young kid, he participated in school plays and loved acting.
Soon after his birth, his family got settled in Birmingham. Once he was of school going age, they enrolled him in the ‘Redhill Junior School’. He later attended ‘Mapledene Junior School’.
By the time Kevin was 10 years old, he became very serious about a career in acting, as he enjoyed performing in his school’s productions. However, his plans changed in his teenage years, and he desired to become an astrophysicist now.
He came to realize that becoming an astrophysicist was a difficult goal to pursue and that being an actor was a much easier and ‘achievable’ career option for him.
He graduated from high school at the age of 16, but had no academic ambitions. Instead, he became very determined to work in the entertainment industry. With no plans to studying any further, he looked for ways to kick-start his acting career.
Kevin joined Birmingham Rep, a theatrical production company, and started acting in plays apart from doing various other duties for the theater. He eventually got very good at acting and in the early 1970s, he was awarded with a scholarship to learn acting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, known as the one of the best acting schools in Europe.
He excelled at RADA and delivered some excellent performances in many successful plays. In 1975, he ended up winning the ‘Best Actor Bancroft Gold Medal at RADA’. With his new found confidence, he started auditioning for film and television roles.
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In 1976, Kevin McNally made his on-screen debut with a supporting role in the BBC series ‘I, Claudius’, which was an adaptation of a novel of the same name. In the series, he played the role of Castor.
He then found a small role in the post-apocalyptic British drama series ‘Survivors’. He continued to play supporting roles in series, such as ‘The Duchess of Duke Street’ and ‘Poldark’.
Kevin made his film debut in 1977 with the small role of HMS Ranger Crewman in the James Bond franchise film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. After appearing in a small but significant debut, he appeared in yet another major film titled ‘The Long Good Friday’.
While he was playing many small and supporting roles in the early years of his career, he began to associate himself with highly acclaimed projects, which somehow helped him gain fame. In 1981, he appeared in the series ‘Masada’, playing Norbanus. It was a highly successful show that was nominated for many awards, including the ‘Golden Globe’ and the ‘Primetime Emmy’ awards.
He earned the first leading role of his career in the 1984 TV series ‘Diana’. It ran for 10 episodes and proved to be a critical success. However, the poor ratings it received got it shelved only after one season.
As for Kevin’s film career, it moved at a slower pace in the beginning. One of the most notable films he did in the early 1980s was titled ‘Enigma’, in which Kevin played the supporting role of a CIA Agent. The Anglo-American film was a massive box office and critical disaster.
After playing a key role in the film ‘Not Quite Paradise’ in 1985, Kevin appeared in the first leading role of his movie career. In ‘The Berlin Affair’, he played Heinz Von Hollendorf, a college professor and senior German diplomat, who is stationed at the ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs’. The movie was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and received critical acclaim.
In the 1980s, Kevin primarily played supporting roles in films like ‘Cry Freedom’, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, ‘Stalin’, ‘Spice World’ and ‘When the Sky Falls’.
After appearing in the 21st and final season of the popular British series ‘Doctor Who’, Kevin worked in many series in the 1990s. Some of his most notable roles from the 1990s were in ‘Bottom’, ‘Ghosts’ and ‘The Common Pursuit’.
In 1997, Kevin started playing the leading role in the BBC 1 sitcom ‘Dad’, wherein he appeared as Alan Hook. The series ran for 13 episodes, spanning over two seasons.
In 2003, he was seen in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ as Joshamee Gibbs, a role for which he is best known. He eventually became one of the most loved characters in the series and is only one of the three actors to have appeared in all five instalments of the successful franchise.
Apart from working in the Pirates’ franchise, Kevin appeared in supporting roles in films, such as ‘Scoop’, ‘Tuesday’, ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘The Raven’.
As for his television roles, he has played supporting roles in series, such as ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Life on Mars’, ‘Demons’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’.
In recent years, he has appeared on two seasons of ‘Downton Abbey’ and has played guest roles in series like ‘The ABC Murders’ and ‘The Outpost’.
Kevin has remained active on stage and has portrayed main roles in plays, such as ‘King Lear’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘The Lady in the Van’ and ‘Naked’. For his supporting role as Lebedev in the play ‘Ivanov’, he received a ‘Laurence Olivier Award’ nomination.
Family & Personal Life
Kevin McNally dated actress Phyllis Logan in the 1990s. After meet each other for the first time in 1994, the couple got married in 2011. They have a son together, who was born in 1996. He also has a daughter from his relationship with Stevie Harris. His son’s name is David, while his daughter is called Rachel.
He almost missed the opportunity of working in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, as he initially did not intend to audition for the role of Gibbs. In the end, he went for the audition and the rest is history.