I love seeing an Irish actor in a box office success like Oppenheimer. And there are so many famous Irish actors that I felt it would be best to list the top 11 most famous Irish actors of all time to hit the big screen. I did not put any of these in order as it is very subjective to an actor’s success.
11 Most famous Irish actors 🍿:
- Daniel Day-Lewis: Widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, Daniel Day-Lewis is an Irish-British actor known for his intense method of acting and immersive performances. He has won three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his roles in “My Left Foot” (1989), “There Will Be Blood” (2007), and “Lincoln” (2012).
- Liam Neeson: Liam Neeson is a versatile actor known for his powerful and commanding screen presence. He has starred in a wide range of films, including action movies like “Taken” (2008) and dramatic roles in “Schindler’s List” (1993), for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
- Cillian Murphy: Now an even bigger star with his incredible role in the latest blockbuster Oppenheimer. Cillian Murphy is renowned for his exceptional acting skills and ability to portray complex and enigmatic characters. He gained widespread recognition for his roles in films like “28 Days Later” (2002) and “Inception” (2010), as well as for his portrayal of Thomas Shelby in the T.V. series “Peaky Blinders.”
- Saoirse Ronan: the Irish-American gem, has been a breath of fresh air with her incredible talent and stunning performances. Born to Irish parents, Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress nominated for multiple Academy Awards. She gained critical acclaim for her roles in films such as “Atonement” (2007), “Brooklyn” (2015), and “Lady Bird” (2017).
- Colin Farrell:
Colin Farrell is known for his diverse range of roles and charismatic screen presence. From being a hitman with a conscience in “In Bruges” to his stylish swagger in “The Gentleman,” he can do it all! He has starred in numerous successful films, including “In Bruges” (2008), “The Lobster” (2015), and “The Gentleman” (2019). I particularly loved The Banshees of Inisherin featuring Brendan Gleeson, another famous Irish actor.
- Brendan Gleeson: Speaking of Brendan Gleeson, winner of an Emmy and a Golden Globe award! He is an accomplished actor known for his versatility and powerful performances. I like to think of him as a true chameleon of the acting world. He has appeared in a variety of films, such as “Braveheart” (1995), “Gangs of New York” (2002), and “In Bruges” (2008). You may not know that his son Domhnall Gleeson is a talented Irish actor who has made significant strides in the entertainment industry. He has starred in films such as “Ex Machina”, “The Revenant”, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
Also, Brendan Gleeson appeared in many Harry Potter films. He was portrayed as Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody in the “Harry Potter” film series. He first appeared in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” released in 2005. Gleeson reprised his role as Mad-Eye Moody in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007), “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1″ (2010), and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011).
- Michael Fassbender: Although born in Germany, Michael Fassbender was raised in Ireland and held Irish citizenship. He is known for his compelling performances in films like “Hunger” (2008), “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), and “12 Years a Slave” (2013).
- Pierce Brosnan is a notable and talented Irish actor(Drogheda, County Louth, Norther Ireland) who has significantly impacted the entertainment industry. Pierce Brosnan began his acting career on television. He is widely recognized for his portrayal of James Bond in four films: “GoldenEye” (1995), “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World Is Not Enough” (1999), and “Die Another Day” (2002). His portrayal of the iconic spy has left a lasting impression on audiences worldwide.Additionally, Pierce Brosnan has appeared in various other films, such as “Mamma Mia!” (2008) and “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1999), showcasing his range as an actor.
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers: Known for his charisma and versatility, Jonathan Rhys Meyers has captivated audiences in both film and television. His ability to inhabit diverse roles with conviction and passion makes him a famous Irish actor. Meyers featured in “Mission: Impossible III” (2006), “Match Point” (2005), “Bend It Like Beckham” and a whole host of other movies. Of course, let’s not forget his performance in the hit T.V. drama series “The Tudors.” The show, which aired from 2007 to 2010
- Gabriel Byrne: Gabriel Byrne, known for his compelling performances in both film and television, has made significant contributions to the acting world, and he deserves a spot among the top Irish actors. A long career with a variety of movies, including “The Usual Suspects” (1995), “Stigmata” (1999) and “Spider” (2002).
- Michael Gambon: Michael Gambon is a revered actor known for his remarkable versatility, commanding stage presence, and exceptional emotional range. He brings depth and authenticity to every character he portrays, effortlessly connecting with audiences on an emotional level. Some of his best movies include “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” (1989), where he plays a brutal restaurant owner, “Gosford Park” (2001), as the wealthy Sir William McCordle, and “The King’s Speech” (2010). Michael Gambon’s illustrious career in drama has been recognized with numerous prestigious accolades. Knighted in 1998 for his outstanding contributions to the arts, he has garnered four BAFTA Awards, three Olivier Awards, and an Irish Film and Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
I hope you enjoyed my list of 11 famous Irish actors 🎥
It was a pleasure putting it together. I could make so many more famous Irish actors on this list, including Colim Meeney(Deep Space Nine, Law Abiding Citizen and The Snapper). But as I conclude this list of 11 famous Irish actors, I am reminded of their unparalleled contributions to cinema, enriching our movie-watching experiences with their talent, passion, and the magic they bring to the big screen. What do you think about my list? Are these the best Irish actors?
Cheers to these exceptional actors who continue to inspire and entertain us, leaving a lasting legacy in the hearts of movie enthusiasts worldwide. 🍀