Brendan Gleeson

Last updated on the 9 April 2024 by Maeve

Brendan Gleeson headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 29 March 1955, Dublin, Ireland. 

Brendan Gleeson grew up in a family of ten children and developed a passion for acting from a young age. His father, Frank Gleeson, was a Gaelic footballer and served as a lobbying officer with the Gaelic Athletic Association. Brendan’s early exposure to the world of performance came through his parents, who instilled in him a love for the arts.

In terms of his education, Gleeson attended St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Fairview, Dublin. After completing his secondary education, he initially pursued a career in teaching. However, his true calling for acting beckoned, leading him to change paths and enroll in the Dublin Institute of Technology’s College of Marketing and Design to study acting.

Gleeson’s career in acting took off in the late 1980s when he appeared in several stage productions at the renowned Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His talent and dedication quickly gained recognition, propelling him to opportunities in television and film. In the early stages of his acting career, he garnered acclaim for his work in projects such as “The Treaty” (1991) and “Michael Collins” (1996).

Throughout his prolific career, Brendan Gleeson has delivered outstanding performances in a wide array of film and television productions. His roles in movies such as “Braveheart” (1995), “Gangs of New York” (2002), “In Bruges” (2008), and “Calvary” (2014) have showcased his exceptional range. He received a Primetime Emmy Award in 2009 for his performance as Winston Churchill in the TV movie “Into the Storm”.

His portrayal of Alastor Moody in the “Harry Potter” film series and his role as Bill Hodges in the TV series “Mr. Mercedes” have further cemented his reputation as a highly accomplished actor.

Brendan Gleeson is married to Mary Weldon. Their family comprises of four sons named Domhnall, Fergus, Brían and Rory, with Domhnall and Brían pursuing careers in acting as well.

He is fluent in Irish and actively supports the advancement of the language. He and his son Domhnall both share a passion for English football club Aston Villa.


Suggested viewing


Into the Storm (2009)

Into the Storm poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.0

“Into the Storm” explores Winston Churchill’s leadership during World War II, delving into his challenges, triumphs and political strategies. The tv movie showcases Churchill’s resolve, wit and courage amid wartime chaos and international turmoil, highlighting his pivotal role in shaping history through unwavering determination and inspiring rhetoric that rallied a nation.

Top cast: Brendan Gleeson, Clive Mantle, Adrian Scarborough, Jack Shepherd, Iain Glen, James D’Arcy, Janet McTeer, Donald Sumpter, Robert Pugh, Patrick Malahide, Bill Paterson.


The Guard (2011)

The Guard poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

“The Guard” follows an unconventional Irish police officer who partners with an FBI agent to investigate drug smuggling. Despite clashing personalities, they uncover a complex criminal operation. The dark comedy intertwines wit with gritty crime elements, exploring themes of loyalty, corruption and unlikely alliances in a small coastal town setting.

Top cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong, Katarina Čas, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Laurence Kinlan, Dominique McElligott.


The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

The Banshees of Inisherin poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.7

“The Banshees of Inisherin” is a dark comedy film where a cynical, struggling writer returns to his rural Irish hometown to pen a scathing critique of the locals. However, as he immerses himself in the quirky community and their bizarre traditions, his perspective shifts, leading to unexpected revelations and personal growth.

Top cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Jon Kenny, Sheila Flitton, David Pearse.


In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.9

Two hitmen await orders from their boss in Bruges after a botched job. Amidst the picturesque town, guilt and existential questions surface, leading to unexpected choices. Their stay in Bruges takes a dark turn when past deeds catch up, challenging their bond and sanity in a gripping tale of redemption and consequences.

Top cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Thekla Reuten, Jordan Prentice, Elizabeth Berrington, Jérémie Renier, Mark Donovan.


Calvary (2014)

Calvary poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.4

In a small Irish village, a good-hearted priest is threatened during confession by a mysterious parishioner seeking retribution for past abuse by another priest. As the week progresses, the priest faces the harsh realities of his community’s struggles, culminating in a powerful and thought-provoking confrontation that challenges his faith and purpose.

Top cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Brendan Gleeson Gallery



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