Photo of Brendan Gleeson Brendan Gleeson

A ginger-haired character actor who landed his first movie role in his mid-30s, Brendan Gleeson was born March 29, 1955, in Dublin, Ireland, and spent the early part of his acting career in theater. He graduated with honors from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and spent several seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

After appearing in the 1992 films Far and Away and Into the West, Gleeson caught his big break with a role as Mel Gibson's burly sidekick in Braveheart (1995). Gleeson later stepped into the Harry Potter franchise as Alastor "MadEye" Moody and joined the ensemble casts of other high-profile projects such as Gangs of New York and Troy.

Gleeson earned a Golden Globe nod for his portrayal of a sympathetic hit man in the 2008 crime comedy In Bruges. He also nabbed his first Emmy win and another Golden Globe nomination playing Winston Churchill in HBO's Into the Storm (2009).

Brendan Gleeson in In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea

2015 PG-13

Revisiting the incredible true tale of the whaling ship Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820, this historical drama chronicles the crew's horrific 90-day struggle to survive amid storms, hunger and despair.

  • Brendan Gleeson in Suffragette Suffragette
  • Brendan Gleeson in Green Zone Green Zone
  • Brendan Gleeson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt I Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt I
  • Brendan Gleeson in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Company You Keep The Company You Keep
  • Brendan Gleeson in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Brendan Gleeson in Song of the Sea Song of the Sea
  • Brendan Gleeson in Safe House Safe House
  • Brendan Gleeson in Mission: Impossible II Mission: Impossible II
  • Brendan Gleeson in 28 Days Later 28 Days Later
  • Brendan Gleeson in Gangs of New York Gangs of New York
  • Brendan Gleeson in Calvary Calvary
  • Brendan Gleeson in Cold Mountain Cold Mountain
  • Brendan Gleeson in Stonehearst Asylum Stonehearst Asylum
  • Brendan Gleeson in A.I. Artificial Intelligence A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Brendan Gleeson in Troy Troy
  • Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges In Bruges
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Secret of Kells The Secret of Kells
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Guard The Guard
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Village The Village
  • Brendan Gleeson in Into the Storm Into the Storm
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Raven The Raven
  • Brendan Gleeson in Albert Nobbs Albert Nobbs
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Smurfs 2 The Smurfs 2
  • Brendan Gleeson in Kingdom of Heaven Kingdom of Heaven
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Grand Seduction The Grand Seduction
  • Brendan Gleeson in Dark Blue Dark Blue
  • Brendan Gleeson in Breakfast on Pluto Breakfast on Pluto
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Cup The Cup
  • Brendan Gleeson in Harrison's Flowers Harrison's Flowers
  • Brendan Gleeson in In My Country In My Country
  • Brendan Gleeson in Beowulf: Director's Cut Beowulf: Director's Cut
  • Brendan Gleeson in Perrier's Bounty Perrier's Bounty
  • Brendan Gleeson in Black Irish Black Irish
  • Brendan Gleeson in Turbulence Turbulence
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Tiger's Tail The Tiger's Tail
  • Brendan Gleeson in The Pirates! Band of Misfits The Pirates! Band of Misfits