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Northern Ireland Screen Legends


  • Bronagh Gallagher

    Bronagh Gallagher

    • Born in Derry/ Londonderry in 1972, Bronagh is a successful actress and singer.
    • During her teens, Bronagh became involved in music and drama and joined the Oakgrove Theatre Company.
    • She was also a backing singer in a local band, The Listener.
    • Her big break came when she starred as Bernie in The Commitments.
    • She has also appeared in such films as Thunderpants, You, Me & Marley, Divorcing Jack, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Tristan & Isolde, Last Chance Harvey and Sherlock Holmes.

  • Ciarán Hinds

    Ciaran Hinds in THE SHORE - on location, Coney Island, Co. Down

    • Born in Belfast on February 9th 1953, Ciarán Hinds has established himself as an actor of international renown
    • Ciarán’s professional career began with a stage production of Cinderella at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre.
    • Ciarán made his film debut in John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981) alongside Liam Neeson.
    • Since his film debut, Ciarán has appeared in several high profile movies including
    • Television has also played a part in Ciaran’s career with major roles in
    • Hinds played the role of Albus Dumbledore's brother Aberforth in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final film in the Harry Potter franchise.
    • He played 'Joe' in the film The Shore (2011), written and directed by Terry George. The Shore won the Best Short Film, Live Action category at the 84th Annual Academy Awards (The Oscars) in 2012.
    • In the 2012 - 2013 (third) season of Game of Thrones®, Hinds was Mance Rayder, the 'King Beyond The Wall'.

  • James Nesbitt

    James Nesbitt in FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN - on set, Belfast

    Raised in Broughshane near the beautiful Antrim coast, James harboured dreams of acting from a young age.

    • James Nesbitt was born in January 1965 and raised in Broughshane, Co. Antrim.
    • He landed his first professional role in a BBC2 film Virtuoso (1989) just one day after graduating from drama school.
    • In 1998 through to 2003, James starred in the hugely successful ITV comedy show Cold Feet which established his position as a leading man. 
    • The role in Cold Feet won him multiple British Comedy Awards and a National Television Award.
    • In 2002, Nesbitt moved away from comedy to play the lead in Paul Greengrass’s Bloody Sunday (2002). The performance won much critical acclaim and Nesbitt was nominated for a BAFTA for his performance and won awards at the Stockholm International Film Festival and a British Independent Film Award.
    • More recently, he was appeared as Bofur the dwarf in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and the TV series Monroe.

  • Geraldine Hughes

    • Geraldine Hughes was born in West Belfast in 1970.
    • She left Belfast when she attained a private scholarship to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) where she earned a BA from the School of Theatre, Film and TV.
    • After University she moved to New York to work on the stage, where she starred in Brian Friel's Translations on Broadway, and she also picked up numerous television roles in top American dramas like ER.
    • She has appeared in several feature films including 2006's Rocky Balboa alongside Sylvester Stallone, playing "Little Marie", and in 2008 she played Clint Eastwood's daughter-in-law in Gran Torino.
    • In 2005, she wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed play Belfast Blues, a true story from her own prospective about coming of age in Belfast in the 1980s. Performed in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Belfast and London, the play received the Los Angeles Ovation Garland and Drama Critics Circle Awards, and Hughes won a Drama League Nomination for outstanding Performance.
    • Other theatre credits include: Molly Sweeney (Irish Repertory Theatre), Pumpgirl (MTC), Translations (MTC), Orson's Shadow, The Cripple of Inishman, The Weir, The Architect.
  • Adrian Dunbar

    • Adrian was born on the 1st August 1958, and was brought up in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
    • He was educated by the Presentation brothers before attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
    • He has appeared in such notable films as my Left Foot, The Crying Game, and The General, and also had leading roles in the films Triggermen, Shooters, How Harry became a Tree (with Colm Meaney), Richard 111, and Widows' Peak.
    • Dunbar co-wrote and starred in the 1991 film, Hear My Song, nominated for best Original Screenplay at the BAFTA awards.
    • His many television credits include many British productions including Cracker, Tough Love, Inspector Morse, Kidnapped, Murphy's Law, Murder in Mind, Ashes to Ashes, among many others. His most recent role was as the villainous Uncle Ralph, in the BBC Northern Ireland’s modern day adaption of the Dickens Classic Nicholas Nickleby.
    • In June 2009 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in recognition of his services to acting.
  • Stephen Rea

    • Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Stephen attended Belfast High School and the Queen's University of Belfast, taking a degree in English.
    • After appearing on the stage and in television and film for many years in Ireland and Britain, he came to international attention when he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film The Crying Game.
    • He is a frequent collaborator with Irish film make Neil Jordan, and has long been associated with some of the most important writers in Ireland.
    • In 1980 he helped establish the Field Day Theatre Company in 1980 with Tom Paulin, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, and Seamus Deane.
    • Recent TV credits include: The Shadowlin, and Utopia series.
    • In recognition for his contribution to theatre and performing arts, Rea was given honorary degrees from both the Queen's University of Belfast and the University of Ulster in 2004.
  • Amanda Burton

    • Amanda Burton was born on 10 October 1956 in Ballougry, County Londonderry and attended the Foyle and Londonderry college, before moving to England aged 18 to study at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre.
    • Amanda is best known for her high-profile television roles as Sam Ryan in the BBC crime series Silent Witness, a role which earned her a most Popular Actress gong at the National Television Awards. She also played Clare Blake in The Commander, Beth Glover in Peak Practice, and Heather in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside.
    • In 2010, Burton appeared in the sixth series of BBC drama Waterloo Road as new Head Teacher, Karen Fisher, but she departed the show in 2011.
  • Ciaran McMenamin

    • Ciaran was born in 1975 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and now lives in South London. He gained a Baccalaureate Degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1998.
    • He has appeared on various BBC and ITV programmes, including playing Cedric Crackenthorpe in 4:50 from Paddington, an episode of Marple (starring Geraldine McEwan), and in the Channel 4 comedy series, The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star. He has also appeared in ITV series The Golden Hour, and had a guest appearance in Jonathan Creek.
    • His movie credits include the 2001 to End All Wards and the award winning the Last Confession of Alexander pearce (2008).
    • In 2010 he took a lead role as Matt Anderson in the popular science fiction show Primeval.
    • Ciaran has completed the film Made in Belfast in which he plays the part of an author returned to the city for a funeral. Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody has a production credit for this film which opened the 13th Belfast Film Festival.

  • Michelle Fairley

    Michelle Fairley

    • Michelle was born in Coleraine in 1964 and grew up in the town of Ballycastle, she now resides in London.
    • Her TV appearances include a wide range of British television shows, among them The Bill, Holby City, Heartbeat, Inspector Morse, Silent Witness, and Midsomer Murders. She also played the role of George Best's mother in the TV film His Mother's Son.
    • Film credits include the role of Mrs Granger in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow films.
    • Michelle had a lead role as Catelyn Stark in the successful HBO Series Game of Thrones.
    • In 2013 she completed a lead role in the British film production , Ironclad: Battle for Blood.
  • Colin Morgan

    • Colin was born in Armagh on 1 January 1986.
    • He went on to gain a National Diploma in Performing Arts at Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education in 2004., and then to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he graduated in 2007.
    • Between 2007 and 2012 Colin took roles in a number of productions at the Old Vic Theatre in London, including All About My Mother (2007) and Private Life (2011).
    • Colin also has a number of TV credits including appearances on the Catherine Tate Show and Doctor Who.
    • In 2008 Colin got the lead role of Merlin in the children's TV series Merlin, which ran until 2012, when he received a National Television Award for this role.
    • 2013 projects will see him appearing on stage in the role of Prospero in The Tempest, and in the television production Quirke, which is set in Dublin, and which stars Gabriel Byrne.
  • Terry George


    • Terry George was born in Belfast on 20 December 1952. He and his wife Rita moved to New York in 1981.
    • In 1993, he made his debut as Screenwriter and Assistant Director on the film In The Name of The Father, which starred Daniel Day-lewis, and was directed and co-written by Jim Sheridan. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay for George and Sheridan.
    • Terry was named Young European Director of the Year in 1996 for his screenplay of the film, Some Mother's Son which he directed, and which starred Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan.
    • In 2004 he received a second Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay for Hotel Rwanda which starred Don Cheadle, which he co-wrote, and also produced and directed.
    • Terry wrote and directed short film The Shore in 2010, which won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 2012. The shore was filmed over six days outside his home in County Down in Northern Ireland.
    • In 2011, he wrote, directed and produced the feature film, Whole Lotta Sole starring Brendan Fraser and Colm Meaney.
  • Liam Neeson

    Liam Neeson in FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN - Belfast

    Liam Neeson is the acclaimed actor from Ballymena, Co Antrim.

    • Born on June 7th 1952 in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
    • Neeson worked in various jobs before joining the Lyric Players’ Theatre in Belfast in 1976.
    • Neeson made various TV and film productions throughout the 1980s but it was his casting in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives (1992) where he drew great critical acclaim that lead to his role as Oskar Schindler in Stephen Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993)
    • The role in Schindler’s List established Liam Neeson as one of Hollywood’s leading men and lead to multiple award nominations including Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
    • Neeson has starred in many high profile productions including Rob Roy (1995), Michael Collins (1996), Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (199), Batman Begins (2004) and he provided the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)
    • More recently, Neeson has emerged as an action hero with lead roles in Taken (2009), Taken 2 (2012), The A-Team(2010) , Unknown (2011)  and Clash of the Titans (2012)
    • In the 1999 Honours List, Neeson was awarded an OBE for his accomplishments in film and television.
  • Kenneth Branagh

    • Kenneth was born on the 10 December 1960 in Belfast.
    • Branagh is well known for his Shakespearean interests and he has acted and directed in several production both on stage and in film. His film productions include Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Othello (1995), Hamlet (1996), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2006)
    • Other director credits include Frankenstein (1994), thriller Sleuth (2007, which was a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, and Thor (2011), based on the Marvel superhero.
    • Branagh has been nominated in five categories at the Oscars for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and Best Short.
    • December 2013 saw the release of Jack Ryan, an action thriller, based on the character Jack Ryan, created by writer Tom Clancy, and starring Chris Pine. This role has previously been played by Alex Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.
    • On November 9th 2012, Kenneth Branagh was knighted for services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland.
  • Andrew Eaton

    • Andrew was born in Derry~Londonderry on 7 December 1959.
    • After their award-winning collaboration on the BBC drama Family, he co-founded Revolution Films with Michael Winterbottom in 1994.
    • Among the awards that he has received is the British Independent Film Award for Producer of the Year in 2000.
    • In 2004 his film In This World was awarded the BAFTA for Best Film Not in The English Language.
    • Most recent credits include Good Vibrations (2012), which tells the story of Terri Hooley, the record-store owner, instrumental in developing Belfast's punk-rock scene. The look Of Love (2013) is a biography of Paul Raymond, the contreversial entrepreneur who became Britain's richest man.
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