Gleeson, Brendan (I) Biography
biography of Gleeson, Brendan (I)29 March 1955, Dublin, Ireland
A versatile actor, who decided to become an actor at age 34 after teaching a secondary level for several years, made his debut as a quarryman in _The Field (1990)_ (qv). He had several small roles in major Hollywood movies based in Ireland, such as _Far and Away (1992)_ (qv) and _Into the West (1992)_ (qv). Memorably played historical Irish figure "Michael Collins" in _The Treaty (1992) (TV)_ (qv). Made his breakthrough in Scottish themed _Braveheart (1995)_ (qv), which was largely filmed in Ireland, opposite 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv). He played Gibson's right-hand man "Hamish". Since then, he has appeared in numerous major films such as _Mission: Impossible II (2000)_ (qv), _Lake Placid (1999)_ (qv), _Turbulence (1997)_ (qv). He has made a name for himself taking the titular role in _The General (1998)_ (qv), based on the life of Irish criminal "Martin Cahill", for which he won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award. He appears in director 'John Boorman' (qv)'s film _The Tailor of Panama (2001)_ (qv) as well as 'Martin Scorsese' (qv)'s _Gangs of New York (2002)_ (qv) and 'Steven Spielberg' (qv)'s _Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)_ (qv).
Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as 'Samuel Beckett' (qv), which eventually led to him performing in his high school play production of "Waiting for Godot", and paying great attention to detail in his high school drama classes. Upon finishing 12th grade, he spent a couple of years with the Dublin Shakespeare Festival, and under the advice of a director there, headed across to London and auditioned for drama schools. Soon to follow, he was invited to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon, and spent a couple of seasons back in England on the stage. He then, at the age of thirty five, decided to audition for films in the UK and began to build a very respectable resume playing many different diverse characters. His classical acting skills gained the attention of 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv) and he was cast in _Braveheart (1995)_ (qv). Ever since, he has continued to bring his huge stage presence to the screen, always delivering the character in full development to his audience. He is married to his lovely wife, Mary, since 1982. They have four sons.
- 'Mary Gleeson' (1982 - present); 4 children
- Frequently works with fellow Irish actor 'Liam Neeson' (qv)
- Frequently makes historical films
- Frequently plays wise, experienced men who act as mentors and father figures to the lead characters.
- He is a fine fiddle player and can be seen playing it in _Michael Collins (1996)_ (qv) and also in _Cold Mountain (2003)_ (qv).
- He has four sons from his marriage to Mary Gleeson: 'Domhnall Gleeson' (qv), Fergus Gleeson, 'Brian Gleeson (III)' (qv) and 'Rory Gleeson (I)' (qv).
- He was a teacher for 10 years before becoming an actor
- Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford Upon Avon, England, in the late eighties for two seasons where his credits included King Lear and King Richard II.
- Participated in the Dublin Shakespeare Theatre Festival the during mid-eighties.
- Plays a professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts in _Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)_ (qv), _Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)_ (qv), and _Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)_ (qv). This makes him the first, and to date, only actor to play a Hogwarts professor who has himself been employed as a teacher.
- He started acting at the age of 34.
- Taught Maths at St. Joseph's Secondary school in Fairview, Dublin.
- He played Irish leader Michael Collins in _The Treaty (1992) (TV)_ (qv). He later had a supporting role in the biopic _Michael Collins (1996)_ (qv).
- He taught English, Irish & Physical Education at Belcamp College Secondary School in Dublin.
- He has starred in feature films with two of his sons: _Studs (2006)_ (qv) and _Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)_ (qv) with his eldest son 'Domhnall Gleeson' (qv), and _The Tiger's Tail (2006)_ (qv) with his second youngest, 'Brian Gleeson (III)' (qv).
- Played British Prime Minister Sir 'Winston Churchill (I)' (qv) in _Into the Storm (2009) (TV)_ (qv). In _Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)_ (qv), he appears with 'Timothy Spall' (qv) and 'Robert Hardy (I)' (qv), both of whom have also played Churchill.
- [on _In Bruges (2008)_ (qv)] A real test of our acting ability.
- [About _In Bruges (2008)_ (qv) director 'Martin McDonagh' (qv)] Yeah, similar to that, I'd kind of worked with Martin on _Six Shooter (2004)_ (qv)... he showed me that script before we knew it was going to happen... It was kind of a notion at that time, so you just kind of think, 'how cool this would be to make'.
- _The Village (2004)_ (qv) -> $1,500,000
- "NME" (UK), 6 June 1998, pg. 10, by: Gavin Martin, "All That Gleeson is Gold"
- "Radio Times" (UK), 23-29 April 1994, pg. 6, by: Deborah Dudgeon
- "Premiere" (USA), December 2005, Vol. 19, Iss. 4, pg. 34, by: Jason Matloff, "Scene Stealer"
- "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 23 July 1999, Vol. 1, Iss. 495, pg. 75, by: Dave Karger, "General Excellence"
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