In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re taking a look at ten actors from Irish descent. And some may surprise you.
Whether hailing from Ireland or Hollywood, these actors have starred in huge franchises and won multiple Academy Awards.
But no surprise, considering they were born with the luck of the Irish.
Birth place: Termonfeckin, County Louth, Ireland
Most well known films: Played Luna Lovegood in the 'Harry Potter' series.
Irish ancestry: Born into a family of six in Ireland, Lynch often acted in school plays and attended a summer school for gifted teens in Dublin. After reading the 'Harry Potter' books and becoming a fan, Lynch sent letters to author J.K. Rowling, who corresponded with Lynch during her two-year battle with anorexia at age 11 and 12.
In 2006, after auditioning for the role of Luna Lovegood at an open casting call in London among 15,000 other girls, Lynch was cast in the 'Harry Potter' series at age 14. The actress made her on-screen debut in 2007's 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.'
Birth place: Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
Age: O'Toole died in 2013 at the age of 81.
Most well known films: 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), 'The Lion in WInter' (1968), 'My Favourite Year' (1982) O'Toole has been nominated for eight Oscars. In 2008, starred as Pope Paul III on 'The Tudors.'
Irish ancestry: After being born in Ireland, O'Toole was raised in England, where lived until his death.
From the book 'Fame and Obscurity':
Though Peter O'Toole remains an uprooted Irishman by choice, he leaves London and returns to Ireland every now and then to do some drinking, to play the horses at the Punchestown racetrack outside Dublin, and to spend some solitary hours thinking.
Birth place: Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
Most well known films: 'The League of Extraordinary Gentleman' (2003), 'About Adam' (2000). Townsend made three movies with his former girlfriend of nine years, Charlize Theron: 'Trapped' (2002), 'Head in the clouds' (2004) and 'Eon Flux' (2005).
Irish ancestry: Townsend was raised Irish Catholic by his professional golfer father and model mother. The actor began his career while attending the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and later made his professional stage debut in 1994's 'True Lines' which was a part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Before fame, Townsend formed a theatre group with his friends in Dublin where they re-enacted a popular childrens' show.
Birth place: New York City
Most well known films: 'The Lovely Bones' (2009). 'Atonement,' for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2007. Most recently, she played 'Agatha' in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel.'
Irish ancestry: Her father is Paul Ronan, an established Irish actor who has appeared in 'The Devil's Own' and 'Veronica Guerin.' When Saoirse was three-ears-old, the family moved to Ireland, where the actress grew up in County Carlow, Ireland.
Birth place: Dublin, Ireland
Most well known films: Playing King Henry VIII in 'The Tudors' TV series (2007-2010), 'Mission Impossible III' (2006), 'Match Point' (2005), 'Bend It Like Beckham (2002). Won an Outstanding Lead Actor Golden Globe in 2006 for his role in the CBS TV movie 'Elvis.'
Irish ancestry: Born in Dublin, Rhys Meyers' family later moved to County Cork, Ireland, where his father left the family when the actor was only a year old. After being kicked out of high school, Rhys Meyers was later discovered by a casting agent, which led to his first bit role in 1994's 'A Man of No Importance.'
In 2008, Rhys Meyers was crowned the best actor in Ireland for his role on 'Tudors' as part of the Irish Film and Television Awards.
Birth place: Navan, County Meath, Ireland
Most well known films: 'GoldenEye' (1995) and playing James Bond in the '007' franchise. He has six films lined up for 2015,
Irish ancestry: Brosnan moved from Ireland to London at 12-years-old. Today, the actor is a patron of the Irish dramatic art academy The Lir and in 1996, he even formed 'Irish Dream Team,' an LA-based production company.
Birth place: Dublin, Ireland
Most well known films: 'Horrible Bosses' (2011), 'Crazy Heart' (2009), 'In Bruges' (2009) for which he won a Golden Globe for Best performance by an Actor in A Comedy or Musical. This year, he will star in season 2 of HBO's hit series, 'True Detective.'
Irish ancestry: A Dublin native, Farrell studied acting at the Gaiety School of Drama in Dublin. Farrell began his career in Ireland on the BBC TV show 'Ballykisangel' in 1996 and a miniseries titled 'Falling for a Dancer' in 1998.
Birth place: West Germany
Most well known films: 'Prometheus' (2012), 'Shame' (2011), 'X-Men: First Class' (2011), 'Inglorious Basterds' (2009), '300' (2006). This year, he will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic. Fassbender is also slated to appear in 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' 'Assassin's Creed,' and 'Prometheus 2.'
Irish ancestry: While Fassbender's father is German, his mother is from Northern Ireland. When the actor was two-years-ols, his family moved to Killarney, Ireland, where they ran West End House, a restaurant where his father worked as a chef.
According to Fassbender's family lore, his mother is the great-great-niece of Michael Collins, an Irish leader during the War of Independence.
And Fassbender is a fan of another Irishman: 'For me, Daniel Day-Lewis is in a league of his own. I think that he's amazing. And he's always been a benchmark of excellence.'
Birth place: London, England
Most well known films: Won a Best Actor Oscar for playing the title character in this year's Steven Spielberg film 'Lincoln.' He also won an Oscar in 2008 for 'There Will Be Blood' and 1990 for 'My Left Foot.' He was nominated in 1994 for 'In The Name Of The Father' and 2003 for 'Gangs of New York.'
Irish ancestry: Day Lewis has both British and Irish citizenship, the latter which he assumed in 1993 after he and his wife, Rebecca Miller, split so much time between New York and Ireland. The actor keeps a remote 50 acre country home in Ireland's mountains of County Wicklowremote. He has also been known to order a pint of Guinness.
Birth place: Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Most well known films: 'Batman Begins' (2005), 'Star Wars' (1999). Nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for 'Schindler's List.' At age 62, Neeson has become a top action star with the super succesful 'Taken' franchise and his most recent film, 'Run All Night.'
Irish ancestry: Born in Northern Ireland, Neeson attended St. Mary's Teaching College in Belfast where he originally wanted to pursue a career in education but ended up moving to Dublin after school to further his acting career instead. Neeson worked as forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer in Ireland before joining the Belfast Lyric Players' Theatre and made his professional debut in 'The Risen People' in 1976.
Today, Neeson resides in New York City with his two sons.
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