The 5 Most Famous Irish Actors

    March 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Whether it’s civil war, famine, persecution, or the lampooning of its treasured folklore, Ireland has had it rough. But that hasn’t stopped these 5 Famous Irish Actors from making a name for themselves and The Emerald Isle:

    Liam Neeson

    Despite being 58 years old, Belfast-born Liam Neeson is one of the most awesome actors working in Hollywood today. He’s been acting in films since 1977, when he played Jesus Christ in a film adaptation of The Pilgrim’s Progress, but the real breakthrough role came in 1990 when Liam was cast as the titular character in Sam Raimi’s Darkman. Neeson’s face was obscured for most of the film (thankfully) because his character was grotesquely disfigured and left for dead by his arch nemesis, the Dean from Dorm Daze 2.

    Darkman made Liam Neeson a household raspy voice, but it wasn’t until 1993’s Schindler’s List that Neeson became a household name. Since then, he’s been given every awesome role that Hollywood has to offer:

    In 2008, Neeson hit the jackpot with a leading role in Taken, a movie that’s 50% the cheesiest, most thrown together garbage you’ve ever seen, and then 50% the most awesome movie that’s ever been made. Since then, Liam Neeson has been seen as nothing less than a complete badass.  His most recent film, Taken 2 Unknown, is no exception.

    Colin Farrell

    Colin Farrell is the baddest bad boy working in Hollywood today. A Dublin native, Farrell began acting in the UK in the late 90’s and hopped the pond in the early 2000’s to begin his domination of Hollywood and its plethora of bad boy-loving women. His first few American films were not successful, but he quickly scored supporting roles in Minority Report (2002) as a good guy cop, and as a super villain assassin who kills people with paper clips in the worst superhero movie ever made, 2003’s Daredevil.

    Later that same year, Farrell appeared in the starring role in Phone Booth, S.W.A.T., and The Recruit. It was a busy few years for Farrell, but his hard work paid off, and he secured his position as one of Hollywood’s leading men. Since then, he’s made great strides in proving his onscreen versatility in a wide variety of  roles.

    As far as the ladies are concerned, Farrell has quite the reputation in Hollywood as crude womanizer. He’s been romantically linked to nearly every leading lady he’s worked with, as well as a number of models. In 2003 he made a sex tape with Playboy model and then girlfriend Nicole Narain, and the tape was (predictably) leaked. In 2005, Dame Eileen Atkins, a 70-year old British woman, claimed the Farrell had propositioned her for sex for 3 straight hours. Farrell confessed to the accusation and even joked about it on a subsequent radio show. So how does somebody with such a lewd history of womanizing manage to gain such a respectable position as one of Hollywood’s leading men? It’s just the luck of the Irish, I guess.

    Cillian Murphy

    Cillian Murphy was born in Cork, Ireland, which unfortunately is not a city made entirely out of cork. Murphy started his career as a rock musician. He played in a band with his brother called The Sons of Mr. Greengenes. Basically, they were the Jonas Brothers before the Jonas Brothers were the Jonas Brothers (so around the time that Hanson was the Jonas Brothers).

    Murphy turned to acting in the late 90’s, mostly performing in plays and independent films. Soon after, Murphy caught the attention of Danny Boyle, who cast Murphy for the lead role in the 2002 zombie movie 28 Days Later. The film was Murphy’s first exposure to American audiences. Maybe it was his natural talent. Maybe it was his Sinatra-esque blue eyes. Maybe it was the fact that the movie contained zombies, and everybody loves zombies. Whatever the reason, America fell in love with Cillian Murphy. Over the next few years, Murphy would show up in a wide variety of blockbuster hits:

    Whether he’s evading zombies, gassing people with hallucinogens, or getting gassed on a plane, there are two things we can be sure of: 1) Cillian Murphy will be captivating audiences with riveting performances for years to come, and 2) Most people don’t know that Cillian Murphy isn’t American.

    Pierce Brosnan

    Pierce Brosnan is from Drogheda, which is a town in Ireland and a great name for a Godzilla monster. Brosnan has been acting in films and television shows since the 80’s. He played the film-loving fake P.I. and titular character in NBC’s Remington Steele, but most of us know him best as the James Bond of the 90’s, when stuff like this would happen:

    In a particularly memorable scene from “Die Another Day”, Brosnan (as James Bond, I guess) survives an ice avalanche and then surfs the worst CGI tsunami in the history of CGI tsunamis to safety. Brosnan also played the bad guy in Mrs. Doubtfire, and dozens of other awesomely memorable characters:

    Apparently he was in Mamma Mia!, too.

    Lucky the Leprechaun

    Like it or not, this stereotypical cereal spokesman has more on-camera time than any of the Irishmen mentioned above. Lucky the Leprechaun (also know as Sir Lucky) has been an American television icon since he first took to the airwaves in 1963. Lucky is the spokes-leprechaun for Lucky Charms ,which were invented by a guy named (no kidding) Paul Bunyon. Lucky is the first and only spokesman that the brand has ever had (except for a brief period in 1975, when Lucky was temporarily replaced by Wally the Wizard. After immense public outcry, General Mills gave Lucky his job back).

    For 48 years, Lucky the Leprechaun has been evading bubbly children to protect his collection of magical marshmallows, and we’ve been with him every step of the way. Even when he tried to hide inside of a giant supercomputer that he thought the kids might not notice:

    1. Name says:

      I can’t believe you have a cartoon leprechaun on this list.

    2. ton says:

      dont forget patrick bergin and now his is a singer “patrick bergin and the spirit merchants”… 😉

    3. Darragh says:

      How could you miss Colin Farrell in Intermission?
      Worst scumbag on the planet. (Cillan Murphy also starred in it)

    4. TheReviewer says:

      I loved him in the remake of Thomas Crown

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