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Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen

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Also Known As: Aidan Murphy, Aiden Gillen Died:
Born: April 24, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dublin, IE Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A human chameleon with a deft touch at playing charismatic heels, Aidan Gillen became an intrinsic player to some of the most groundbreaking television shows of the 1990s and 2000s, including such prestige fare as the U.K.'s "Queer as Folk" (Channel 4, 1999-2000) and HBO's "The Wire" (2002-08) and "Game of Thrones" (2011- ). In the early 1990s, the Irish-born Gillen established a footprint in the U.K. theater scene and a run of well-regarded independent films like "Circle of Friends" (1995), "Some Mother's Son" (1996), "Mojo" (1997) and "Buddy Boy" (1999). In 1999, he landed one of the leads on the daring British series "Queer as Folk," one of the first humanizing looks at gay culture in television history. In 2003, Gillen's Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker" earned him a Tony nomination, setting him up for a memorable splash on U.S. television as Mayor Tommy Carcetti on HBO's magnum opus urban drama "The Wire." Gillen carved a niche playing textured, scene-stealing villains in projects such as "Lorna Doone" (BBC, 2000), "The Final Curtain" (2002), "Shanghai Knights" (2003), "Blackout" (2008), "Freefall" (BBC, 2009) and "Blitz" (2011), capped deftly by his return home to play a mob...

A human chameleon with a deft touch at playing charismatic heels, Aidan Gillen became an intrinsic player to some of the most groundbreaking television shows of the 1990s and 2000s, including such prestige fare as the U.K.'s "Queer as Folk" (Channel 4, 1999-2000) and HBO's "The Wire" (2002-08) and "Game of Thrones" (2011- ). In the early 1990s, the Irish-born Gillen established a footprint in the U.K. theater scene and a run of well-regarded independent films like "Circle of Friends" (1995), "Some Mother's Son" (1996), "Mojo" (1997) and "Buddy Boy" (1999). In 1999, he landed one of the leads on the daring British series "Queer as Folk," one of the first humanizing looks at gay culture in television history. In 2003, Gillen's Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker" earned him a Tony nomination, setting him up for a memorable splash on U.S. television as Mayor Tommy Carcetti on HBO's magnum opus urban drama "The Wire." Gillen carved a niche playing textured, scene-stealing villains in projects such as "Lorna Doone" (BBC, 2000), "The Final Curtain" (2002), "Shanghai Knights" (2003), "Blackout" (2008), "Freefall" (BBC, 2009) and "Blitz" (2011), capped deftly by his return home to play a mob boss in the Irish drama "Love/Hate" (RTE, 2010-11) and the Machiavellian counselor Littlefinger on "Game of Thrones." Boasting a CV "teeming with reptiles, chancers and scumbags," as the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper summarized, Gillen continues to build an élan as one of Ireland's best thespian imports.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Calvary (2014)
2.
 Blue Potato (2013)
3.
 Shadow Dancer (2012)
5.
 Blitz (2011)
6.
 Blackout (2009)
7.
 12 Rounds (2009)
8.
 Shanghai Knights (2003) Rathbone
9.
 My Kingdom (2001) Barry Puttnam
10.
 Darkling, The (2000) Jeff Obold
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1987:
Moved to London at age 19 to pursue an acting career
1987:
Landed cameo roles in "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" and "The Courier" (billed as Aidan Murphy)
:
Took the stage name of Aidan Gillen
1988:
Played Tony in "Handful of Stars" at London's Bush Theatre
1993:
Reprised role of Tony in the BBC production of "Handful of Stars"
1993:
Played a homeless youth in Antonia Bird's "Safe" (BBC)
1995:
Played supporting role in Pat O'Connor's "Circle of Friends"
1996:
Played a jailed IRA supporter who takes part in a hunger strike in "Some Mother's Son"
1997:
Co-starred in the Irish immigrant tale "Gold in the Streets"
1999:
Starred as the highly sexually active Stuart on the popular British series "Queer as Folk" (Channel 4)
2000:
Reprised role of Stuart in the special two-hour finale "Queer as Folk 2"
2001:
Co-starred with Peter O'Toole in "The Final Curtain"
2000:
Portrayed Carver in the British TV adaptation of "Lorna Doone"
2000:
Returned to the London stage as Ariel in the Alameida Theater production of "The Tempest"
2001:
Played an aimless, self-absorbed man in "The Low Down"
2003:
Made Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker"; earned a Tony nomination
2004:
Played Baltimore politician Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series "The Wire"
2007:
Cast as Teach in the Dublin Gate Theatre production of David Mamet's "American Buffalo"
2009:
Played an internationally known terrorist in Renny Harlin's "12 Rounds"
2011:
Portrayed the ambitious Lord Petyr Baelish in HBO's "Game of Thrones"
2012:
Cast as a CIA Agent in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St. Vincent's C.B.S.: -
Dublin Youth Theatre: -

Notes

Gillen changed his surname from Murphy because there was already an Aidan Murphy in the Actor's Guild. Gillen is his mother's maiden name.

Dublin native Aidan Gillen, who played an imprisioned Irish Republican Army supporter on a hunger strike, demanding recognition as a political prisoner, recalls the real-life 1981 prisoner protest: "I remember the time very vividly. You couldn't NOT think about that hunger strike when it was going on." --quoted in Vanity Fair, October 1996

"Every couple of years - no, that's every couple of weeks - I think I'm going to give up acting. I heat myself up over the fact that I am never going to be as good as I want to be. I hate it when people tell you you're good when you know that you're not." --Gillen quoted in The Guardian, December 6, 2000.

"The reason I get in a tortured state about acting is because sometimes I don't think I feel enough anguish about it. I want to care. I don't want to be apathetic. I want to move people. I'm not good at smiling. I'm not saying that I'm not interested in being famous but I'm more interested in being good, and I never feel that I am good enough." --Aidan Gillen quoted in The Guardian, December 6, 2000.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Denis Murphy.

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