irish The Best Irish Actors of All Time  

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List Rules Male actors from Ireland, dead or alive. Vote based on their entire body of work.

Sure, Colin Farrell is a handsome bad boy, but what about all those other great Irish actors? This list of the best Irish actors of all time reaches back in film history to rank the greatest male actors to have ever hailed from Ireland. Hollywood just wouldn't be the same without Lawrence of Arabia and a whole bunch of James Bond films, and those movies wouldn't be what they were without a few of the top Irish actors ranked here.

Who are the best Irish actors ever? The land of Erin has given the world many good actors, who have played iconic roles, been part of blockbuster and classic films, and represented Ireland on the big screen for decades. Great classic Irish actors like Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris are listed here, along with more modern talents like Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, and Pierce Brosnan. Think of your favorite movie, and there just might be a good Irish actor starring as the leading man.
 
This list features the top Irish actors of all time including Peter O’Toole,  Liam Neeson, Noel Purcell, Tony Doyle, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Pierce Brosnan, Richard Harris, and Colin Kenny. Don't see your favorite actor from the Eire? Add him below so other film fans can vote. Then, be sure to vote and rerank the list according to who you think are the best Irish actors to have ever graced the screen.
list ordered by

1
+ - 237 96
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Liam Neeson The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, Schindler's List

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2
+ - 161 80
Richard Harris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Richard Harris Gladiator, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

3
+ - 243 105
Pierce Brosnan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Pierce Brosnan Mars Attacks!, Mrs. Doubtfire, GoldenEye

4
+ - 147 78
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, Prometheus

5
+ - 152 75
Michael Fassbender is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Michael Fassbender Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past

6
+ - 123 86
Gabriel Byrne is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Gabriel Byrne The Usual Suspects, Excalibur, Enemy of the State

7
+ - 105 80
Kenneth Branagh is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Kenneth Branagh Thor, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Thor: The Dark World

8
+ - 142 97
Colin Farrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Colin Farrell Minority Report, Daredevil, Horrible Bosses

9
+ - 109 65
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Sean Bean The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

10
+ - 111 62
Brendan Gleeson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Brendan Gleeson Braveheart, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gangs of New York

11
+ - 57 32
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

12
+ - 100 69
Sam Neill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Sam Neill Jurassic Park, The Hunt for Red October, Jurassic Park III

13
+ - 63 61
Aidan Quinn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Aidan Quinn Legends of the Fall, Practical Magic, The Mission

14
+ - 107 62
Cillian Murphy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Cillian Murphy The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

15
+ - 69 64
Michael Gambon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Michael Gambon Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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16
+ - 90 68
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Jonathan Rhys Meyers Mission: Impossible III, Bend It like Beckham, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

17
+ - 59 55
Ciarán Hinds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Ciarán Hinds Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Frozen, There Will Be Blood

18
+ - 72 13
Aidan Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Aidan Turner The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

19
+ - 83 58
Colm Meaney is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Colm Meaney The Last of the Mohicans, Die Hard 2, Con Air

20
+ - 50 52
Liam Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Liam Cunningham Clash of the Titans, War Horse, A Little Princess

21
+ - 59 50
Stephen Rea is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Stephen Rea V for Vendetta, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Crying Game

22
+ - 57 55
Chris O'Dowd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Chris O'Dowd Thor: The Dark World, Bridesmaids, The Boat That Rocked

23
+ - 43 44
Domhnall Gleeson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Domhnall Gleeson Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, True Grit

24
+ - 38 37
Chris Hemsworth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Chris Hemsworth The Avengers, Star Trek, Thor

25
+ - 19 19
Jamie Dornan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Jamie Dornan Marie Antoinette, Fifty Shades of Grey, X Returns

26
+ - 35 38
Liam Hemsworth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Liam Hemsworth The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

27
+ - 28 47
Stuart Townsend is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Stuart Townsend The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Æon Flux, Under the Skin

28
+ - 24 47
David Kelly is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
David Kelly Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stardust, Waking Ned

29
+ - 41 53
Barry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Barry Fitzgerald Bringing Up Baby, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

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30
+ - 19 45
Wilfrid Brambell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Wilfrid Brambell A Hard Day's Night, Witchfinder General, The Three Lives of Thomasina

31
+ - 21 50
Noel Purcell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Noel Purcell Moby Dick, The Three Worlds of Gulliver, Mutiny on the Bounty

32
+ - 27 41
Patrick Bergin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Patrick Bergin Ella Enchanted, Patriot Games, Sleeping with the Enemy

33
+ - 34 53
James Nesbitt is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
James Nesbitt The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Match Point, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

34
+ - 28 45
Stephen Boyd is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Stephen Boyd Ben-Hur, Fantastic Voyage, The Fall of the Roman Empire

35
+ - 21 41
Robert Michael Sheehan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Robert Michael Sheehan The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Season of the Witch, Killing Bono

36
+ - 22 45
Devon Murray is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Devon Murray Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

37
+ - 21 44
Cyril Cusack is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Cyril Cusack Harold and Maude, My Left Foot, Far and Away

38
+ - 20 42
Colin O'Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Colin O'Donoghue The Rite, Storage 24

39
+ - 18 39
Dan O'Herlihy is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Dan O'Herlihy RoboCop, RoboCop 2, The Last Starfighter

40
+ - 16 39
Jim Norton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Jim Norton Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Straw Dogs

41
+ - 16 39
Ray McAnally is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Ray McAnally My Left Foot, The Mission, We're No Angels

42
+ - 18 46
Tony Doyle is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Tony Doyle Ever After, The Boxer, Damage

43
+ - 15 41
Colin Kenny is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Colin Kenny To Kill a Mockingbird, North by Northwest, Mrs. Miniver

44
+ - 14 41
Seán McGinley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Seán McGinley Braveheart, Gangs of New York, The General

45
+ - 13 41
Matt Moore is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Matt Moore An Affair to Remember, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Wilson

46
+ - 13 43
Brefni O'Rorke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Brefni O'Rorke King Arthur Was a Gentleman, It Happened One Sunday, They Flew Alone

47
+ - 10 41
Owen Roe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Owen Roe Breakfast on Pluto, Sensation, The Shadow in the North

48
+ - 3 19
Donal McCann is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Irish Actors of All Time
Donal McCann Out of Africa, Stealing Beauty, High Spirits