Gabriel Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, the first of six children born to devoutly Catholic parents ("mystical" is the term Byrne used to describe his father) and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers.
He eventually married and divorced Jewish American actress Ellen Barkin, having two children with her, Jack and Romy Byrne.
Gabriel discovered his passion for acting later in his life. Before becoming an actor, he did work as everything from an archaeologist to a cook, to a bullfighter to a Spanish schoolteacher.
When he finally found acting, he began his career on stage with The Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, later joining the Royal Court and the National Theatre in London.
He came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans, subsequently starring in his own spin-off series, Bracken. He made his film debut in 1981 as Lord Uther in John Boorman's classic King Arthur epic, Excalibur.
He first visited the United States when he was 37, and he currently resides in Beverly Hills, California. His autobiography, Pictures in my Head (ISBN 0863277098), was published in 1995.
Gabriel Byrne is no relation to Gay Byrne.