Apr. 14th, 1961
Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland
Robert Carlyle's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Robert Carlyle, OBE (born 14 April 1961) is a Scottish actor. He is known for a variety of roles in films such as Trainspotting, The Full Monty, The World Is Not Enough, Angela's Ashes, The 51st State, and 28 Weeks Later. In addition to his film work, he is also known for his roles in the television shows Hamish Macbeth, Stargate Universe and Once Upon a Time.
Carlyle became involved in drama at the Glasgow Arts Center at the age of 21 (having been inspired by reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible), and subsequently graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In 1991, he and four friends founded a theatre company, Raindog (which is now primarily involved in television and film work), and guest starred in The Bill. The same year he starred in his first movie, Riff-Raff, directed by 'Ken Loach'.
In 1994, he played the gay lover of Father Greg in the film Priest. Carlyle's first high-profile role came as murderer Albert 'Albie' Kinsella in an October 1994 episode of "Cracker" opposite 'Robbie Coltrane' (in which Kinsella killed five people, including Christopher Eccleston's DCI David Bilborough). This highly acclaimed role showcased Carlyle's "pure intensity". Shortly after his appearance in "Cracker", he landed the role of Highland policeman Hamish Macbeth in the BBC comedy-drama Hamish Macbeth. The series ran for three seasons from 1995 to 1997.
In 1996 and 1997, he appeared in the two highest-profile roles of his career to date: as the psychopathic Francis Begbie in Trainspotting and Gaz, the leader of a group of amateur male strippers, in The Full Monty, the latter earning Carlyle a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
He also starred with 'Ray Winstone' in the film Face (1997). Carlyle played the senior Malachy McCourt (father of author Frank McCourt) in the film adaptation of McCourt's first memoir (1999), Angela's Ashes, the arch villain Renard in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), and a cannibalistic soldier in Ravenous (1999).
In 2009, Carlyle appeared in a long-form commercial for Johnnie Walker whisky, titled 'The Man Who Walked Around The World', that showed Carlyle walking down a path and talking for six minutes in a single long take. The ad took two days to film. The director, Jamie Rafn, afterwards referred to Carlyle as an 'utter genius'. He voices the character of Gabriel Belmont, and his counterpart, the immortal Count Dracula in the video game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, released in 2010.
Beginning in October 2011 Carlyle portrayed Rumpelstiltskin in the fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time. His recurring role is based not only on the story of Rumpelstiltskin, but also on the Beast in the classic fairy-tale Beauty and the Beast. His character is actually a wizard who is also a deal maker and master manipulator of the other characters.
Carlyle is married to make-up artist 'Anastasia Shirley', with whom he has three children: Ava (born 2002), Harvey (born 2004), and Pearce Joseph (born 2006). The family lives in Glasgow. Carlyle is a patron of School For Life in Romania.
- At age 17 he once worked as a butcher.
- Ranked seventh in the 2001 Orange Film Survey of greatest British actors.
- Awarded an OBE in the 1999 New Years honours list.
- In 2002, his wife gave birth to a daughter, Ava.
- Owns the Rain Dog Theatre Company, named after the album "Rain Dogs" by 'Tom Waits' (qv).
- Has not seen his estranged mother, Liz McDonald, since he was four years old.
- Founded a theater company in 1991.
- Featured in the music video for the Oasis song "Little by Little".