Colm J. Meaney (//; Irish: Colm Ó Maonaigh; born 30 May 1953) is an Irish actor best known for playing Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999). He has guest-starred on many TV shows including Law & Order and The Simpsons, and starred as Thomas Durant on Hell on Wheels (2011–2016).
(m. 1977; div. 1994)
He has also had a career in motion pictures, and appeared in the film Layer Cake, The Damned United, all three film adaptations of Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy, and in Get Him to the Greek, as well as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. He was a principal character in the film The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain (1995). In 2017, Meaney won the Best Actor IFTA for his portrayal of Irish politician Martin McGuinness in the film The Journey. In 2020, he was listed at number 24 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Meaney was born in Finglas, Dublin. He began studying acting at age 14, and he entered the Abbey Theatre School of Acting after secondary school. He became a member of the Irish National Theatre and worked for the next eight years in England, touring with several theatre companies, including the 7:84 theatre group founded by John McGrath.
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Meaney's first television appearance was in Z-Cars on BBC 1, in 1978. He guest-starred on shows such as Remington Steele and Moonlighting before embarking on a successful film career; he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his role in The Snapper.
Meaney first appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation in its 1987 pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", as an unnamed helm officer. His character became a frequently recurring one, and was given the name of Miles O'Brien as he became more prominent in the crew as Transporter Chief. In 1993, Meaney left The Next Generation for a main role in its spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and remained on that show until its final episode, in 1999. With 225 total appearances on Star Trek, he has made more appearances on the franchise than any other actor except Michael Dorn.
Meaney played Colum O'Hara in the 1994 miniseries Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. He has played a minor recurring role as Cowen, leader of the Genii on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) series Stargate Atlantis, guest-starred on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and appeared as Bob O'Donnell on the ABC show Men in Trees. Meaney can also be seen in the film Die Hard 2 Released in 1990. In the film Meaney plays the pilot for the plane Windsor 114 that was later crashed by Colonel Stuart.
He was the only actor to appear in all three film adaptations of Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy, wherein he played the father of the Rabbitte family. Due to rights issues, the family name was changed from film to film. His stage appearances include the Old Vic production of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten. Meaney starred in British comedy film Three and Out released in the UK on 25 April 2008. In July of the same year An Post (the Irish Post Office) issued a postage stamp showing Meaney as Joe Mullen in the film Kings.
In 2009, Meaney co-starred with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx in Law Abiding Citizen, playing Detective Dunnigan. In March 2009, Meaney voiced an Irish bartender on the St. Patrick's Day episode of The Simpsons, "In the Name of the Grandfather". In the same month the film The Damned United was released, a mostly fictional retelling of the 44-day period in which Brian Clough was manager of Leeds United. Meaney played the former Leeds manager Don Revie. He also co-starred in Soldiers of Fortune with Christian Slater and Ving Rhames. In 2013, Meaney co-starred with Steve Coogan in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. In 2014, he appeared as The Horse in the BBC's three-part crime story, The Driver. For five seasons he portrayed railroad magnate Thomas Durant on AMC's drama series Hell on Wheels.
Meaney married Irish actress Bairbre Dowling in 1977. Their daughter Brenda was born in 1984. The couple divorced in 1994. He married French costume designer Ines Glorian in March 2007. Their daughter was born in 2005. They live in the small Majorcan town of Sóller.
|The Dead||Mr. Bergin|
|1990||Die Hard 2||Pilot|
|Dick Tracy||Cop at Tess's|
|Come See the Paradise||Gerry McGurn|
|1991||The Commitments||Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr.|
|The Last of the Mohicans||Maj. Ambrose|
|Far and Away||Kelly|
|Into the West||Barreller|
|1993||The Snapper||Dessie Curley||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|1994||War of the Buttons||Jerome/Geronimo's father|
|The Road to Wellville||Dr. Lionel Badger|
|1995||The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain||Morgan the Goat|
|The Last of the High Kings||Jim Davern|
|1997||Con Air||Agent Duncan Malloy|
|Owd Bob||Keith Moore|
|1998||This Is My Father||Seamus, owner of the Bed and Breakfast|
|Monument Ave.||Jackie O'Hara||a.k.a. Snitch|
|Claire Dolan||Roland Cain|
|1999||Mystery, Alaska||Mayor Scott Pitcher|
|Chapter Zero||Frank Lazarus|
|Most Important||Dan O'Neill|
|The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns||Seamus Muldoon|
|How Harry Became a Tree||Harry||Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor|
|2003||The Boys from County Clare||Jimmy|
|Battle of the Brave||Benjamin Franklin|
|A Lobster Tale||Cody|
|2007||Kings||Joe Mullan||Nominated – Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor|
|The Metrosexual||The Mayor||Great Lakes Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2008||Clean Break||Trevor Jones|
|Three and Out||Tommy|
|2009||The Damned United||Don Revie|
|The Race||Frank Kensay|
|Law Abiding Citizen||Detective Dunnigan|
|2010||Get Him to the Greek||Jonathan Snow|
|Alleged||H. L. Mencken|
|The Conspirator||Gen. David Hunter|
|2011||El Perfecto Desconocido||Mark O'Reilly|
|2012||Whole Lotta Sole||Detective Weller||Known as Stand Off in North America|
|Bel Ami||Monsieur Rousset|
|Soldiers of Fortune||Carter Mason|
|The Hot Potato||Harry|
|2013||Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa||Pat Farrell|
|One Chance||Roland Potts|
|A Belfast Story||Detective|
|Free Birds||Myles Standish||Voice|
|2014||The Devil's Hand||Elder Beacon|
|2016||Norm of the North||Grandfather||Voice|
|Pelé: Birth of a Legend||George Raynor|
|The Journey||Martin McGuinness|
|The Secrets of Emily Blair||Father Avital|
|2017||Halal Daddy||Martin Logan|
|The Last Right||Detective Donall Crowley|
|2020||The Banker||Patrick Barker|
|1981||Les roses de Dublin||Michael Kavanaugh||Miniseries|
|1982||Play for Tomorrow||Kevin Murphy||Episode: "Easter 2016"|
|Strangers||Smollett||Episode: "Charlie's Brother's Birthday (Part 1)|
|1983||Playboy of the Western World||Shawn||Television film|
|1984||The Hidden Curriculum||David Dunn||Television film|
|1986||Moonlighting||Katharina Suitor||Episode: "Atomic Shakespeare"|
|1987||Remington Steele||Man in Tavern||Episode: "Steele Hanging in There: Part 2"|
|Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues||Tinkerer||Television film|
|Tales from the Darkside||Constable||Episode: "Beetles"|
|1987–1988||One Life to Live||Alf||Unknown episodes|
|1987–1992 & 1994||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Chief Miles O'Brien||52 episodes|
|1989||Perfect Witness||Meagher||Television film|
|1990||Equal Justice||Nucchi||Episode: "The Art of the Possible"|
|Father Dowling Mysteries||Ernie||Episode: "The Undercover Nun Mystery"|
|1991||The New Adam-12||Father||Episode: "Panic in Alverez Park"|
|MacGyver||Dr. Irwin Malcolm||Episode: "Good Knight MacGyver: Part 1"|
|1993||Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman||Jake Slicker||Episode: "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"|
|Brooklyn Bridge||Mr. Kramer||Episode: "Good as Gold"|
|1993–1999||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Chief Miles O'Brien||173 episodes|
|1994||Scarlett||Father Colum O'Hara||2 episodes|
|1996||Gargoyles||Mr. Dugan (voice)||Episode: "The Hound of Ulster"|
|1998||Money Kings||Al Sheehan||Television film; a.k.a. Vig|
|1999||The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns||Seamus Muldoon||Television film|
|2002||Random Passage||Thomas Hutchings||Miniseries|
Nominated – Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
|King of Texas||Mr. Tumlinson||Television film|
|2004||The Murdoch Mysteries||Inspector Brackenreid||2 episodes|
|Bad Apple||Gibbons||Television film|
|2004–2006||Stargate Atlantis||Chief Cowen||3 episodes|
|2005||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Judge Harold Garrett||Episode: In the Wee Small Hours|
|2006||The Unit||Charge D'Affaires||Episode: "Security"|
|Caved In: Prehistoric Terror||Vincent||Television film|
|Covert One: The Hades Factor||Peter Howell||Television film|
|2007||Men in Trees||Bob O'Donnell||2 episodes|
|2008||Law & Order||Wyatt Landon||Episode: "Lost Boys"|
|2009||The Simpsons||Tom O'Flanagan (voice)||Episode: "In the Name of the Grandfather"|
|Alice||King of Hearts||Miniseries|
|ZOS: Zone of Separation||George Titac||Miniseries|
|Mercy||Dr. Parks||Episode: "I Believe You Conrad"|
|2011–2016||Hell on Wheels||Thomas "Doc" Durant||51 episodes|
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2013)
Nominated – Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor TV (2013)
|2014||The Driver||The Horse||3 episodes|
|2015||Childhood's End||Wainwright||Episode: "The Overlords"|
|2017||Will||James Burbage||10 episodes|
|2020||Gangs of London||Finn Wallace|
|The Singapore Grip||Brendan Archer||6 episodes|
- "StarTrek.com Article: Las Vegas 2004: Sunday's Highlights". Archived from the original on 14 August 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2006.
- "The Holy Family in a Pane of Frosted Glass". A Million Tiny Gods. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- Clarke, Donald; Brady, Tara. "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". The Irish Times.
- "I had no time for them crying into their pints". The Irish Times. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
- Jarlath Regan (10 May 2020). "Colm Meaney". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (356 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- Addley, Esther (3 May 2017). "Colm Meaney on playing Martin McGuinness: 'He was born into this'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
- "10 Shows With The Best Cameos From Star Trek Actors". Screen Rant. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- "Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi". TVguide. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
- An Post—the Irish Post Office An Post (retrieved 28 May 2018)
- Warren, Brian (Spring 2009). "That Was the Year That Was–2008 (part 1)". The Revealer. Seminole, FL: Éire Philatelic Association. 58 (4): 63. ISSN 0484-6125.
- "Interview: Colm Meaney talks about Hell on Wheels". Flickering Myth. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- Clarke, Donald (6 May 2017). "Colm Meaney: 'In this business, anybody who keeps their word for 7 minutes is pretty f**king rare'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- "Meaney: still cursing after all these years". Sunday Independent. 16 October 2011.
- The Deadline Team. "'Hell On Wheels' Star Colm Meaney Cast In 'Childhood's End On Syfy - Deadline". Deadline.
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