John Lynch (actor)

John Lynch (born 26 December 1961) is an Irish actor and novelist. He won the AFI (AACTA) Award for Best Actor for the 1995 film Angel Baby. His other film appearances include Cal (1984), The Secret Garden (1993), In the Name of the Father (1993) and Sliding Doors (1998). He has also written two novels, Torn Water (2005) and Falling Out of Heaven (2010).

John Lynch
Born (1961-12-26) 26 December 1961 (age 60)
OccupationActor, novelist

Early lifeEdit

Lynch was born in Northern Ireland to an Irish father, Fin Lynch, and an Italian mother, Rosina Pavone, better known as Rose.[1][2][3] He was raised as a Catholic.[1] His parents met in London, where his mother was a teacher.[4] In 1968, when he was seven years old, he moved with his family to the townland of Corrinshego, where his father was from, in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Corrinshego, where he spent the rest of his childhood and teenage years, is on the western outskirts of Newry.[1][5][4] Lynch later attended St. Colman's College in Newry. He began acting in Irish language plays at school during the early years of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. He is the eldest of the five children of his parents, his Italian mother being from Trivento, a town in the Province of Campobasso in Molise, Southern Italy.[2][3] His younger sister Susan and his nephew Thomas Finnegan are also actors.[3]


Lynch has appeared in numerous films related to Northern Ireland's problems such as Cal (1984) with Helen Mirren,[5] In the Name of the Father (1993) with Daniel Day-Lewis, The Railway Station Man (1992) with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, Nothing Personal and Some Mother's Son (1996), also with Mirren, as well as the Irish-themed film Evelyn (2002).[6]

He starred as a supporting actor in Derek Jarman's Edward II (1991), as Lord Craven in Agnieska Holland's film of The Secret Garden (1993), as Tadhg in The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), and as Gerry in Sliding Doors (1998).[6]

Lynch played the part of football legend George Best in the 2000 film Best. He played the lead in the Australian feature Angel Baby, winning the Australian Film Institute award for best leading actor and the Australian Film Critics award for best actor of 1995. He was nominated for a Satellite Film Award for the film Moll Flanders in 1996. He worked with acclaimed Belgian director Marion Hansel on her adaptation of Booker-nominated author Damon Galgut's novel, The Quarry (also known as La Faille; 1998),[5] which won Best Film at the Montreal Film Festival. He won Best Actor for the lead role in Best at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival in 2000. He wrote and co-produced the film.[5]

He was nominated for a BAFTA for Cal, as well as for an IFTA for his role in The Baby War. He starred in Five Day Shelter as Stephen, which won a European Film Award and was in competition at the Rome Film Festival. He played the lead in Craig Vivieros' first feature film, the prison drama Ghosted. He played the role of Wollfstan in Black Death, and appeared in the 2012 film version of Michael Morpurgo's novel, Private Peaceful.[6]

Lynch is also a novelist. His first novel, Torn Water, was published in November 2005 by 4th Estate, a literary imprint of HarperCollins, and his second, Falling Out of Heaven, was published on 13 May 2010 by the same publisher.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Lynch married the film-maker Mary McGuckian in 1997, having met her on the set of Words Upon the Window Pane a few years earlier.[4] They later separated. He now lives in Nice in the south of France with his current partner, Christine, who is French.[1][3]

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Cal Cal
1990 Hardware Shades
1871 O'Brien
Making Out Gavin TV episode
1991 All Good Things Vincent Gibney TV
Chimera Peter Carson TV
Edward II Spencer
1992 The Railway Station Man Damian Sweeney
1993 The Secret Garden Lord Craven
Peak Practice Father Davey TV episode "Impulsive Behavior"
In the Name of the Father Paul Hill
1994 Words Upon the Window Pane John Corbet
The Secret of Roan Inish Tadgh
Princess Caraboo Amon McCarthy
1995 Angel Baby Harry
Nothing Personal Liam
1996 Some Mother's Son Bobby Sands
Moll Flanders Jonathan (the Artist) nominated Best Supporting Actor - Satellite Awards
1997 This Is the Sea Padhar McAliskey
1998 Sliding Doors Gerry
1999 Best "George Best"
2002 Boston Public Jerry TV episode "Chapter Thirty-One"
Puckoon O'Brien
Evelyn Senior Counsel Mr. Wolfe
2003 Conspiracy of Silence Father Matthew Francis
Alien Hunter Dr. Michael Straub
2004 The Bridge of San Luis Rey Captain Alvarado
2005 Isolation Dan
Bleak House Nemo TV
Lassie Sam Carraclough
2007 The Yellow House Paul Gauguin TV
In Transit Yakov
2008 The Passion Sagan TV series
2009, 2012 Merlin Balinor TV series
2009 Silent Witness Tom Flannery TV series
Holy Water
2010 Black Death Wolfstan
The Nativity The Archangel Gabriel [7]
2011 The Jury Alan Lane TV series
The Hot Potato Bill and Ben
2012 Labyrinth Simon de Montfort TV miniseries
Private Peaceful Sergeant Hanley
2013 Möbius Joshua
2013–2016 The Fall Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns
2014 The Musketeers Luca Sestini
The Hybrid Powell [8]
2014 Shetland Frank Blake TV series
2016 One of Us Bill Douglas
2017 Number One Gary Adams
2018 Paul, Apostle of Christ Aquila
2018 The Terror John Bridgens TV series
2019 Tin Star Pastor Johan Nickel TV series
2019 Harlots Jonas Young TV series
2019 Medici Pope Sixtus IV TV series
2020 The Head Arthur Wilde TV series
2020 Boys from County Hell George Bogue
2021 The Banishing Malachi


  1. ^ a b c d John Lynch - looking back on a 'wounding' past (The Irish News, 5 November 2016).
  2. ^ a b Attore Lynch è cittadino di Trivento, ANSA, 27 luglio 2015
  3. ^ a b c d The other fall guy: Why John Lynch loves working with Gillian Anderson (The Belfast Telegraph, 26 November 2014).
  4. ^ a b c Novel role - After Cal, his first film, John Lynch played so many republican activists that he came to resemble an IRA Everyman (The Irish Times, Saturday, 29 October 2005).
  5. ^ a b c d e Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, vol 52 (2003), Gale, Detroit
  6. ^ a b c John Lynch at IMDb
  7. ^ The Nativity, BBC, November 2010; retrieved 21 December 2010.
  8. ^ The Hybrid at IMDb

External linksEdit