Stephen Rea (// ray; born 31 October 1946) is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Neil Jordan's thriller The Crying Game (1992). He has during later years had important roles in the Hugo Blick TV series The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman, for which he won a BAFTA Award. In 2020, The Irish Times, ranked Rea the 13th greatest Irish film actor of all-time.
(m. 1983; div. 2003)
Rea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to non religious parents; his father was a bus driver and his mother a housewife. He studied English at the Queen's University Belfast, and drama at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin.
After appearing on the stage and in television and film for many years in Ireland and the United Kingdom, Rea came to international attention when he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film The Crying Game. He is a frequent collaborator with Irish film-maker Neil Jordan. Rea has long been associated with some of the most important writers in Ireland. His association with playwright Stewart Parker, for example, began when they were students together at the Queen's University Belfast.
Rea helped establish the Field Day Theatre Company in 1980 with Tom Paulin, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney and Seamus Deane. In recognition for his contribution to theatre and performing arts, Rea was given honorary degrees from both the Queen's University Belfast and the Ulster University in 2004.
Rea's friendship with American playwright and actor Sam Shepard dates back to the early 1970s, and he starred in Shepard's directorial début of his play Geography of a Horse Dreamer at the Royal Court Theatre in 1974. In 2007, Rea began a successful and acclaimed relationship with both the Abbey Theatre and Sam Shepard, appearing in Kicking a Dead Horse (2007) and Ages of the Moon (2009), both penned by Shepard and also both transferred to New York. Rea returned to the Abbey in 2009 to appear in the world première of Sebastian Barry's Tales of Ballycumber.
Rea was married for 17 years to Dolours Price, a former Provisional Irish Republican Army bomber and hunger striker who later became a critic of Sinn Féin. (Another news source suggests a marriage of 20 years, from 1983 to 2003.) Price attended a performance of Rea's at the Court Theatre in London in 1973, the night before she participated in a car bombing which injured 200 people. They had been divorced when she died on 23 January 2013. They have two sons.
|1970||Cry of the Banshee||Villager|
|1984||The Company of Wolves||Young Groom|
|1985||The Doctor and the Devils||Timothy Broom|
|1990||Life Is Sweet||Patsy|
|1992||The Crying Game||Fergus|
|1993||Bad Behaviour||Gerry McAllister|
|1994||Interview with the Vampire||Santiago|
|1995||Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea||Nikos|
|1995||All Men Are Mortal||Fosca|
|1996||Michael Collins||Ned Broy|
|1996||Trojan Eddie||Eddie "Trojan Eddie"|
|1996||The Last of the High Kings||Cab Driver|
|1997||The Butcher Boy||Benny Brady|
|1997||The Break||Sean Dowd|
|1998||This Is My Father||Mission Priest||Cameo|
|1998||Still Crazy||Tony Costello|
|1999||In Dreams||Dr. Silverman|
|1999||I Could Read the Sky||P.J. Doran|
|1999||The Life Before This||Brian|
|1999||The End of the Affair||Henry Miles|
|2000||The King's Wake||King Connor Mac Neasa||(Voice) Short film|
|2001||The Musketeer||Cardinal Richelieu|
|2001||On the Edge||Dr. Figure|
|2004||The I Inside||Dr. Newman|
|2004||The Halo Effect||"Fatso"|
|2004||Fluent Dysphasia||"Murph"||Short film|
|2004||Control||Dr. Arlo Penner|
|2005||Breakfast on Pluto||Bertie Vaughan|
|2005||Tara Road||Colm Maguire|
|2006||V for Vendetta||Chief Inspector Eric Finch|
|2006||Sisters||Dr. Philip Lacan|
|2006||Sixty Six||Dr. Barrie|
|2007||Until Death||Gabriel Callaghan|
|2007||The Reaping||Father Michael Costigan|
|2008||The Devil's Mercy||Tyler|
|2008||Kisses||"Down Under" Dylan||Uncredited cameo|
|2009||Child of the Dead End||Patrick MacGill|
|2009||The Heavy||Jameson Anawalt|
|2011||Stella Days||Brendan McSweeney|
|2012||Underworld: Awakening||Dr. Jacob Lane|
|2012||Werewolf: The Beast Among Us||Doc||Direct-to-DVD|
|2014||Out of the Dark||Jordan|
|2015||Ruby Strangelove Young Witch||Danforth|
|2015||An Enchanted Ruby||Danforth|
|2018||Unquiet Graves||Narrator||Documentary about the Troubles|
|1967||Angel Pavement||Second Mate||Episode: "They Arrive"|
|1967||Sanctuary||Stephen Moriarty||Episode: "The Voice of His Calling"|
|1969||Z-Cars||Kenny||Episode: "Snout: Part 2"|
|1970||Softly, Softly: Task Force||Philip Conner||Episode: "Trust a Woman"|
|1971||Omnibus||Hubert Page||Episode: "Hail and Farewell-George Moore"|
|1972||The Moonstone||Major Frayne||Episode: "1.1"|
|1974||Thriller||Arden Buckley||Episode: "K is for Killing" (US Title: "Color Him Dead")|
|1974–1979||Play for Today||Peter / Chas / Shay||3 episodes|
|1975–1976||I Didn't Know You Cared||Carter Brandon||13 episodes|
|1977||BBC2 Play of the Week||Hollar||Episode: "Professional Foul"|
|1978||Play of the Month||Constantin||Episode: "The Seagull"|
|1978||The Professionals||Pellin||Episode: "In the Public Interest"|
|1978||Thank You, Comrades||Mayakovsky||TV film|
|1980||Caleb Williams||Tyrell||Episode: "1.1"|
|1982||Joyce in June||Stanislaus Joyce / McIntosh||TV film|
|1984||Minder||Roddy Allan||Episode: "Windows"|
|1984||Four Days in July||Dixie||TV film|
|1986||Boon||Frank Warren||Episode: "Fools Rush In"|
|1986||Screen Two||Frankie||Episode: "Shergar"|
|1987||Lost Belongings||Lenny||2 episodes|
|1989||4 Play||Paul||Segment: "Not As Bad as They Seem"|
|1990||Not with a Bang||Colin Garrity||7 episodes|
|1993||Saturday Night Live||Fergus||(Uncredited) Episode: "Miranda Richardson/Soul Asylum"|
|1993-1995||Performance||Ejlert Lovborg / Seamus Shields||2 episodes|
|1995||Citizen X||Lieutenant Viktor Burakov||TV film|
|1996||Crime of the Century||Bruno Hauptmann||TV film|
|2001||A Scare at Bedtime||Dr. Roger St. Roctor||Episode: "Not What the Doctor Ordered"|
|2001||Snow in August||Rabbi Judah Hirsch||TV film|
|2001–2002||Horrible Histories||Narrator (voice, UK dub)||26 episodes|
|2002||Copenhagen||Niels Bohr||TV film|
|2007||Imeacht Na N'Iarlaí||Aodh Ó Néill, Tiarna Thir Eoghain||Episode: "1"|
|2008||10 Days to War||Tim Cross||Episode: "These Things Are Always Chaos"|
|2009||Father & Son||Augustine Flynn||4 episodes|
|2009||Law and Order: SVU||Callum "Cal" Donovan||Episode: "Solitary"|
|2009||Heidi 4 Paws||The Doctor (voice)||TV film|
|2010||Single-Handed||Sean Doyle||Episodes: "The Lost Boys: Parts 1 & 2"|
|2011||The Shadow Line||Gatehouse||6 episodes|
|2013||Utopia||Conran Letts||5 episodes|
|2014||The Honourable Woman||Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle||8 episodes|
|2015–2016||Dickensian||Inspector Bucket||16 episodes|
|2016||War & Peace||Prince Vassily Kuragin||5 episodes|
|2016||Fir Bolg||Spencer||Episode: "Nochtadh"|
|2018||Counterpart||Alexander Pope||7 episodes|
|2020||The Stranger||Martin Killane||8 episodes|
|2020||Flesh and Blood||Mark||4 episodes|
|TBA||The English||Upcoming series|
|1967||Shadow of a Gunman||Sean O'Casey||The Mermaid Theatre, London|
|1969||Captain Oates' Left Sock||John Antrobus||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|1971||Crete and Sargent Pepper||John Antrobus||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|1973||The Freedom of the City||Brian Friel||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|1973||The Duchess of Malfi||John Webster||7:84 Theatre Company, London|
|1973||Sargent Musgraves||John Arden||The Gate, Dublin|
|1973||The White Devil||John Webster||Nottingham Playhouse|
|1973||Drums in the Night||Bertold Brecht||Hampstead Theatre, London|
|1974||Geography of a Horse Dreamer||Sam Shepard||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|1974||Comedians||Trevor Griffiths||Nottingham Playhouse|
|2016||Cyprus Avenue||David Ireland||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|2020||The Visiting Hour||Frank McGuinness||The Gate Theatre, Dublin|
- Clarke, Donald; Brady, Tara (13 June 2020). "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Auld, Tim (25 March 2016). "Stephen Rea: 'I never wanted to be a polite actor'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Queen's prepares for graduation week". Queen's University Belfast. June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 August 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Honour for Stephen Rea". Ulster University. 15 December 2004. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Ages of the Moon by Sam Shepard, 24 February – 4 April 2009". Abbey Theatre. 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Tales of Ballycumber". Abbey Theatre. 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Wolf, Matt (17 September 1994). "Actors lose jobs as ban on IRA voices is lifted". Austin American-Statesman. p. A3.
- "Rea reads The Dead on RTÉ Radio". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Scare comes from Out of the Dark in this exclusive clip". Bloody Disgusting. 24 February 2012. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Barton, Steve (26 February 2015). "First clips emerge Out of the Dark". Dread Central. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Boiselle, Matt (27 February 2015). "Out of the Dark (2015)". Dread Central. Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Foy, Ken; Murphy, Cormac (24 January 2013). "Dolours Price, former IRA terrorist and ex-wife of actor Stephen Rea, dies of suspected overdose". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Radden Keefe, Patrick (2018). Say Nothing. Penguin Random House.
- McDonald, Henry (28 January 2013). "Stephen Rea carries Dolours Price's coffin at funeral in Belfast: Former IRA hunger striker is buried after mass attended by Hollywood actor ex-husband". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Ex-IRA woman Dolours Price is found dead in Dublin". BBC News Online. 24 January 2013. Archived from the original on 8 October 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors & High Profile Supporters". UNICEF. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Actor Stephen Rea reveals he has found peace living in Donegal". 13 February 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- Kanter, Jake (May 11, 2021). "'The English': Chaske Spencer, Rafe Spall Among Cast Joining Emily Blunt In BBC/Amazon Western Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
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