Gabriel Byrne

Useless plumberBorn in Dublin in May, 1950, Gabriel Byrne set out to become a priest but was somewhat put off by being molested by his Latin teacher while at an English seminary preparing for the cloth.  That was enough to send him on a number of different career paths from archaeologist and schoolteacher, short-order cook and bullfighter to plumber’s assistant and toy factory worker installing teddy bear eyes, before finally settling on acting as a career at the age of 29.  After a series of minor roles, Byrne finally gained the attention of American audiences for his portrayal of the calculating, enigmatic gangster in the Coen Brothers’ film Miller’s Crossing in 1990.  Later successes included Defence of the Realm, In The Name of the Father and The Usual Suspects.  Gabriel says that plumbing was not his finest hour.  "I was an absolutely useless plumber.  There are places in Dublin now where you switch on the light and the tap comes on."  He was such a liability that his mates would send him back to base for a wrench – with instructions to walk, not take the bus – just to get him out of the way.

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