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Colm Meaney

in 2007
Born Colm J. Meaney
30 May 1953 (1953-05-30) (age 56)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Bairbre Dowling (1977-1994)
Ines Glorian (15 March 2007-present)

Colm J. Meaney (first name pronounced /ˈkɒləm/;[1] born 30 May 1953) is an Irish actor widely known for playing Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is second only to Michael Dorn in most appearances in Star Trek episodes. He has guest-starred on many TV shows from Law & Order to The Simpsons. He has also had a significant career in motion pictures, recently appearing in the British sports film The Damned United.


Early life

Meaney was born in Dublin. He started studying acting when he was fourteen years of age, and entered the Abbey Theatre School of Acting after secondary school. He became a member of the Irish National Theatre and spent the next eight years in England, touring with several theatre companies.


Meaney's first television appearance was in Z-Cars on BBC1 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 1987 in its pilot episode, "Encounter At Farpoint". His character was eventually given the name of Miles O'Brien. In 1993, Meaney left The Next Generation for its spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and remained on Deep Space Nine until its final episode in 1999. With 225 total appearances on Star Trek (173 on Deep Space Nine and 52 on The Next Generation), he has made more appearances on the franchise than any other actor except Michael Dorn (280). Meaney appeared in two Star Trek pilot episodes (The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine), a distinction shared with Patrick Stewart and Armin Shimerman. Meaney is also one of six actors to appear in the finales of two different Star Trek series.

He had played as Colum O'Hara in 1994 Scarlett sequel to Gone With the Wind.

He has also played a minor recurring role as Cowen,[2] leader of the Genii on the Sci-fi Channel series Stargate Atlantis,[3] guest-starred on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and appeared as Bob O'Donnell on the ABC show Men In Trees.

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; however due to rights issues the family name 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. On July of the same year An Post (Irish mail agency) issued a postage stamp showing Colm Meaney as Joe Mullen in the film Kings.[4]

In 2009 Meaney co-stared with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx in Law Abiding Citizen wherein he played Detective Dunnigan.

In March 2009 Meaney guest-starred as an Irish bartender on the St. Patrick's Day episode of The Simpsons, "In the Name of the Grandfather". In the same month the British film The Damned United was released, chronicling the 44-day period in which Brian Clough was manager of Leeds United. Meaney played the former Leeds manager Don Revie.

Personal life

Meaney was married to Irish actress Bairbre Dowling, but they are now divorced. He remarried in March 2007 to Ines Glorian. He currently lives in the Majorcan town of Sóller. He is unrelated to the science fiction writer John Meaney, though the latter's brother is also named Colm Meaney.

Meaney is an outspoken supporter of the Irish Republican political party Sinn Féin[5] and, while not currently a member, admitted that he had joined the party when he was 14.[6]

He is a fan of Dublin's Gaelic football team and Shamrock Rovers.


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Nailed Younger Protestant
Les Roses de Dublin Michael Kavanaugh TV miniseries
1983 Playboy of the Western World Shawn TV film
1984 The Hidden Curriculum David Dunn TV film
1987 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues Tinkerer TV film
Omega Syndrome Sean
The Dead Mr. Bergin
1989 Perfect Witness Meagher TV film
1990 Die Hard 2 Pilot
Dick Tracy Cop at Tess's
Come See the Paradise Gerry McGurn
1991 The Commitments Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr.
1992 Under Siege Doumer
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 Geronimos' Father
The Road to Wellville Dr. Lionel Badger
Scarlett Father Colum O'Hara TV miniseries
1995 The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain Morgan the Goat
1996 The Van Larry
The Last of the High Kings Jim Davern
1997 Con Air DEA 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
October 22 Steve
Claire Dolan Roland Cain
Money Kings Al Sheehan TV film; a.k.a. Vig
1999 Mystery, Alaska Mayor Scott Pitcher
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Seamus Muldoon
Chapter Zero Frank Lazarus
Four Days Fury
Most Important Dan O'Neill
2001 Backflash Gin O'Malley
How Harry Became a Tree Harry Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor
2002 Random Passage Thomas Hutchings TV 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 TV film
2003 The Boys From County Clare Jimmy
Intermission Jerry Lynch
2004 Blueberry Jimmy McClure
Bad Apple Gibbons TV film
Layer Cake Gene
Nouvelle-France Benjamin Franklin
2005 Turning Green Tom
2006 Five Fingers Gavin
Caved In: Prehistoric Terror Vincent TV film
Covert One: The Hades Factor Peter Howell TV film
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 ZOS: Zone of Separation George Titac TV miniseries
The Damned United Don Revie
The Race TBA
Law Abiding Citizen Detective Dunnigan
Alice King of Hearts TV miniseries
2010 Get Him to the Greek Jonathan Snow Completed
Alleged H.L. Mencken Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1978 Z Cars McGlin One episode
1982 Play for Tomorrow Kevin Murphy One episode
Strangers Smollett One episode
1986 Moonlighting Katharina Suitor One episode
1987 Remington Steele Man in Tavern One episode
Tales from the Darkside Constable One episode
1987-1988 One Life to Live Patrick London
1987-1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Chief Miles O'Brien Recurring Character
1990 Equal Justice Nucchi One episode
Father Dowling Mysteries Ernie One episode
1991 The New Adam-12 Father One episode
MacGyver Dr. Irwin Malcolm One episode
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Jake Slicker Pilot episode
Brooklyn Bridge Mr. Kramer One episode
1993-1999 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Chief O'Brien Series regular
1996 Gargoyles Mr. Dugan Voice only; one episode
2004 The Murdoch Mysteries Inspector Brackenreid Two episodes
2004, 2006 Stargate Atlantis Chief Cowen (leader of the Genii until killed in episode Coup D'État) Three episodes
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Judge Harold Garrett Episode: In the Wee Small Hours
2006 The Unit Charge D'Affaires One episode
2007 Men in Trees Bob O'Donnell Two episodes
2008 Law & Order Wyatt Landon One episode
2009 The Simpsons Tom O'Flanagan Voice only; episode: In the Name of the Grandfather


  1. ^ " Article: Las Vegas 2004: Sunday's Highlights". Retrieved January 1, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Colm Meaney". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved Dec.9, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi". TVguide. Retrieved Dec. 9, 2009. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Fitzmaurice, Eddie (March 13, 2005). "To boldly go for SF". Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  6. ^ "Public interview with Colm Meaney". Retrieved 2009-09-12. 

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