Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Meaney at the 2016 TIFF
Born Colm J. Meaney
(1953-05-30) 30 May 1953
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Bairbre Dowling (m. 1977–94)
Ines Glorian (m. 2007)
Children 2

Colm J. Meaney (/ˈkɒləm/;[1] Irish: Colm Ó Maonaigh; born 30 May 1953) is an Irish actor known for playing Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He has guest-starred on many TV shows from Law & Order to The Simpsons, and during its run, starred as railroad magnate Thomas Durant on AMC's drama series Hell on Wheels.

He has also had a significant career in motion pictures, and appeared in the film The Damned United, all three film adaptations of Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy, and in Get Him to the Greek, and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

Early life

Meaney was born in Dublin. He began studying acting when he was 14 years old and 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.


Meaney (right) with Deep Space 9 co-stars Marc Alaimo (left) and Armin Shimerman (middle)

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 more prominent regular 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,[2] leader of the Genii on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) 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. 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 (Irish mail agency) issued a postage stamp showing Meaney as Joe Mullen in the film Kings.[4]

In 2009, Meaney co-starred with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx in Law Abiding Citizen, wherein Meaney 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 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.

Personal life

Meaney married Irish actress Bairbre Dowling in 1977,[5] with whom he had a daughter, Brenda, in 1984. The couple divorced in 1994.[6] He married French costume designer Ines Glorian in March 2007. They have a daughter together, Ada, born in 2005.[5][6][7]

Meaney supported Sinn Féin candidate Martin McGuinness during the 2011 Irish Presidential Election.[8]


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 Daumer
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
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
22 October 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 Frank Kensay
Law Abiding Citizen Detective Dunnigan
Alice King of Hearts TV miniseries
2010 Get Him to the Greek Jonathan Snow
Alleged H. L. Mencken
Parked Fred Daly
The Conspirator Gen. David Hunter
2011 El Perfecto Desconocido Mark O'Reilly
2012 Whole Lotta Sole Detective Weller
Bel Ami Monsieur Rousset
2013 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Pat Farrell
One Chance Roland Potts
A Belfast Story Detective
Free Birds Myles Standish Voice only
2014 The Devil's Hand Elder Beacon
2016 Norm of the North Grandfather Voice
2017 Felt Filming
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
1987–1992 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 Miles O'Brien Series regular
1994 Scarlett Father Colum O'Hara TV miniseries
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) 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
2011–2016 Hell on Wheels Thomas "Doc" Durant Series regular
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television
2014 The Driver The Horse TV series
2015 Childhood's End[9] Wainwright TV miniseries


  1. " Article: Las Vegas 2004: Sunday's Highlights". Archived from the original on 14 August 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2006.
  2. "Colm Meaney". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  3. "Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi". TVguide. Retrieved 9 December 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. 1 2 "'I had no time for them crying into their pints'". The Irish Times   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . 22 September 2007.
  6. 1 2 "Stroke-ism and greed: why Colm Meaney is convinced we've sold our souls". The Mail on Sunday   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . 26 August 2012.
  7. Meaney: still cursing after all these years Sunday Independent, 16 October 2011.
  8. "Subdued Kenny faces storm clouds from all directions". The Irish Times. 21 January 2012.
  9. The Deadline Team. "'Hell On Wheels' Star Colm Meaney Cast In 'Childhood's End On Syfy - Deadline". Deadline.
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