Who is Cillian Murphy? [Biography and Facts]

Cillian Murphy is a famous Irish actor. He was born on May 25, 1976, in Douglas, a suburb of Cork City, Ireland. He is most known for his impressive role as Tommy Shelby, the Birmingham baddie. He was the singer, guitarist, and lyricist of the rock band The Sons of Mr. Green Genes.

He has large blue eyes. His height is 1.75 cm and weighs around 70 kilos. 


He was born the oldest child of the Murphy family. His father, Brendan Murphy was working for the Irish Department of Education and his mother was a teacher of the French language. He has three younger siblings. Cillian Murphy has a brother named Páidi and two sisters named Orla and Sile. Murphy’s family was a Roman Catholic.

Cillian Murphy spent his childhood years in Ballintemple, another suburb of Cork. Murphy became interested in music in his early childhood and started playing music and composing songs at the age of ten. He was raised Catholic and attended the fee-paying Catholic secondary school.


Murphy started his acting career at Presentation Brothers College, a Catholic school where he went. There, William Wall, an English teacher, and poet, encouraged Murphy to perform acting, but at that age, Murphy was more interested in music.

Along with his brother Páidi, Murphy was part of several bands in his early 20s, the most notable being ‘The Sons of Greengenes’. The band was offered a five-album record deal by Acid Jazz Records in 1996, but they refused as Páidi was still in middle school.

Then, Murphy enrolled in Cork University’s ‘Law’ faculty to become a lawyer in 1996, but his mind was still on music. The actor was mostly busy with his group. Because of this, Murhpy’s education was not going well and he did not pass the first-year final exams. He dropped out of school.

Cillian Murphy first appeared in a short movie called ‘Quando’ in 1997. After this movie, the actor played in many movies and he was climbing the ladder of success until the production of “28 Days Later”, which will attract attention and will have him his first big movie experience.

In 2002, he had the leading role in the movie “28 Days Later” and the actor received great acclaim for his role in this production. The sci-fi/horror movie, shot on a £5m budget, earned more than $80m at the box office.

Then, in 2003, he portrayed the role of “John” in the black comedy Intermission.

In 2005, he played the role of “Jackson Rippner” in the action thriller “Red Eye”.

Cillian was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a musical or comedy for his performance in “Breakfast on Pluto” in 2005.

In 2006, he portrayed “Damien O’Donovan” in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film “The Wind Shaking the Barley”.

The most important moment for the actor in the world of cinema was the production of the British crime drama ‘Peaky Blinders’ (2013-*).

In 2013, Murphy portrayed the lead role of “Tommy Shelby” in the BBC television series Peaky Blinders, about a criminal Birmingham gang in post-World War I Birmingham. *The series continues today (2022).

In 2015, he narrated the BBC’s nature documentary ‘Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth’.

In 2017, he had a role in the movie “Dunkirk”, another Christopher Nolan movie, with the famous actor Tom Hardy. The actor played the role of “Iver Shivering Soldier” in this movie. 

Personal Life:

Cillian Murphy has been married to “Yvonne McGuinnes”, since 2004. His wife is four years older than Cillian Murphy. The couple has two children named “Malachy Murphy” and “Aran Murphy” from this marriage.

They had their first son in 2005, and two years later, in 2007, their second son was born. The couple has a happy family life as seen by outsiders. Yvonne McGuinness is an Irish visual artist working in a variety of contexts such as video installation and print. 

The famous actor admitted that he hates fame. He is known for being reluctant to speak about his personal life. Murphy tries to keep his family out of the public eye. They are rarely photographed together and they live in Dublin, Ireland. 


It was the film adaptation of ‘Disco Pigs’ that won Cillian Murphy his first award, the Best Actor Award at the 2002 Ourense Independent Film Festival.

He received a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ in 2006.

His movie ‘The Dark Knight’ won the ACCA Best Acting Ensemble Award in 2008.

In 2012, he was awarded the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance for her portrayal of Thomas Magill in ‘Misterman.

He received the Gold FIPA AWARD for Best Actor in 2014 for ‘Peaky Blinders’.

TV Series and Movies:

  • 2001 – Disco Pigs (Pig) (Motion Picture)
  • 2001 – How Harry Became a Tree (Gus) (Motion Picture)
  • 2002 – 28 Days Later (Jim) (Motion Picture)
  • 2002 – Pure Rage: The Making Of ’28 D… (Himself)(Short Film)
  • 2003 – Miscalculation (John) (Motion Picture)
  • 2003 – Girl with a Pearl Earring (Pieter) (Motion Picture)
  • 2005 – Batman Begins (Dr. Jonathan Crane) (Motion Picture)
  • 2005 – Breakfast on Pluto (Patrick Braden) (Motion Picture)
  • 2005 – Red Eye (Jacksin Rippner) (Motion Picture)
  • 2006 – The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Damien) (Motion Picture)
  • 2007 – Love Detective (Neil) (Motion Picture)
  • 2007 – Sunshine (Capa) (Motion Picture)
  • 2008 – The Dark Knight (Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow) (Motion Picture)
  • 2008 – The Edge of Love (William Killick) (Motion Picture)
  • 2008 – Waveriders (Narrator) (Motion Picture)
  • 2009 – Perrier’s Bounty (Michael McCrea) (Motion Picture)
  • 2010 – Inception (Fischer) (Motion Picture)
  • 2011 – Against Time (Raymond Leon) (Motion Picture)
  • 2011 – Retreat (Martin) (Motion Picture)
  • 2012 – Unconditional Love (Mike Kiernan) (Motion Picture)
  • 2012 – Psychic (Tom Buckley) (Motion Picture)
  • 2013 – Peaky Blinders (Thomas Selby) (TV Series) *Continued
  • 2014 – Aloft (Ivan) (Motion Picture)
  • 2014 – Evrim (Agent Buchanan) (Motion Picture)
  • 2015 – In the Heart of the Sea (Matthew Joy) (Motion Picture)
  • 2016 – Anthropoid (Jozef Gabcik)
  • 2016- Free Fire (Chris)
  • 2017 The Party (Tom)
  • 2017 Dunkirk (Shivering Soldier)
  • 2019 Anna (Lenny Miller)
  • 2020 A Quiet Place 2 (Emmett)
  • 2023 Oppenheimer (Julius Robert Oppenheimer)

Social Media Accounts:

The famous Irish actor is not very active on social media. He has an Instagram account but he is not on Twitter. There are many fan pages in the name of the Cillian Murphy on Twitter but none of them belongs to the actor.

Instagram: @cillianmurphyofficiall

The actor often shares his personal life and work on Instagram. Cillian Murphy has a very large fan base, there are more than one million followers on Instagram.

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