Children: Samuel James Brefni (16 September
1978), Maximilian Paul Diarmiud (17 October 1985)
Jobs before making it: Counseling couples to be
married, visiting elderly people, and running the youth group at a parish,
cleaning up homes for Domestics Unlimited, busking in the cinema queues, and
fixing up peoples' gardens
Hobbies: Motorcycling, sailing, skiing, gardening, playing
guitar and riding horses
Instruments played: Drums, guitar, piano, harmonica, violin and fiddle
( we've heard Jeremy took up playing the steel
guitar at one point during the filming of Lolita )
Jeremy Irons Biography: Most of
the information here is taken from wikipedia.com
Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the son of Barbara Anne (née Sharpe),
a housewife, and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Part of his maternal ancestry
is Irish, and his great-grandfather was one of the first Metropolitan Policemen
and later a Chartist. Irons has a brother, Christopher. He was educated at
Sherborne School in Dorset, (c. 1962–1966). He achieved some fame as the drummer
and harmonica player (most memorably for his rendition of "Moon River" on
harmonica) in a four-man school band called the Four Pillars of Wisdom. They
performed, in a classroom normally used as a physics lab, for the entertainment
of boys compulsorily exiled from their houses for two hours on Sunday
afternoons. He was also known within Abbey House as half of a comic duo
performing skits on Halloween and at end-of-term House Suppers.
Irons trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is now
president of its fundraising appeal. He performed a number of plays and
supported himself by busking on the streets of Bristol, before appearing on the
London stage as John the Baptist and Judas opposite David Essex in
Godspell, which opened at the Round House on 17 November 1971 before
transferring to Wyndham's Theatre playing a total of 1,128 performances.
He made several appearances on British television, including the children's
Play Away and as Franz Liszt in the BBC 1974 series
Notorious Woman. More significantly he starred in the 13-part adaptation
of H.E. Bates' novel
Love for Lydia for London Weekend Television (1977), and attracted
attention for his key role as the pipe-smoking German student, a romantic
Dench in Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of Aidan Higgins' novel
Langrishe, Go Down for BBC television (1978). He recently played Lord
Vetinari in Sky One's dramatisation of
Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic
The role which brought him fame was that of Charles Ryder in the television
adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's
Brideshead Revisitedin 1981. Brideshead reunited him with
Anthony Andrews, with whom he had appeared in The Pallisers seven years
earlier. In the same year he starred in the film
The French Lieutenant's Womanopposite Meryl Streep.
Almost as a 'lap of honour' after these major successes, in 1982 he played
the leading role of an exiled Polish building contractor, working in the
Twickenham area of South West London, in Jerzy Skolimowski's independent film
Moonlighting, widely seen on television, a performance which extended his
In 2005, Irons won both an Emmy award and a Golden Globe award for his
supporting role in the TV mini-series,
Elizabeth I. A year later Irons was one of the participants in the third
series of the BBC documentary series
Who Do You Think You Are?
He is also known for playing the evil wizard Profion, along with Bruce Payne
as Damodor, in the 2000 film,
Dungeons and Dragons, from Time Warner studio New Line Cinema. The film was
also based on the Tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons.
He played the Über-Morlock from the movie
The Time Machine (2002). In 2004, Irons played Severus Snape in Comic
Relief's Harry Potter parody, "Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of
Azerbaijan". Interestingly enough, Irons and Alan Rickman (who plays Snape in
the Harry Potter film series), played the Gruber brothers, Simon and Hans,
respectively, in the Die Hard film series.
One of his best known film roles has turned out to be the voice of Scar in
The Lion King (1994). Irons has since provided voiceovers for two Disney
World attractions. He narrated the Spaceship Earth ride, housed in the
large geodesic globe at Epcot, and voiced H.G. Wells in the English version of
the former Disney attraction The Timekeeper.
He was originally to star as the Phantom in a 2006 French musical adaptation
of Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera, though the project was
canceled. He will be the narrator for Val Kilmer and Bill
Lewis and Clark movie from Revolution Studios.
Research to find 'the perfect voice' has indicated that Irons's voice is one
of the best.
In 1985, Irons directed a music video for Carly Simon and her heavily
promoted single, "Tired of Being Blonde". Although the song was not a hit, the
video - featuring the fast cutting, parallel narratives and heavy use of
stylized visual effects that were a staple of pop videos at the time - received
ample attention on MTV and other outlets.
Irons has contributed to other musical performances, recording William
Walton's Façade with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and in 1997 the songs from
Lerner and Loewe's
My Fair Lady with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, released on the Decca label.
He sang a selection of sophisticated Noël Coward songs at the 1999
Last Night of the Proms in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Coward's
In 2003 he played Fredrik Egerman in a New York revival of Stephen Sondheim's
A Little Night Music, and two years later appeared as King Arthur in
Lerner and Loewe's
Camelot at the Hollywood Bowl.
Jeremy Irons also has a full song named "Be Prepared" that takes part in the
The Lion King. This song can be found in the Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack of the movie.
Irons has twice worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1976 and
In 1984, Irons made his New York debut and won a Tony Award for
his Broadway performance opposite Glenn Close in
The Real Thing.
After an absence from the London stage for 18 years, in 2006 he co-starred
with Patrick Malahide in Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation of Sándor
Márai's novel Embers at the Duke of York's Theatre.
He made his National Theatre debut playing Harold Macmillan in
Never So Good, a new play by Howard Brenton which opened at the
Lyttelton on March 19, 2008.
Irons is married to Irish actress Sinéad Cusack and is the father of two
sons, Samuel James Brefni Irons (September 16, 1978), who works as a
photographer, and Maximilian Paul Diarmuid Irons (October 17, 1985), who
appeared in the 2006 Burberry fashion campaign. Both of Irons' sons have
appeared in films with their father. He now lives in the small town of
Watlington in Oxfordshire, as well as a residence in Henley-on-Thames in
He is also the patron since 2002 of the Thomley Activity Centre, an
Oxfordshire non-profit activity centre for disabled children. Irons owns Kilcoe
Castle (which he had painted a rusty pink) in County Cork, Ireland, and has
become involved in local politics there. He also has another Irish residence
near Kilmainham, Dublin. Irons is a patron of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company.
He is a fan of English football club Portsmouth FC.
At the 1991 Tony Awards, Irons was one of the few celebrities to wear the
recently created red ribbon to support the fight against AIDS, and he was the
first celebrity to wear it onscreen. He supports a number of other charities,
including the Prison Phoenix Trust of which he is an active patron.
Upset by the sight of beer-soaked tables and overflowing ashtrays in a lounge
at Shannon airport in southwestern Ireland during a flight delay on 8 August
2002, he grabbed a cleaner's trolley and cloth and started mopping up the mess,
much to the surprise of fellow passengers.
Some screen captures of Jeremy when he was younger (taken from Who Do You
Think You Are? and Inside the Actor's Studio)
Here is a glimpse of Jeremy's deep love for his dogs. This was taken from an interview with Suzie Mackenzie from The Guardian - London, August 3, 1996:
~He told me a story that occurred only a few weeks ago when his favourite dog was killed in an accident. She was four months old and he found himself overcome with an uncontrollable grief. 'A pain of such enormity it was like being burned.' It is not possible, I said to him, to have so much grief for a dog. It must have been for something else. For his father perhaps. No, he says. His father died peacefully, six years ago, one year after having a stroke. Irons took the decision that the doctors should not prolong his life unduly. 'I said they should take him off the drugs. I knew that was what he wanted.' His father's death was a good one, he says. Both men were ready. 'There was time to say goodbye.' So maybe it was grief for your son, I suggested, for the unhappiness he would feel at losing his pet. No, Irons insists. 'Children are tougher than grown-ups. You must know that.' The grief was for himself, he says, pure and simple. And for his dog. 'She died before her time.' He carried her body to the grave that he had prepared crying like a baby. And Sinead had cuddled him and tried to comfort him, though she could not understand his grief. Women, he almost says, are tougher than men. ~
Speed starred in a few films with Jeremy. Here are some screen
captures of him in Moonlighting
Dottie and Dora - Jeremy is rarely seen without these two
girls when he's in the UK. They go everywhere with him - to film premieres, film sets,
restaurants, and of course, they ride in style on the back of Jeremy's motorbike!
Dottie, Dora and Jeremy in screen captures from Who Do You Think You Are?,
click here to view more!
To see more pictures from Who Do You Think You Are?,