Colm Meaney

Colm J. Meaney (/ˈkɒləm/;[1] Irish: Colm Ó Maonaigh; born 30 May 1953) is an Irish actor and voice actor known for playing Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999). He has guest-starred on many TV shows including Law & Order and The Simpsons, and starred as Thomas Durant on Hell on Wheels.

Colm Meaney
Born (1953-05-30) 30 May 1953
Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland
Years active1978–present
Bairbre Dowling
(m. 1977; div. 1994)

Ines Glorian
(m. 2007)

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, as well as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. In 2017, Meaney won the Best Actor IFTA for his portrayal of Irish politician Martin McGuinness in the film The Journey.

Early life

Meaney was born in Glasnevin, Dublin.[2] 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'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 main 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,[3] leader of the Genii on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) series Stargate Atlantis,[4] 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 (the Irish Post Office[5]) issued a postage stamp showing Meaney as Joe Mullen in the film Kings.[6]

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. For five seasons he portrayed railroad magnate Thomas Durant on AMC's drama series Hell on Wheels.[7]

Personal life

Meaney was a supporter of Official Sinn Féin.

Meaney married Irish actress Bairbre Dowling in 1977,[2] with whom he had a daughter, Brenda, in 1984. The couple divorced in 1994.[8] He married French costume designer Ines Glorian in March 2007. They have a daughter together, who was born in 2005. He currently lives in the small Majorcan town of Sóller.[2][8][9]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Nailed Younger Protestant
1987 Omega Syndrome Sean
1987 The Dead Mr. Bergin
1990 Die Hard 2 Pilot
1990 Dick Tracy Cop at Tess's
1990 Come See the Paradise Gerry McGurn
1991 The Commitments Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr.
1992 Under Siege Daumer
1992 The Last of the Mohicans Maj. Ambrose
1992 Far and Away Kelly
1992 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
1994 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
1996 The Last of the High Kings Jim Davern
1997 Con Air DEA Agent Duncan Malloy
1997 Owd Bob Keith Moore
1998 This Is My Father Seamus, Owner of the Bed-and-Breakfast
1998 Monument Ave. Jackie O'Hara a.k.a. Snitch
1998 22 October Steve
1998 Claire Dolan Roland Cain
1999 Mystery, Alaska Mayor Scott Pitcher
1999 Chapter Zero Frank Lazarus
1999 Four Days Fury
1999 Most Important Dan O'Neill
2001 Backflash Gin O'Malley Video
2001 How Harry Became a Tree Harry Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor
2003 The Boys from County Clare Jimmy
2003 Intermission Jerry Lynch
2004 Blueberry Jimmy McClure
2004 Layer Cake Gene
2004 Battle of the Brave Benjamin Franklin
2005 Turning Green Tom
2006 Five Fingers Gavin
2006 A Lobster Tale Cody
2007 Kings Joe Mullan Nominated – Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor
2007 The Metrosexual The Mayor Great Lakes Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actor
2008 Clean Break Trevor Jones
2008 Three and Out Tommy
2009 The Damned United Don Revie
2009 The Race Frank Kensay
2009 Law Abiding Citizen Detective Dunnigan
2010 Get Him to the Greek Jonathan Snow
2010 Alleged H. L. Mencken
2010 Parked Fred Daly
2010 The Conspirator Gen. David Hunter
2011 El Perfecto Desconocido Mark O'Reilly
2012 Whole Lotta Sole Detective Weller Known as Stand Off in North America
2012 Bel Ami Monsieur Rousset
2012 Soldiers of Fortune Carter Mason
2012 The Hot Potato Harry
2013 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Pat Farrell
2013 One Chance Roland Potts
2013 A Belfast Story Detective
2013 Free Birds Myles Standish Voice
2014 The Devil's Hand Elder Beacon
2016 Norm of the North Grandfather Voice
2016 Pelé: Birth of a Legend George Raynor
2016 The Journey Martin McGuinness
2016 The Secrets of Emily Blair Father Avital
2017 Halal Daddy Martin Logan
2019 Tolkien Father Francis[10]
2019 Seberg Frank Ellroy [11]
TBA Pixie Post-production
TBA The Banker Patrick Barker Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Z-Cars McGlin Episode: "Pressure"
1981 Les roses de Dublin Michael Kavanaugh Miniseries
1982 Play for Tomorrow Kevin Murphy Episode: "Easter 2016"
1982 Strangers Smollett Episode: "Charlie's Brother's Birthday (Part 1)
1983 Playboy of the Western World Shawn Television film
1984 The Hidden Curriculum David Dunn Television film
1986 Moonlighting Katharina Suitor Episode: "Atomic Shakespeare"
1987 Remington Steele Man in Tavern Episode: "Steele Hanging in There: Part 2"
1987 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues Tinkerer Television film
1987 Tales from the Darkside Constable Episode: "Beetles"
1987–1988 One Life to Live Alf Unknown episodes
Star Trek: The Next Generation Chief Miles O'Brien 52 episodes
1989 Perfect Witness Meagher Television film
1990 Equal Justice Nucchi Episode: "The Art of the Possible"
1990 Father Dowling Mysteries Ernie Episode: "The Undercover Nun Mystery"
1991 The New Adam-12 Father Episode: "Panic in Alverez Park"
1991 MacGyver Dr. Irwin Malcolm Episode: "Good Knight MacGyver: Part 1"
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Jake Slicker Episode: "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"
1993 Brooklyn Bridge Mr. Kramer Episode: "Good as Gold"
1993–1999 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Chief Miles O'Brien 173 episodes
1994 Scarlett Father Colum O'Hara 2 episodes
1996 Gargoyles Mr. Dugan (voice) Episode: "The Hound of Ulster"
1998 Money Kings Al Sheehan Television film; a.k.a. Vig
1999 The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Seamus Muldoon Television film
2002 Random Passage Thomas Hutchings Miniseries
Nominated – Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
2002 King of Texas Mr. Tumlinson Television film
2004 The Murdoch Mysteries Inspector Brackenreid 2 episodes
2004 Bad Apple Gibbons Television film
2004–2006 Stargate Atlantis Chief Cowen 3 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Judge Harold Garrett Episode: In the Wee Small Hours
2006 The Unit Charge D'Affaires Episode: "Security"
2006 Caved In: Prehistoric Terror Vincent Television film
2006 Covert One: The Hades Factor Peter Howell Television film
2007 Men in Trees Bob O'Donnell 2 episodes
2008 Law & Order Wyatt Landon Episode: "Lost Boys"
2009 The Simpsons Tom O'Flanagan (voice) Episode: "In the Name of the Grandfather"
2009 Alice King of Hearts Miniseries
2009 ZOS: Zone of Separation George Titac Miniseries
2009 Mercy Dr. Parks Episode: "I Believe You Conrad"
2011–2016 Hell on Wheels Thomas "Doc" Durant 51 episodes
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2013)
Nominated – Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor TV (2013)
2014 The Driver The Horse 3 episodes
2015 Childhood's End[12] Wainwright Episode: "The Overlords"
2017 Will James Burbage 10 episodes


  1. " Article: Las Vegas 2004: Sunday's Highlights". Archived from the original on 14 August 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2006.
  2. "I had no time for them crying into their pints". Irish Times. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  3. "Colm Meaney". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  4. "Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi". TVguide. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  5. An Post—the Irish Post Office An Post (retrieved 28 May 2018)
  6. 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.
  7. "Interview: Colm Meaney talks about Hell on Wheels". Flickering Myth. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  8. "Stroke-ism and greed: why Colm Meaney is convinced we've sold our souls". The Mail on Sunday. 26 August 2012 via Questia Online Library.
  9. Meaney: still cursing after all these years Sunday Independent, 16 October 2011.
  10. "Colm Meaney Cast in Fox Searchlight's 'Tolkien'"
  11. "Kristen Stewart to Play Icon Jean Seberg in Political Thriller 'Against All Enemies'; Jack O'Connell, Anthony Mackie Also Star"
  12. The Deadline Team. "'Hell On Wheels' Star Colm Meaney Cast In 'Childhood's End On Syfy - Deadline". Deadline.
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