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Gabriel James Byrne (born May 12, 1950) is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador, and audiobook narrator. He portrays Earl Haraldson in the History Channel series Vikings.


Bryne was born in Dublin, Ireland. He attended University College Dublin where he studied archeology and linguistics, and became proficient in Irish. Before becoming an actor Bryne has multiple jobs, including working as an archaeologist, a cook, a bullfighter, and a Spanish schoolteacher.

His acting career began at twenty-nine, at the Focus Theatre and Abbey Theatre in Dublin before he joined London's Royal Court Theatre and the Royal National Theatre in 1979.

Byrne came to prominence in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken.

He has now starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing, Stigmata and End of Days, in addition to writing two, Draiocht and The Last of the High Kings. Byrne's producing credits include the Academy Award-nominated In the Name of the Father.

More recently, he has received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment.

He was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.


  • He came to America for the first time when he was thirty-seven.
  • He wrote an autobiography called Pictures in My Head.
  • He speaks English and Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic). He is still fluent in Gaelic.