Cillian Murphy

47, from Douglas, Cork, Ireland

Artwork for The Dark Knight RisesImage of Cillian Murphy


Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes. A native of Cork, Murphy began his performing career as a rock musician. After turning down a record deal, he made his professional acting debut in the play Disco Pigs in 1996. He went on to star in Irish and UK film and stage productions throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, first coming to international attention in 2003 as the hero in the post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later.

Murphy is best known for his work with director Christopher Nolan, where he appeared as the villain Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in all three films in the Dark Knight trilogy. Murphy has also worked with Nolan on Inception and Dunkirk. In 2013, Murphy started working on a TV show for BBC titled “Peaky Blinders” as the show’s lead role, Thomas Shelby. The show is still airing as of 2020 with five highly critically acclaimed seasons under its belt A resident of London since 2001, Murphy often works in or near the city and has expressed no desire to move to Hollywood. Uncomfortable on the celebrity circuit, he customarily gives interviews about his work, but does not appear on television talk shows or discuss details of his private life with the press.

Born in Douglas and raised in Ballintemple, two suburbs of Cork, Cillian Murphy is the eldest of four children. His father, Brendan, works for the Irish Department of Education and his mother is a French teacher. Not only are his parents educators, but his aunts and uncles are also teachers, as was his grandfather. Musicianship also runs in the family, and Murphy started playing music and writing songs at age ten. In mid-2004, Murphy married his long-time live-in girlfriend, Yvonne McGuinness, an artist whom he met in 1996 at one of his rock band's shows. The couple live in northwest London with their two sons Malachy (born in 2005) and Aaron (born in 2007).

Murphy is known for being reluctant to speak about his personal life. He frequently gives interviews about his work but did not appear on a single live TV chat show, where actors customarily share information about their private lives, until 2010, when he was a guest on The Late Late Show on Ireland's RTÉ to promote Perrier's Bounty. He does not have a stylist or a personal publicist, travels without an entourage, and often attends premieres alone. Shy and private, Murphy professes a lack of interest in the celebrity scene, finding the red carpet experience "a challenge... and not one I want to overcome." He intentionally practices a lifestyle that will not interest the tabloids: "I haven't created any controversy, I don't sleep around, I don't go and fall down drunk." Murphy is friends with fellow Irish actors Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson, looking up to the latter like a "surrogate movie dad". But primarily, Murphy's close friendships are those he made before becoming a star.


2024Future projects

  • Poster for Kensuke's Kingdom


2023Aged 47

  • Poster for National Theatre: Misterman


  • Poster for Inside Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer

    Self - J. Robert Oppenheimer

  • Poster for Oppenheimer

    J. Robert Oppenheimer

  • Poster for The Story Of Our Time: The Making Of Oppenheimer


2021Aged 45

  • Poster for A Quiet Place Part II


  • Poster for All of This Unreal Time


2019Aged 43

  • Poster for The Irish Revolution

    Self - Narrator (voice)

  • Poster for Anna

    Lenny Miller

  • Poster for I'm the Man


2018Aged 42

  • Poster for The Delinquent Season


  • Poster for The Overcoat

    Akaky (voice)

2017Aged 41

  • Poster for Free Fire


  • Poster for Dunkirk

    Shivering Soldier

  • Poster for The Party


  • Poster for The Making of 'Dunkirk'


2016Aged 40

  • Poster for Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach


  • Poster for Anthropoid

    Josef Gabčík

  • Poster for How to Make a Ken Loach Film


2015Aged 39

  • Poster for Ken Loach in Conversation with Cillian Murphy


  • Poster for Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth

    Himself - Narrator

  • Poster for In the Heart of the Sea

    Matthew Joy

2014Aged 38

  • Poster for Aloft


  • Poster for Transcendence

    Agent Donald Buchanan

  • Poster for Lennon or McCartney


2013Aged 37

  • Poster for The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy

    Self (archive footage)

2012Aged 36

  • Poster for Red Lights

    Tom Buckley

  • Poster for The Dark Knight Rises

    Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow

  • Poster for Broken

    Mike Kiernan

2011Aged 35

  • Poster for Retreat


  • Poster for In Time

    Raymond Leon

2010Aged 34

  • Poster for Peacock

    John Skillpa

  • Poster for Inception

    Robert Fischer, Jr.

  • Poster for TRON: Legacy

    Edward Dillinger (uncredited)

2009Aged 33

2008Aged 32

  • Poster for Waveriders


  • Poster for The Edge of Love

    William Killick

  • Poster for The Dark Knight

    Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow

2007Aged 31

  • Poster for Sunshine


  • Poster for Watching the Detectives


2006Aged 30

2005Aged 29

  • Poster for Batman Begins

    Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow

  • Poster for Red Eye

    Jackson Rippner

  • Poster for Breakfast on Pluto

    Patrick 'Kitten' Braden

2003Aged 27

  • Poster for Intermission


  • Poster for Girl with a Pearl Earring


  • Poster for Cold Mountain


2002Aged 26

  • Poster for How Harry Became a Tree


  • Poster for 28 Days Later


2001Aged 25

  • Poster for Watchmen


  • Poster for On the Edge

    Jonathan Breech

  • Poster for Disco Pigs

    Pig / Darren

2000Aged 24

  • Poster for A Man of Few Words

    Best Man

  • Poster for Filleann an Feall


1999Aged 23

  • Poster for Sweety Barrett

    Pat the Barman

  • Poster for At Death's Door

    Young Reaper

  • Poster for The Trench

    Rag Rookwood

  • Poster for Eviction

    Brendan McBride

  • Poster for Sunburn

    Davin McDerby

Year unknown