Irish actor Allen Leech became a worldwide favorite of public television viewers thanks to his turn as rebellious and romantic chauffeur Tom Branson on the hit series "Downton Abbey" (ITV/PBS, 2010- ). Leech began on the Irish stage before making his feature debut with the independent dramas "Cowboys & Aliens" (2003) and "Man About Dog" (2004), both of which minted him as a star on the rise. A pair of nominations for Best Supporting Actor by the Irish Film and Television Awards boosted his profile, which in turn brought him to the attention of Julian Fellowes, who cast him as Branson on "Abbey." The show's devoted following, as well as its history-making slew of award nominations, helped elevate Leech to international fame, which he parlayed into major roles in several British features while also continuing to set hearts aflutter on "Abbey." The popularity of the series, as well as his own rapidly rising profile, virtually guaranteed Allen Leech as an actor on the brink of stardom on both sides of the pond.