Ian Bannen

Actor, Professional photographer
Scottish-born actor Ian Bannen began his career in Ireland in 1947 and first appeared on the London stage as Captain Rickman in "Prisoners of War" (1955). Closely identified in England with the plays of Eugene O'Neill ... Read more »
Born: 06/28/1928 in United Kingdom


Actor (64)

A French Mistress 2014 (Movie)


The Inglorious Bastards 2014 (Movie)


Taliesin Jones 2002 (Movie)

Billy Evans (Actor)

Best 2001 (Movie)

Matt Busby (Actor)

To Walk With Lions 1999 (Movie)

Terence Adamson (Actor)

The Treaty 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Waking Ned Devine 1998 (Movie)

Jackie O'Shea (Actor)

Original Sin 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Something to Believe In 1997 (Movie)

Don Pozzi (Actor)

Doctor Finlay II 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


Lamb 1995 (Movie)

Brother Benedict (Actor)

A Pin for the Butterfly 1993 (Movie)

Grandpa (Actor)

Doctor Finlay 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


The Common Pursuit 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


The Sound and the Silence 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


Ashenden 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


Damage 1992 (Movie)

Edward Lloyd (Actor)

Crossing the Line 1991 (Movie)

Matt Mason (Actor)

George's Island 1991 (Movie)

Captain Waters (Actor)

Ghost Dad 1990 (Movie)

Sir Edith Moser (Actor)

Streghe 1989 (Movie)


La Partita 1988 (Movie)


The Courier 1988 (Movie)

McGuigan (Actor)

Hope and Glory 1987 (Movie)

Grandfather George (Actor)

Defence of the Realm 1986 (Movie)

Dennis Markham (Actor)

The Prodigal 1984 (Movie)

Riley Wyndham (Actor)

Gorky Park 1983 (Movie)

Iamskoy (Actor)

Gandhi 1982 (Movie)

Senior Police Officer (Actor)

Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)


Eye of the Needle 1981 (Movie)

Godliman (Actor)

Night Crossing 1980 (Movie)

Josef Keller (Actor)

Watcher in the Woods 1979 (Movie)

John Keller (Actor)

Bite the Bullet 1975 (Movie)

Norfolk (Actor)

Sweeney 1975 (Movie)

Baker (Actor)

The Gathering Storm 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)


Identikit 1973 (Movie)


Il Viaggio 1973 (Movie)

Antonio (Actor)

The Mackintosh Man 1972 (Movie)

Slade (Actor)

The Offence 1972 (Movie)

Baxter (Actor)

Fright 1970 (Movie)

Brian (Actor)

La Spina Dorsale del Diavola 1970 (Movie)

Crawford (Actor)

Too Late the Hero 1970 (Movie)

Thornton (Actor)

Lock Up Your Daughters! 1969 (Movie)

Ramble (Actor)

Johnny Belinda 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)


The Sailor From Gibraltar 1967 (Movie)

Alan (Actor)

Penelope 1966 (Movie)

James B Elcott (Actor)

Mister Moses 1965 (Movie)

Robert (Actor)

Psyche '59 1964 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Rotten to the Core 1964 (Movie)

Vine (Actor)

The Flight of the Phoenix 1964 (Movie)

Crow (Actor)

The Hill 1964 (Movie)

Sgt Harris (Actor)

Macbeth 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)


The Risk 1960 (Movie)

Alan Andrews (Actor)

Behind the Mask 1958 (Movie)

Alan Crabtree (Actor)

Private's Progress 1955 (Movie)

Private Horrocks (Actor)

Death in Deep Water (TV Show)


Jane Eyre (TV Show)


Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)


Johnny Belinda (Movie)


Terror From Within (TV Show)


The Lady and the Highwayman (TV Show)


The Politician's Wife (TV Show)


Uncle Vanya (TV Show)



Scottish-born actor Ian Bannen began his career in Ireland in 1947 and first appeared on the London stage as Captain Rickman in "Prisoners of War" (1955). Closely identified in England with the plays of Eugene O'Neill, he portrayed Hickey in "The Iceman Cometh" (1957) and Jamie Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1958), later reprising the role of Jamie for 1983 productions of "A Moon for the Misbegotten" in London and NYC. Bannen made his feature debut in "Battle Hell" (1956), acquitted himself well in "The Risk/Suspect" (1960) and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as the cynical plane crash survivor in Robert Aldrich's "Flight of the Phoenix" (1965). His suave, dark good looks were fully utilized as Natalie Wood's stuffy husband in the lightweight "Penelope" (1967) and allowed him to be cast against type as a child molester in Sidney Lumet's taut "The Offense" (1973). As he aged into character roles, Bannen found success in a variety of roles from a unscrupulous religious in the underrated "Lamb" (1985) to the cantankerous grandfather in John Boorman's autobiographical "Hope and Glory" (1987). In addition, he made an indelible impression as The Leper in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" (1995). The Ealingesque comedy "Waking Ned Devine" (1998) also provided a fine showcase for David Kelly and him as two brothers who concoct an impersonation scam after discovering that their old friend Ned Devine has died clutching the winning ticket to the Irish Lottery.

Bannen is perhaps more familiar to American viewers for his extensive television work, both for American and British networks (airing primarily on PBS in the USA). After playing McDuff in an NBC version of "Macbeth" (1960), he later had the romantic leads in remakes of "Johnny Belinda" (ABC, 1967, opposite Mia Farrow) and "Jane Eyre" (NBC, 1971, with Susannah York). Well-cast as Amos in the Franco Zeffirelli's 1971 NBC miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth", the actor fully demonstrated his versatility undertaking a portrayal of Adolph Hitler in "The Gathering Storm", a 1974 NBC entry of "Hallmark Hall of Fame". For the BBC, Bannen acted in the highly acclaimed "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (1979), starring Alec Guinness, and later in "Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1981) and "Ashenden" (1992). In addition to his appearances in "Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception" (NBC, 1990) and the TNT miniseries "The Sound and the Silence" (1993), Bannen's recent performances on PBS have been in "The Politician's Wife" ("Masterpiece Theatre", 1996), "Original Sin" ("Mystery!", 1997) and "The Treaty" (1998).


James Bannen


Clare Bannen


Marilyn Salisbury

married in 1978


Ratcliffe College




Wrapped "To Walk With Lions", the true story of drifter Tony Fitzjohn who lived with George and Joy Adamson and became a leader in the worldwide conservation movement; portrayed Terrence Adamson


Starred opposite David Kelly in "Waking Ned Devine", a folksy Irish comedy in the tradition of Ealing Studios


Portrayed Prime Minister David Lloyd George in "The Treaty" (PBS), an account of the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty in 1921


Acted the part of The Leper in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart"


Portrayed Secret Service Controller 'R' in four part drama serial "Ashenden", based on short stories by Somerset Maugham; aired on A&E in 1992


Appeared in David Mamet adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya", directed by Gregory Mosher for PBS' "Great Performances"


Offered a marvelous turn as the cantakerous grandfather in John Boorman's "Hope and Glory"


Played in David Drury's taut political thriller "Defence of the Realm"


US stage debut, Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten"


Had small role as a policeman in Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi"


Appeared in "Eye of the Needle", starring Donald Sutherland


Scored a critical hit in the London premiere of Brian Friel's "Translations"


Acted opposite Alec Guinness in the acclaimed BBC serial "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"; aired in USA as part of PBS' "Great Performances" in 1980


Essayed the role of Adolph Hitler in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production, "The Gathering Storm"


Appeared as Slade in "The Mackintosh Man", starring Paul Newman


Portrayed Amos in Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth", an NBC miniseries


Acted the part of St. John Rivers in NBC-TV version of "Jane Eyre"


Starred opposite Mia Farrow in TV remake of "Johnny Belinda" (ABC)


Won acclaim for his efforts in Sidney Lumet's "The Hill"


Earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Robert Aldrich's "The Flight of the Phoenix"


Played one of five love-starved men vying for the attention of Carroll Baker in "Station Six-Sahara"


Starred in first production outside of South Africa of Athol Fugard's "The Blood Knot"


Played title role in "Hamlet", as well as Mercutio ("Romeo and Juliet") and Iago opposite Sir John Gielgud in a production of "Othello" (directed by Franco Zeffirelli), all for Memorial Theatre Company


Portrayed McDuff in NBC-TV version of "Macbeth", which ultimately received a theatrical release


Starred in "Wolf Pack" for British TV's "Armchair Theatre"


Film acting debut in "Battle Hell"


First West End appearance, Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge", directed by Peter Brook


London stage debut, "Prisoners of War"


Performed with the Memorial Theatre Company in Stratford-on-Avon (now the Royal Shakespeare Company)


Stage debut, "Armlet of Jade" at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland

Served his mandatory 18 months with the British Army

Played Dr. Cameron in "Dr. Finlay" (a revival of the 1962-1971 BBC series "Dr Finlay's Casebook") for Scottish TV; Parts I and II aired on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"

Bonus Trivia


"You can use tricks on stage, but never on screen. There's nowhere to hide from the camera." --Ian Bannen, quoted in PR for "The Courier" (1989)