Hailing from Greater Manchester, film and TV actor Kieran O'Brien got an early start in the business, landing his first series lead at 14 on the BBC family comedy "Gruey". Roles on the long-running youth-oriented dramas "Children's Ward" and "Dramarama" followed, with O'Brien tackling his most high-profile television role as a regular on the Robbie Coltrane-led police procedural "Cracker". O'Brien, who'd made his feature debut as a kidnapped lad in Richard Loncraine's 1987 thriller "Bellman and True", hit the big screen again in 1999's Brit comedy "Virtual Sexuality". He then turned up in a small part in the indie drama "24-Hour Party People", director Michael Winterbottom's stylish survey of the '70s Manchester music scene. Winterbottom guided the actor through a much bigger role in the sexually explicit romance "9 Songs", a festival favorite that stirred controversy with its full-on depictions of O'Brien and his co-star Margo Stilley's on-camera lovemaking. O'Brien vehemently defended the art-house sensation ("It's only sex"), and he re-teamed with Winterbottom for a brief role in the director's next feature, "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story". In 2005, the actor appeared in the soccer saga "Goal! The Dream Begins" as a tough Newcastle footballer, a role he reprised in the film's sequel, "Goal II: Living the Dream". He also returned to one of his better-known parts for the 2006 TV-movie revival of "Cracker", while continuing to light up the small screen in recurring roles on the police drama "Holby Blue" and the crime drama "Blue Murder".