Robert Carlyle

Actor, Director, Painter
Despite a warm, genial personality, actor Robert Carlyle made a career out of playing dark, crazed and often brutally violent characters, but none more vivid and visceral than the sociopathic Begbie in his breakout ... Read more »
Born: 04/13/1961 in United Kingdom


Actor (43)

Once Upon a Time 2011 - 2016 (TV Show)


The Legend of Barney Thomson 2015 (Movie)

Barney Thomson (Actor)

Kings X 2014 (Movie)

Colin Manks (Actor)

Saying Goodbye to Mr. Welcome 2014 (Movie)


California Solo 2012 (Movie)

Lachlan (Actor)

SGU: Stargate Universe 2009 - 2011 (Tv Show)


The Tournament 2009 (Movie)

Joseph Macavoy (Actor)

The Unloved 2009 (Movie)


I Know You Know 2008 (Movie)

Charlie (Actor)

Stone of Destiny 2008 (Movie)

John MacCormick (Actor)

Summer 2008 (Movie)

Shaun (Actor)

The Last Enemy 2008 (Tv Show)


28 Weeks Later 2007 (Movie)

Don Harris (Actor)

The Flood 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)


Dead Fish 2006 (Movie)

Danny Devine (Actor)

Eragon 2006 (Movie)

Durza (Actor)

Human Trafficking 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School 2006 (Movie)

Frank Keane (Actor)

Face 2005 (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

The Mighty Celt 2005 (Movie)


Black and White 2004 (Movie)

David O'Sullivan (Actor)

Once Upon a Time In the Midlands 2003 (Movie)

Jimmy (Actor)

Formula 51 2002 (Movie)

Felix DeSouza (Actor)

To End All Wars 2002 (Movie)

Campbell (Actor)

The Beach 2000 (Movie)

Daffy (Actor)

There's Only One Jimmy Grimble 2000 (Movie)

Eric Wirral (Actor)

Angela's Ashes 1999 (Movie)

Dad--Malachy McCourt Sr (Actor)

Born in the USSR: 14 Up 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


Plunkett & Macleane 1999 (Movie)

Will Plunkett (Actor)

Ravenous 1999 (Movie)

Colqhoun (Actor)

The World Is Not Enough 1999 (Movie)

Victor 'Renard' Zokas (Actor)

Carla's Song 1998 (Movie)

George (Actor)

Go Now 1998 (Movie)

Nick Carlyle (Actor)

The Full Monty 1997 (Movie)

Gaz (Actor)

Citizen Ken Loach 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Trainspotting 1996 (Movie)

Begbie (Actor)

Cracker: To Be a Somebody 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


Priest 1995 (Movie)

Graham (Actor)

Riff Raff 1993 (Movie)

Stevie (Actor)

Silent Scream 1986 (Movie)

Big Woodsy (Actor)

24: Redemption (TV Show)


Hitler: The Rise of Evil (TV Show)


Riff-Raff (Movie)

Stevie (Actor)
Director (1)

The Legend of Barney Thomson 2015 (Movie)



Despite a warm, genial personality, actor Robert Carlyle made a career out of playing dark, crazed and often brutally violent characters, but none more vivid and visceral than the sociopathic Begbie in his breakout film, "Trainspotting" (1996). Prior to his international breakthrough, Carlyle spent three seasons as the star of the police series "Hamish Macbeth" (BBC Scotland, 1995-98), while appearing in a number of British-made films. After "Trainspotting," however, Carlyle did an about-face to play a down-and-out steelworker who marshals his fellow out-of-work mates to earn cash by staging an all-male strip review in the critically heralded comedy "The Full Monty" (1997). Following a sympathetic turn in "Angela's Ashes" (1999), he was arch-villain Renard to Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in "The World is Not Enough" (1999) and a crazed man ranting about a hidden paradise in Danny Boyle's "The Beach" (2000). He went on to brilliantly portray the Führer in "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" (2003) and a powerful sex trafficker in "Human Trafficking" (Lifetime Television, 2005). On the small screen, he continued delivering the goods as a mad scientist on "Stargate Universe" (Syfy, 2009-2011) and the Machiavellian Rumpelstiltskin on "Once Upon a Time" (ABC, 2011- ). No matter what type of role he played, Carlyle fully inhabited each character with such force and conviction that he developed a solid reputation for being one of the most electrifying performers on either side of the Atlantic.



Born July 4, 2002; mother, Anastasia Shirley


Born April 2004; mother, Anastasia Shirley


Born April 2006; mother, Anastasia Shirley

Joe Carlyle

Moved with son to a hippie commune on a Glasgow estate when his wife abandoned the family c. 1965 Carlyle was estranged from him for eight years (c. 1982-90) Died Jan. 7, 2006

Elizabeth McDonald

Left home when her son was four (c. 1965); Carlyle had no relationship with her

Caroline Patterson Production Assistant

Dated in the early 1990s

Anastasia Shirley Makeup Assistant

Married Dec. 28, 1997 in Scotland


attended night school in the early 1980s

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama

dropped out of school at age



Played a former Britpop rocker facing deportation from the U.S. in "California Solo"


Joined the cast of ABC fairy tale-inspired series "Once Upon A Time" as Rumplestiltskin


Starred on the Syfy adventure series "SGU Stargate Universe"


Acted in the Fox TV-movie "24: Redemption"


Co-starred in "28 Weeks Later," the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 2002 film "28 Days Later"


Earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for "Human Trafficking"


Cast in "Eragon" a fantasy/adventure movie based on the novel of the same name


Cast as Jimmy in the action fature "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands"


Co-starred in "Formula 51" aka "The 51st State"


Landed a featured cameo in "The Beach," helmed by Danny Boyle


Reteamed with Antonia Bird (when she replaced Milcho Manchevski as director) on "Ravenous"


Portrayed the villain to Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in "The World Is Not Enough"


Co-starred with Emily Watson in "Angela's Ashes"


Co-starred with Jonny Lee Miller in the period drama "Plunkett and Macleane"


Made third film with director Antonia Bird, playing a gangster in "Face"


Starred in the Oscar-nominated sleeper hit "The Full Monty," playing an unemployed steelworker who hits on the idea for a ragtag group to perform a strip show


Won critical appreciation for his turn as the psychopathic Begbie in Danny Boyle's acclaimed film "Trainspotting"


Reteamed with Ken Loach for "Carla's Song" (released in the U.S. in 1998)


Played a man stricken with multiple sclerosis on the TV drama "Go Now"; released theatrically in 1998


Made his U.S. TV debut as a villain in "Cracker: To Be a Somebody" (A&E)


Starred in popular Scottish TV series "Hamish Macbeth"


Co-starred in Bird's controversial film "Priest"


Made first collaboration with director Antonia Bird, the BBC-2 TV-movie "Safe"


Acted in first starring role in Ken Loach's "Riff-Raff"


Appeared as a political candidate in the British TV production "Taggart"


Made film debut in "Silent Scream"


Began acting at age 15 (date approximate)

Merged his film company Raindog into 4way Pictures, a partnership with Bird and Mark Cousins

Originally cast as Alex Law in "Shallow Grave"; dropped out of project and replaced by Ewan McGregor

Made rofessional stage debut as Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Appeared in stage prodcutions at the Glasgow Arts Centre

Co-founded Raindog Theatre

Bonus Trivia


Carlyle was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998.


"There's something that he hasn't used a lot but he's got. He's got the intensity and charisma of a lead actor. He's also got the range of a character actor. He's got the option, really. I've said to Bobby that he should do some role in the States because he's done about everything he can do in Britain." – "Trainspotting" director Danny Boyle on Carlyle, quoted in Los Angeles Times, Aug. 24, 1997


"I get a big kick out of it when people go and see 'The Full Monty' and say, 'I thought you said the guy from 'Trainspotting' was in this!' That's the biggest compliment you could be paid, as an actor." – Carlyle to Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 5, 1997


"When I started off, I tried my best to give the [British] tabloids good copy that would be useful to them while keeping a wee bit of myself back. The stuff they then did on my mother and father and my personal life, my love life, was quite shocking. I opened the paper and there was my mother, whom I hadn't seen for thirty-two years. It makes you feel lousy. It's made me even more reclusive, if that's possible. What is this thing called freedom of the press? It's sickening, it's an absolute disgrace. I know the royals are supposedly up for grabs but I don't think they should suffer it either." – Carlyle to Scottish Accent, Oct.-Nov. 1996


"I try to disguise myself as much as possible in the roles, the uglier the better ... So in my own life, it means I can go in places and no one bothers me because they don't even recognize me. Yeah, I know some actors want to look beautiful, but that's no' acting to me. If you're concerned about how pretty you look and how nice your costume is, you should go into modeling." – Carlyle quoted in HQ, 1996


"I hate that term, Method. It’s definitely been given to me over the years, but I don’t know if it’s true. My belief is that every actor’s got their own method, and as long as it works that’s OK." – Carlyle to London Times, May 3, 2007