5/31/1976 (44 years old) Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland
Irish-born actor Colin Farrell is as widely known for his bad-boy antics as he is for his first-rate acting chops. He first achieved notoriety in his homeland for a two-year stint on the TV series Ballykissangel. Tim Roth was so impressed by Farrell's performance that he cast the young thespian in his directorial debut The War Zone. Kevin Spacey also took notice of Farrell, this time on the London stage, and recommended him for the crime caper Ordinary Decent Criminal. Spacey then introduced the rising star to Hollywood talent agents and it wasn't long before director Joel Schumacher cast Farrell in 2000's Tigerland as a rebellious military recruit. His bravura performance earned Farrell a best actor award from the Boston Society of Film Critics. Soon, Farrell was starring opposite the likes of Bruce Willis (Hart's War), Tom Cruise (Minority Report) and Al Pacino (The Recruit). A reteaming with Schumacher resulted in the actor's first top billing in the 2002 thriller Phone Booth. Some bloated action films followed, and then came Oliver Stone's not-so-great Alexander, in which Farrell played the legendary Macedonian king. While the movie flopped, Farrell came away unscathed. Audiences continued to adore the charmer despite, or perhaps because of, a series of extraordinary off-screen escapades that included a string of romances with models (one of which resulted in a sex-tape scandal), profanity-laced interviews, and a 2005 stint in rehab to treat exhaustion and prescription-medication dependency. A-list directors, too, lined up to work with him, including Terrence Malick (The New World), Michael Mann (Miami Vice) and Woody Allen (Cassandra's Dream). Farrell returned to his Irish roots in 2008 and netted his first Golden Globe for Martin McDonagh's seriocomic In Bruges, playing a Dublin hit man. In 2009, Farrell held his own against future Oscar winner Jeff Bridges as a popular country-music star in the acclaimed Crazy Heart. Farrell received strong notices not only for his pitch-perfect performance, but also for his singing. Ironically, as a youth Farrell auditioned for the Irish boy band Boyzone but was turned down.