Aidan Turner was born in the Irish town Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, in 1983. After finishing secondary school, he applied for a place at the Gaiety School of Acting in the Irish capital, having become interested in performing while working at a cinema.
After graduating from Gaiety, Turner appeared in many productions at Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey Theatre. These included A Cry From Heaven, and a production of Sean O'Casey’s The Plough and the Stars in 2005, which transferred to London’s Barbican Centre. The majority of Turner’s stage work has been in Ireland, at venues with as the Gate Theatre, Olympia Theatre and Project Arts Centre.
Following his initial stage roles, Turner turned to screen work, and was cast as vampire John Mitchell in BBC Three’s supernatural drama Being Human, alongside Russell Tovey. The show was a cult-hit and ran for two years. It was this role that led to the actor being cast in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy in 2012, playing the dwarf Kíli, and saw him nominate for the Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer for The Desolation of Smaug.
Turner’s most recognisable role to date is playing mine owner Ross Poldark in the BBC adaptation of the Winston Graham novel, Poldark. He has received the National Television Award for Impact during his time in the role, as well as being nominated for Best Drama Performance in 2016.