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Born in Boyle, County Roscommon in Ireland in 1979, Chris O’Dowd is best known as a screen actor and comedian.
An acting career wasn’t always in O’Dowd’s future. Enrolling in a politics and sociology degree at University College Dublin, he eventually quit to pursue the dramatic arts. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the same class as Katherine Parkinson, who would later become his co-star in The IT Crowd.
Before his stage debut, O’Dowd starred in The Sapphires, a 2012 Australian film inspired by the 2004 play of the same name. He played Dave, a talent scout who guides four women to stardom. His professional theatre debut came in 2014, cast as Lennie in the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men opposite James Franco and Leighton Meester. Even though the play ran for three months, O’Dowd was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.
On screen, O’Dowd’s appeared in films including Gulliver’s Travels, Hippie Hippie Shake and The Boat That Rocked. He also created Moone Boy, a television series inspired by his childhood which was later adapted into a trio of books.