Brendan Coyle

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Brendan Coyle
Born(1963-12-02) 2 December 1963 (age 50)
Corby, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Years active1992-present
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Brendan Coyle
Born(1963-12-02) 2 December 1963 (age 50)
Corby, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Years active1992-present

Brendan Coyle (born 2 December 1963) is an English-born Irish actor.[1] He is well-known to television audiences for playing Nicholas Higgins in the mini-series North & South, Robert Timmins in the first three series of Lark Rise to Candleford, and John Bates, the valet, in Downton Abbey. The last role earned him a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Early life[edit]

Coyle was born in Corby, Northamptonshire, to an Irish father and Scottish mother.[1] He reportedly holds dual British/Irish citizenship.[citation needed] He is a greatnephew of football manager Sir Matt Busby.[2] His paternal grandfather is a native of Co. Donegal.

He studied drama in Dublin in 1981 and received a scholarship to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in the United Kingdom in 1983.[1]


Brendan Coyle received a Laurence Olivier Award in 1999 for his performance in Conor McPherson's The Weir and won a New York Critics Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut for the same play in its New York production.[1] In 2001, Coyle appeared in the film Conspiracy as Gestapo Chief Heinrich Müller. He played Kaz Sweeney in the British drama, True Dare Kiss, and Nicholas Higgins in North & South for the BBC.

Since 2008, he has played Robert Timmins in three BBC series based on the Lark Rise to Candleford novels, written by Flora Thompson. In 2010, he began playing John Bates, valet and former British Army batman to the Earl of Grantham in Julian Fellowes's period drama series, Downton Abbey. Fellowes wrote the part for Coyle, and it won him nominations for a BAFTA and IFTA.[3] In 2012 Coyle played the character of Terry Starling in Sky comedy series Starlings.

Personal life[edit]

Coyle divides his time between London and Norfolk. He is an avid supporter of Manchester United.


1992Fool's Gold: The Story of the Brink's-Mat RobberyDet. Sgt. BenwellTV movie
The BillChris BaileyTV series (1 episode: "Radio Waves")
1994AilsaMiles Butler
1995The Glass VirginManuel MendozaTV mini-series
DangerfieldDavid WalshTV series (2 episodes)
1996Silent WitnessLiam SlatteryTV series (2 episodes)
Thief TakersD.S Bob "Bingo" TateTV series (16 episodes)
1997The Last Bus HomeSteve Burkett
Tomorrow Never DiesLeading Seaman - HMS Bedford
1998Soft Sand, Blue SeaGerry
The GeneralUVF Leader
Happy Birthday To Meshort
1999I Could Read the SkyFrancie
2000McCready and DaughterDonal McCreadyTV movie
Paths to FreedomJeremy FitzgeraldTV series (6 episodes)
2001Rebel HeartMichael CollinsTV mini-series
The Inspector Lynley MysteriesRichard TeyTV series (1 episode: "A Great Deliverance")
The BombmakerGeorge McEvoyTV movie
ConspiracySS Maj. Gen. Heinrich MüllerTV movie
MapmakerRobert Bates
2002RockfaceDouglas McLanaghanTV series (7 episodes)
2003Waking the DeadMartin CorganTV series (2 episodes)
SinglePaulTV series
2004AmnesiaD.C Ian ReidTV movie
OmaghD.S John WhiteTV movie
North & SouthNicholas HigginsTV mini-series (4 episodes)
2005AllegianceMichael Collins
The JacketDamon
ShamelessFather PolishTV series (1 episode: "Episode #2.4")
JerichoChristieTV series (3 episodes)
The Ghost SquadSgt. Ralph AllanTV series (1 episode: "Heroes")
2006The Commander: BlacklightCarl DirkwoodTV movie
SoundproofD.I Dave CoxTV movie
OffsideDuncan Miller
Prime Suspect: The Final ActD.C.S MitchellTV movie
Perfect ParentsEdTV movie
2007The Mark of CainDavey Gulliver
Wedding BellesPriestTV movie
The Good SamaritanLewis FarrellTV movie
DamageAidan CahillTV movie
True Dare KissKaz SweeneyTV series (6 episodes)
2008Lark Rise to CandlefordRobert TimminsTV series (31 episodes: 2008-2010)
2009Inspector George GentlyPatrick DonovanTV series(1 episode: "Gently in the Night")
Perrier's BountyJerome
Blue MurderDerek JowellTV series (2 episodes)
2010–presentDownton AbbeyJohn BatesTV series (25 episodes: 2010–present)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated - BAFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
2011The RavenReagan
2012–2013StarlingsTerry StarlingTV series
2014NobleGerry Shaw


  1. ^ a b c d Paddock, Terri (16 January 2006). "20 Questions With…Brendan Coyle". Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "True Dare Kiss: Brendan Coyle interview" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Downton Abbey characters at PBS". Retrieved 2 February 2011. 

External links[edit]