Aidan Gillen

Aidan Murphy

Aidan Gillen, hailing from Ireland, is renowned as an actor, scriptwriter, and film producer. His rise to fame was bolstered by his memorable role as Petyr Baelish in “Game of Thrones.” He has also been prominent in productions such as “Peaky Blinders,” “Identity,” “Queer as Folk,” “Calvary,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” In addition to his acclaimed acting career, Gillen’s versatility as a performer is reflected in his diverse range of characters, from political figures to complex anti-heroes.

What we know about this person

Full name:

Aidan Gillen


Aidan Gillen

Date of birth:

April 24, 1968

Zodiac sign:



Dublin, Republic of Ireland





Marital status:





5' 9" (1.75 m)


165 lbs (75 kg)


actor, film producer, screenwriter


Aidan Gillen young


Aidan Gillen with ex-wife Olivia O’Flanagan

Early life

Born as Aidan Murphy in Dublin on April 24, 1968, Gillen was raised in a family unrelated to the performing arts. His architect father and nurse mother raised him alongside his playwright brother John and two sisters, Patricia and Fionnuala, the latter also pursuing acting. Fionnuala Murphy has credits in “The Miracle Club,” “Irish Crime,” and “Charlie.”

In his youth, Aidan was a student at St Vincent’s Secondary School and discovered a passion for acting in local youth theatre. Known for his timidity offstage, he effortlessly transformed into romantic leads while performing. His initial stage performances were notable for his gentle, muted voice, drawing the audience deeper into the narrative. Opting out of higher education, he was determined to pursue a career in acting.

Completing his schooling, Gillen relocated to London, aiming to carve a successful path in theatre and television. Faced with the challenge of his birth name already being registered with the Screen Actors Guild, he adopted the stage name ’Gillen,’ his mother’s maiden name, to embark on his professional acting journey.


Aidan Gillen in Game of Thrones

Aidan Gillen’s artistic journey

Upon his move to London, Aidan Gillen started auditioning for various television roles and joined numerous prestigious theaters, including the Royal National, Almeida, Royal Court, Bush, and Hampstead Theatres. His charismatic presence and compelling voice rapidly earned him recognition in the drama community, with critics highly praising his talent. This early success marked the beginning of a fruitful career in both theater and television.

Gillen’s journey in cinema began with the 1985 short film “The Drip.” His breakthrough came two years later in “The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne,” acting alongside Maggie Smith. These roles opened doors to more opportunities in both television series and film projects. His filmography further expanded with notable roles in the 1993 series “The Bill” and the 1995 film “Circle of Friends,” where he worked with actors like Colin Firth and Chris O’Donnell.

Following this, Gillen starred in the British detective series “Identity” and the drama “Thorne,” where he displayed his ability to adapt to various roles, from a crime analyst to a dramatic lead. His international fame soared in 2010 with his role in the hit series “Game of Thrones,” where he portrayed the cunning and intelligent Petyr Baelish. Simultaneously, he appeared in the Irish crime drama “Love/Hate” as the criminal boss John Boy Power, earning another IFTA for Best TV Actor and paving the way for more leading roles in crime thrillers.

Gillen’s filmography includes roles in “Blitz” with David Morrissey and Jason Statham, and the spy thriller “Shadow Dancer,” which is based on IRA activities and stars Gillian Anderson. He also played a CIA operative in “The Dark Knight Rises.” As the host of “Other Voices” between 2013 and 2015, he interviewed prominent music acts, further demonstrating his versatility. His performance in “Charlie” earned him another IFTA in 2015.

Gillen continued to showcase his diverse acting skills in productions like “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” and the series “Peaky Blinders.” He portrayed an astrophysicist in “Project Blue Book” and took on the role of the manager of Queen in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In 2021, he captivated audiences with his portrayal of Jack Blackwell in the thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead” and starred in the series “Mayor of Kingstown,” further adding to his impressive and varied acting portfolio.

A significant milestone in Gillen’s career was his portrayal of Stuart Alan Jones in the 1999 groundbreaking film “Queer as Folk.” This role not only elevated his status but also had a considerable impact on British cinema. His performance led to a nomination for a British Academy Television Award and an accolade at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2000. His role as the introspective Frank in Jamie Travis’s “The Low Down” in 2000 further enhanced his popularity.

In 2001, Gillen starred in “Lorna Doone,” adapting one of Richard Blackmore’s novel’s main characters. His performance received widespread acclaim. The following year, he appeared in the comedy “Shanghai Knights,” featuring alongside Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. His success wasn’t limited to film, as his performances in New York theater, especially in Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker,” were critically acclaimed for their complex and unpredictable narratives.

His work in American theater led to a Tony Award nomination, further solidifying his acting credentials. He was then cast in the American TV series “The Wire,” where he played the city official Carcetti from 2004 to 2008. In 2009, he received an IFTA award, which recognized him as a significant figure in Irish cinema. The same year, he played a villain in the film “12 Rounds,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Aidan Gillen Movies and TV Shows

  • 2018

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    John Reid

  • 2018

    Maze Runner: The Death Cure


  • 2017

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    “Goosefat” Bill

  • 2017

    Peaky Blinders

    Aberama Gold

  • 2015

    Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


  • 2013


    Dr. Frank Harte

  • 2012

    The Dark Knight Rises

    CIA Op

  • 2011–2019

    Game of Thrones

    Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

  • 2011


    Barry Weiss

  • 2003

    Shanghai Knights

    Lord Nelson Rathbone

Aidan Gillen’s personal life and family

Aidan Gillen encountered his eventual spouse, Olivia O’Flanagan, when he was just 15. Prior to their official union, the pair cohabited for an extended period. They welcomed a daughter in 1997, followed by a son in 2000, and tied the knot in 2001. Their separation came in 2014, with no details of a divorce available. Presently, Gillen is romantically involved with the singer and cabaret performer Camille O’Sullivan.


Aidan Gillen in The Wire

Talk Shows

  • 2020

    Ok! TV

    Role: Guest

  • 2020

    Good Morning America

    Role: Guest

  • 2011

    This Morning

    Role: Guest

Aidan Gillen now

In the cinematic realm, 2022 saw Gillen star in the Western “That Dirty Black Bag,” featuring actors like Douglas Booth and Dominic Cooper. The year 2023 marked his leading role in the crime drama “Barber,” alongside Aisling Kearns and Gary Lydon. Additionally, Gillen is anticipated to grace the screen in the upcoming biographical drama “Dance First.”

Published: November 28, 2023
Updated: June 24, 2024