Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle (14776144197)
General Information
Gender: Male
Nicknames: Bobby
Birthday: April 14, 1961
Age: 55
Birthplace: Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality: Scottish
Social Networks: Twitter
Other Information
Height: 5'7"
Occupation(s): Actor
Education: Cardonald College in Glasgow
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Talents: Acting
Family & Friends
Family: Elizabeth "Liz" McDonald (mother)
Joseph Carlyle (father)
Ava (daughter)
Harvey (son)
Pearce Joseph (son)
Friends: Ewan McGregor
Relationships: Anastasia Shirley (wife)
Series Information
Character: Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin / Weaver / Detective Weaver
First appearance: Pilot
Last appearance: Leaving Storybrooke

Robert Carlyle, OBE is a Scottish actor. His film work includes Trainspotting (1996), The Full Monty (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Angela's Ashes (1999). He has been in the television shows Hamish Macbeth, Stargate Universe, and Once Upon a Time. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Full Monty and a Gemini Award for Stargate Universe.

View the Robert Carlyle Gallery.

Early Life

Carlyle was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, the son of Elizabeth, a bus company employee, and Joseph Carlyle, a painter and decorator. He was brought up by his father after his mother left when Carlyle was four years old. He left school at the age of 16 without any qualifications and worked for his father as a painter and decorator; however, he continued his education by attending night classes at Cardonald College in Glasgow.


Carlyle became involved in drama at the Glasgow Arts Centre at the age of 21 (having been inspired by reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible), and subsequently graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD). In 1991, he and four friends founded a theatre company, Raindog (which was involved in television and film work). The same year he guest starred in The Bill and also starred in his first movie, Riff-Raff, directed by Ken Loach.

In 1994, he played the gay lover of Father Greg in the film Priest. Carlyle's first high-profile role came as murderer Albert "Albie" Kinsella in an October 1994 episode of Cracker opposite Robbie Coltrane (in which Kinsella killed five people, including Christopher Eccleston's DCI David Bilborough). This highly acclaimed role showcased Carlyle's "pure intensity". Shortly after his appearance in Cracker, he landed the role of Highland policeman Hamish Macbeth in the BBC comedy-drama Hamish Macbeth. The series ran for three seasons from 1995 to 1997.

In 1996 and 1997, he appeared in the two highest-profile roles of his career to date: as the psychopathic Francis Begbie in Trainspotting and Gaz, the leader of a group of male amateur strippers, in The Full Monty. The latter earned Carlyle a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He also starred with Ray Winstone in the 1997 film Face. Carlyle played the senior Malachy McCourt (father of author Frank McCourt) in the 1999 film adaptation of McCourt's first memoir, Angela's Ashes; the arch villain Renard in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough; and a cannibalistic soldier in the 1999 Ravenous.

Carlyle appeared in the 2002 Oasis music video for "Little By Little". He played Adolf Hitler in the 2003 miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil. In 2006 he played the villain Durza in Eragon. In 2007 Carlyle played one of the main characters in the film 28 Weeks Later. He also played the lead role as a marine engineer attempting to save London from total devastation in the disaster film Flood. That year he also portrayed Father Joseph Macavoy in the film The Tournament.

In 2008 Carlyle narrated a BBC audiobook version of The Cutting Room. In 2008, he was cast as Dr. Nicholas Rush in the television series Stargate Universe. His role in the series has been described thus: "As [the team fights] to survive, Dr. Rush (Carlyle) works to unlock the mysteries of the ship and return the group home, but evidence of his ulterior motives soon arises." His was touted by the studio as the "leading role" in Universe.

In December 2008, Carlyle appeared in 24: Redemption, a television movie based on the popular TV series 24, starring alongside Kiefer Sutherland.

In 2009, Carlyle appeared in a long-form commercial for Johnnie Walker whisky, titled "The Man Who Walked Around The World." Carlyle was shown walking down a path and talking for six minutes in a single long take. The ad took two days to film. The director, Jamie Rafn, afterwards referred to Carlyle as an "utter genius". He voices the character of Gabriel Belmont, and his counterpart, Dracula in the video game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, as well as its sequels Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2.

Beginning in October 2011 Carlyle has portrayed Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) in the fantasy-drama television series Once Upon A Time. The character is a wizard, deal-maker, and master manipulator.

Acting style

Known for his commitment to authenticity in roles, Carlyle has often altered his lifestyle and physical appearance to gain a better understanding of a character—much akin to method acting. Before playing a homeless character in Antonia Bird's Safe, for example, he went to live in the Waterloo area of London where the film was set. For his role as a bus driver in Ken Loach's Carla's Song, he passed the test for a PSV licence (a licence to drive a bus with passengers) in a Glasgow Leyland Atlantean bus. Carlyle also removed two of his teeth before reprising his role as Begbie in T2: Trainspotting. Writing of Carlyle's performance in The Full Monty, Andrew Johnston stated: "Carlyle was brilliant as the savage psycho Begbie in Trainspotting; here, he proves he can be almost as good when kept on a short leash. We don't know much about Gaz, but he's the most interesting character in the movie, largely because of Carlyle's down-to-earth warmth."

Personal life

Carlyle has been married to make-up artist Anastasia Shirley since 1997. They have three children: Ava (born 2002), Harvey (born 2004), and Pearce Joseph (born 2006). The family lives in Glasgow. Carlyle is a patron of School For Life in Romania. Carlyle supports Rangers F.C..


Year TV Show/Movie Medium Role
1988 Arena TV Series documentary Spanky Farrell
1990 Taggart TV Series Gordon Inglis
1990 Silent Scream Big Woodsy - Special Unit Staff (as Bobby Carlyle)
1991 The Bill TV Series Tom Ward
1991 Riff-Raff Stevie
1992 Advocates II TV Mini-Series DC Murray
1992 Tender Blue Eyes Video Richard Fascetti
1993 Screenplay TV Series Nosty
1994 99-1 TV Series Detective Constable Trevor Prescott
1994 Being Human Priest
1994 Priest Graham
1994 Cracker TV Series Albie
1994 Marooned Short Peter
1995 Go Now Nick Cameron
1995 The Last Ten Minutes Short Chris
1996 Trainspotting Begbie
1996 Carla's Song George Lennox
1995 - 1997 Hamish Macbeth TV Series Hamish Macbeth
1997 The Full Monty Gaz
1997 Face Ray
1998 Looking After Jo Jo TV Series John Joe 'Jo Jo' McCann
1999 Plunkett & Macleane Plunkett
1999 Ravenous Col. Ives / F.W. Colqhoun
1999 The World Is Not Enough Renard
1999 Angela's Ashes Malachy (Dad)
2000 The Beach Daffy
2000 There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Eric Wirral
2001 To End All Wars Maj. Ian Campbell
2001 Formula 51 Felix DeSouza
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Jimmy
2002 Black and White David O'Sullivan
2002 Oasis: Little by Little Video short Miniature Man
2003 Hitler: The Rise of Evil TV Mini-Series Adolf Hitler
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot TV Movie King James I
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School Frank Keane
2005 The Mighty Celt O
2005 Class of '76 TV Movie DI Tom Monroe
2005 Dead Fish Danny Devine
2005 Human Trafficking TV Mini-Series Sergei
2006 Eragon Video Game Durza (voice)
2006 Born Equal TV Movie Robert
2006 Eragon Durza
2007 Flood Rob Morrison
2007 28 Weeks Later Don
2008 The Last Enemy TV Mini-Series David Russell
2008 Stone of Destiny John MacCormick
2008 Summer Shaun
2008 24: Redemption TV Movie Carl Benton
2008 I Know You Know Charlie
2009 Zig Zag Love TV Movie Jacko
2009 The Unloved TV Movie Lucy's Father
2009 The Tournament Father MacAvoy
2009 - 2011 Stargate Universe TV Series Dr. Nicholas Rush
2010 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Video Game Gabriel Belmont / Dracula (English version, voice)
2011 - 2018 Once Upon a Time TV Series Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin / Weaver / Detective Weaver
2012 California Solo Lachlan MacAldonich
2013 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Video Game Dracula (voice)
2014 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Video Game Gabriel Belmont / Dracula (voice)
2015 Barney Thomson Barney Thomson
2017 T2 Trainspotting Begbie / Begbie's Father
2019 Yesterday John Lennon (uncredited)
2019 The War of the Worlds TV Mini-Series Ogilvy
2020 Cobra TV Series Prime Minister Robert Sutherland / PM Robert Sutherland / P.M. Robert Sutherland

Audio books

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Cutting Room Narrator


  • He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1999 New Years Honours List for his services to drama.
  • Founded a theater company in 1991.
  • Ranked seventh in the 2001 Orange Film Survey of greatest British actors.
  • Owns the Rain Dog Theatre Company, named after the album "Rain Dogs" by Tom Waits.
  • A partner in the British film production company 4 Ways along with Antonia Bird, Irvine Welsh and Mark Cousins.
  • Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (renamed the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland [RCS] in 2011) and formed his own theatre company, Rain Dog, in 1991.
  • Turned down a role in 28 Days Later... (2002) before taking a role in 28 Weeks Later (2007).
  • At age 17 he once worked as a butcher.
  • Featured in the music video for the Oasis song "Little by Little".
  • Turned down a major role in the 2004 remake of Flight of The Phoenix.
  • He was given the Special Acting Recognition Award by the Tallgrass Film Festival for his work in California Solo.
  • He is of both Scottish and Irish ancestry.
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