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Jonathan Meyers - Biography

Jonathan Rhys Meyers arrives on the red carpet of the movie "Freaks Out" during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 08, 2021 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)
Updated: 11 July 2023
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers is known for his work in Bend It Like Beckham, Alexander with Colin Farrell and the dark satire, Match Point, with Scarlett Johansson.

Who is Jonathan Rhys Meyers?

Born in Dublin on July 27, 1977, Jonathan's real name was Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe, but he took his mother's maiden name for his stage name.

He was raised, along with brothers Jamie, Alan and Paul, in rural County Cork by mum Geraldine, after his dad, John, left the family when Jonathan was three. His childhood included a spell in an orphanage, but as a teen he befriended Anglo-Irish farmer Christopher Crofts with whom he went to live and who he refers to as "my gay dad". 

Expelled from his all-boys school at 16, the teen was spotted a year later by casting agents in a local pool hall and the rest, as they say, is history. 

What movies has Jonathan Rhys Meyers played in?

He won his first film role, A Man Of No Importance, in 1994 and was just 19 when he landed the role of a young assassin opposite Liam Neeson in Michael Collins

His star was clearly on the rise when he was cast as a spandex-clad glam rocker in 1998's Velvet Goldmine, a vehicle which made the most of his androgynous appeal and singing abilities. That was followed with more silver screen credits, such as Ride With The Devil and Titus, plus BBC mini TV series Gormenghast, in which he played the central character Steerpike.

A role as dedicated football coach to a young Keira Knightley in the hit Bend It Like Beckham further raised his profile, and it remains one of his most pipualr films.

He also starred as the rakish George Osborne in a lavish 2004 production of Vanity Fair. That same year he also appeared in Oliver Stone epic Alexander, making headlines with his wild, on-set antics in Morocco alongside Colin Farrell

Did Jonathan Rhys Meyers ever play Elvis? 

The experience on Alexander prompted him to take stock and reassess his goals, and by 2005 Jonathan was back in the news for very different reasons, with his hip-swivelling portrayal of the king of rock'n'roll Elvis Presley in the mini-series Elvis.

For his work he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, and was nominated for an Emmy that same year.

The role also brought him to Woody Allen's attention, with the director casting him as the lead in his dark satire Match Point opposite Scarlett Johansson. In 2006, the action-loving actor took a role alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 3

Was Jonathan Rhys Meyers in The Tudors?

Jonathan was cast as the young King Henry VIII in 2007 TV series The Tudors, solidifying his leading man status. He earned two Golden Globe Award nominations for his work on the series.

How old was Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Tudors? 

Jonathan was 30 when The Tudors premiered in 2007.

Where does Jonathan Rhys Mey​​​​er live?

Not one to let fame and fortune go to his head, he"s been careful to invest his money responsibly, shunning expensive cars in favour of properties around the world maintaining homes in Morocco, London, Dublin and LA and investing in a Warsaw supermarket with a group of Irish farmers. 

In 2022 he placed his Nichols Canyon home in Los Angeles on the market $1.85 million.

Who is Jonathan Rhys Meyers married to?

Jonathan is married to Mara Lane. They married in 2006 and have a six-year-old son.

"Once you have your first child, you become the past. We're all busy giving out to ourselves and driving ourselves forward. A child gives you a new perspective on life," he told The Independent in 2019.

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