Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Chris O'Dowd - Biography

The Irish actor and comedian known for starring in The IT Crowd and Bridesmaids was born in 1979

Chris O'Dowd smiling at a red carpet event
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
Updated: 4 July 2023
Share this:

Christopher (Chris) O'Dowd was born on the 9 October 1979 in Roscommon, Ireland. The youngest of five children, The IT Crowd star credits his upbringing for his comedic talents. According to Chris, his three older sisters were constantly teasing him as a child, and he started using comedy as a defence mechanism.

Early life

The Bridesmaids star studied politics and sociology in University College Dublin but didn’t finish his degree. Instead he moved to London and began attending the London Academy of Music, Drama and Arts. "The politics part of it was fine, but I was doing sociology as well and I could never bring myself to find an interest in it", he said in a later interview with the UCD College Tribune.

Breakout star

In 2006 Chris landed a role in Channel 4's comedy show The IT Crowd and became an instant success story. The series won a BAFTA for the Best Sitcom in 2009. Later, Chris saw his idol, director Judd Apatow, backstage at a comedy show in LA and a few months later auditioned for Bridesmaids, which Judd was producing. 

Cast as the leading man Nathan Rhodes alongside comediennes Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, the role propelled him to Hollywood stardom. Chris has since lent his charisma to other successful movies including Friends with Kids, The Sapphires, This is 40, The Incredible Jessica James and How to Build a Girl.

Personal life

The handsome Irishman met his wife, TV presenter Dawn Porter, at an LA party to celebrate her 30th birthday in January 2009. The couple married in 2012 in a three-day celebration they called "Wedfest". The wedding was reportedly very laid back with Chris announcing the news on Twitter with a picture of the two of them in matching onesies alongside the message "Just Married". Dawn wrote about the wedding: "Twas a three day love fest. Sure, I have an amazing husband, but I also have the most smashing pals imaginable." 

Chris and Dawn divide their time between their house in West LA and their homes in Bermondsey, London and Margate, Kent. They welcomed a son, Art O'Porter, in February 2015. They announced the birth of their second son, Valentine, in 2017. He was born on 1 July.

For all the latest news on Chris O'Dowd, click here.

More Profiles

See more