Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 12th 1950. He
was first of six born to a nurse and a Guinness barrel
maker, at the age of twelve he moved to England to become
a priest. After four years of the Priesthood he was expelled
and so returned to Ireland. Byrne studied Archaeology, Languages
and Phonetics, at University College Dublin and didn't
embark on his acting career until the tender age of 28. After
being in the TV series 'The Riordans' and then staring
in his own spin-off series called 'Bracken', made his
way to America. Soon after, he went to work playing a Spanish
trapeze artist in Siesta, and fell in love with his
co-star, Ellen Barkin, whom he married a year later.
The couple divorced in 1993 and shared custody of their two
children, Jack and Romey Marion. The
ironic aspect of two of Byrne's biggest staring roles i.e.
'End of Days' and 'Stigmata', are that he plays
Satan and a Priest respectively - an indication of the dark
and light sides of his characters.