Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien

Colm Meaney as Miles O’Brien

by Nur Hussein, contributing writer

Lá breithe shona dhuit
Lá breithe shona dhuit
Lá breithe shona a Colm Ó Maonaigh
Lá breithe shona dhuit!

-Happy birthday song in Irish

Today we celebrate the birthday of Colm Meaney, the guy you probably know best as Miles O’Brien of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Colm Meaney was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1953, and his interest in acting began at fourteen. He went on to the Irish National Theatre’s Abbey Theatre School and became a professional actor.

He made his TV debut in 1978 on a British police series called Z-Cars. He would go on to make appearances in TV, doing guest roles in series such as Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Tales from the Darkside before a frequent recurring role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Meaney appeared in the very first episode, “Encounter At Farpoint,” as a then-unnamed crew member. He later appeared in many more episodes as Transporter Chief O’Brien, and in Season 4 he got himself a first name, too (Miles). Miles O’Brien was the everyman of the Star Trek universe, and Meaney said of his character, “there was a terrific kind of humanity in O’Brien”. He never joined ST:TNG as a cast regular, preferring to work on an episode by episode basis. When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered, the character of Miles O’Brien joined the station and Meaney became a primary cast member for its entire run. Meaney has appeared in the most number of Star Trek episodes of any series second only to Michael Dorn.

Outside of Star Trek, Meaney has appeared in genre show Stargate Atlantis as the recurring character Cowen. His character was the chief of a race of humans called the Genii. He’s also lent his voice to animated characters on the Simpsons and Gargoyles.

Meaney has popped up in numerous film and TV roles outside of genre, too. He appeared in the acclaimed Irish film The Commitments as Jimmy Rabbite, Sr., which was based on a novel by Roddy Doyle. Meaney would later appear in two more film adaptations of Doyle’s novels (The Snapper and The Van). He won Best Actor in the 2003 Irish Film and Television Awards for his role in the Irish film How Harry Became A Tree. Also, he was nominated for a Golden Globes award in 1994 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical) for his role in The Snapper.

Happy birthday, Colm Meaney! Have a great day with some great craic. Sláinte!

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