Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes.

A native of Cork, Murphy began his performing career as a rock musician. After turning down a record deal, he made his professional acting debut in the play Disco Pigs in 1996. He went on to star in Irish and UK film and stage productions throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, first coming to international attention in 2003 as the hero in the post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later. Murphy's best-known roles are as villains in two 2005 blockbusters: the Scarecrow in the superhero film Batman Begins, and Jackson Rippner in the thriller Red Eye. Next came two contrasting, widely acclaimed starring roles: his Golden Globe Award-nominated performance as transgender outcast "Kitten" in 2005's Breakfast on Pluto and a turn as a 1920s Irish revolutionary in the 2006 Palme d'Or winner, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

In 2010, Murphy will co-star in Inception, a big budget movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio by Batman Begins/The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan.

A resident of London since 2001, Murphy often works in or near the city and has expressed no desire to move to Hollywood. Uncomfortable on the celebrity circuit, he customarily gives interviews about his work, but does not appear on television talk shows or discuss details of his private life with the press.

Born in Douglas and raised in Ballintemple, two suburbs of Cork, Cillian Murphy is the eldest of four children. His father, Brendan, works for the Irish Department of Education and his mother is a French teacher. Not only are his parents educators, but his aunts and uncles are also teachers, as was his grandfather. Musicianship also runs in the family, and Murphy started playing music and writing songs at age ten.

In mid-2004, Murphy married his long-time live-in girlfriend, Yvonne McGuinness, an artist whom he met in 1996 at one of his rock band's shows. The couple live in northwest London with their two sons Malachy (born in 2005) and Aaron (born in 2007).

Murphy is known for being reluctant to speak about his personal life. He frequently gives interviews about his work but did not appear on a single live TV chat show, where actors customarily share information about their private lives, until 2010, when he was a guest on The Late Late Show on Ireland's RTÉ to promote Perrier's Bounty. He does not have a stylist or a personal publicist, travels without an entourage, and often attends premieres alone. Shy and private, Murphy professes a lack of interest in the celebrity scene, finding the red carpet experience "a challenge... and not one I want to overcome." He intentionally practices a lifestyle that will not interest the tabloids: "I haven't created any controversy, I don't sleep around, I don't go and fall down drunk."

Murphy is friends with fellow Irish actors Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson, looking up to the latter like a "surrogate movie dad". But primarily, Murphy's close friendships are those he made before becoming a star.

2003: Jim - 28 Days Later
2005: Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow - Batman Begins
2007: Damien O'Donovan - The Wind That Shakes the Barley
2007: Robert Capa - Sunshine
2005: Patrick 'Kitten' Braden - Breakfast on Pluto
2003: Bardolph - Cold Mountain
2003: Pieter - Girl with a Pearl Earring
2007: Neil - Watching the Detectives
2005: Jackson Rippner - Red Eye
2010: John Skillpa - Peacock
2001: Pig / Darren - Disco Pigs
1999: Rag Rookwood - The Trench
2010: Robert Fischer - Inception
2006: Unnamed Character - The Silent City
2010: Michael McCrea - Perrier’s Bounty
2008: William Killick - The Edge of Love
1999: Davin McDerby - Sunburn
2003: John - Intermission
2012: Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow - The Dark Knight Rises
2011: Timekeeper Raymond Leon - In Time
2001: Jonathan Breech - On the Edge
2011: Martin - Retreat
2012: Tom Buckley - Red Lights
2002: Gus - How Harry Became a Tree
2013: Mike Kiernan - Broken
2015: Matthew Joy - In the Heart of the Sea
2015: Ivan - Aloft
2014: Agent Donald Buchanan - Transcendence
2018: Tom - The Party
2010: Edward Dillinger - TRON: Legacy
2009: Son - The Water
2001: Phil - Watchmen
2000: Best Man - A Man of Few Words
2000: Ger - Filleann an Feall
1999: Young Reaper - At Death's Door
1999: Brendan McBride - Eviction
2016: Josef Gabčík - Anthropoid
1998: Pat the Barman - Sweety Barrett
2015: Himself - Narrator - Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth
2017: Chris - Free Fire
2014: Himself (archive footage) - Lennon or McCartney
2016: Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
2008: Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow - The Dark Knight
2017: Shivering Soldier - Dunkirk
2017: The Delinquent Season
2016: Interviewee - How to Make a Ken Loach Film

2001: Paul Montague - The Way We Live Now
2013: Tommy Shelby - Peaky Blinders