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# Former son-in-law of Irish-American actor Vincent Dowling.
# Was a background character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987)'s pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint". He had a semi-recurring role. His character was eventually given a name and rank (transporter chief Miles Edward O'Brien). He was made the engineer of DS9 on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) in 1993.
# Acted in the Focus Company in Dublin with Gabriel Byrne and Stephen Rea in the late 1970s.
# His role and rank in the Star Trek series took several years to evolve. Beginning as a crewman in "The Next Generation", the character of Miles O'Brien then graduated to the transporter room and was briefly a Lieutenant before being made a Chief Petty Officer thus joining one of the very few recurring enlisted roles in Star Trek (Mr. Leslie and Yeoman Rand being two others from the originial series). Transferring to "Deep Space Nine" in 1993, the O'Brien character mutated the first two seasons between a Warrant Officer and an "Ensign Junior Grade" before again becoming enlisted as a Senior Chief Petty Officer around the fourth season. In the last seasons of Deep Space Nine, the rank of Senior Chief was once and for all confirmed and O'Brien became the first ever Star Trek enlisted character to be given an enlisted rank insignia collar pin.
# Despite having different names in each movie, he played the same character in The Commitments (1991), The Snapper (1993) (TV) and The Van (1996).
# Is the only actor to appear in the pilots and finales of two different "Star Trek" series ("Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993)).
# Along with Patrick Stewart and Armin Shimerman, he is one of only three actors to appear in the pilots of two different "Star Trek" series: "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993).
# Along with Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn and Jeffrey Combs, he is one of only six actors to appear in the finales of two different "Star Trek" series. ("Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993))
# Is the only actor to appear in fourteen different seasons of "Star Trek", more than any other actor ("Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) Seasons One through Seven and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) One through Seven).
# Played the same character, Chief Miles Edward O'Brien, on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) for twelve consecutive years from 1987 to 1999. The only other actor to do this is Michael Dorn.
# Both he and his "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) co-star Rene Auberjonois appeared in 'Stargate', playing the leader of a human civilisation on another planet whose population lived under the surface. Again, in both cases, the main characters of the series in question attempted to form an alliance and arrange an exchange of technology before learning that this civilisation could not be trusted. Meaney played Cowen, leader of the Genii in the "Stargate: Atlantis" (2004) episodes 'Underground' and 'The Storm'; Auberjonois played Alar, leader of the Eurondans in the "Stargate SG-1" (1997) episode 'The Other Side'. Colm Meaney is no stranger to the run down Barrytown district of Dublin depicted in The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van, having grown up near the much mythologized neighborhood. The Dublin native began his acting career at the age of 14, eventually receiving formal training at Dublin's prestigious Abbey Theatre School of Acting and going on to join the Irish National Theatre Company. Colm Meaney eventually graduated to the English stage, working in various London theaters, and then began to audition for television work, mainly landing bit parts in such TV shows as the cop drama Z Cars.
Colm Meaney moved to the U.S. in 1982, continuing to work mainly on the stage, but gradually made the transition into television and film playing small parts and guest roles on a variety of series. Colm Meaney was part of the cast of One Life to Live from 1986 to 1987, playing Patrick London, and then was hired for a bit part on Encounter at Farpoint, the pilot for the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. Colm Meaney was hired again for another part and then given the role of Chief Miles Edward O'Brien, and quickly went from being a bit player to an important member of the ensemble cast. The character was transferred to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the pilot for that series, and Colm Meaney became a staple member of the show's cast.
During his tenure on both Star Trek series, Colm Meaney's motion picture career began to take off, as the bit parts he was given gradually became more substantial. Colm Meaney made his greatest impact in smaller films like the so-called Barrytown Trilogy -- The Commitments (1991), in which Colm Meaney played the father of one of the band members; The Snapper (1993), in which he portrayed Dessie, who finds himself out of a job and suddenly a grandfather; and The Van (1996), which cast him as Larry, a layabout who manages to have a grand idea one day that results in his and a friend Bimbo starting a business out of a derelict vending van. Colm Meaney was also notable in 1996's The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain: his Morgan the Goat, a randy Welsh pub owner with a flair for smart remarks, was an appropriate foil for the naive Englishman played by Hugh Grant.
Colm Meaney has continued to divide his time between the U.K. and the U.S., making particularly notable appearances in Paul Quinn's This Is My Father (1998), which cast him as the swishy son of an old gypsy woman; Lodge Kerrigan's Claire Dolan, in which Colm Meaney played a high-class pimp; Ted Demme's Monument Avenue (1998), which featured him as the bullying leader of a Boston gang; and Chapter Zero (2000), an independent comedy that cast Colm Meaney as the cross-dressing father of a struggling writer.