Chris O’Dowd

On this date in 1979, actor Chris O’Dowd was born in Sligo, Ireland, the youngest of five children. His mother was a psychotherapist and his father was a graphic designer. Feeling that his only career options at home were to join his father’s business or work in the fish market, O’Dowd left to attend University College-Dublin, where he studied politics and sociology. It was at UCD that he became interested in acting. Eventually he left UCD without finishing his degree to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

His first on-screen acting appearance was in 2003 when he was cast in the BBC television series “Red Cap.” His big break came in 2006 when he landed a starring role in the popular comedy “The IT Crowd” (2006-13). He has since appeared in a number of films, including the box office hit Bridesmaids (2011) Friends with Kids (2011) and The Sapphires (2012). He is also a writer and actor for the original series “Moone Boy,” which he created.

O’Dowd has been very open about the fact that he’s not religious. In an interview with GQ magazine, he referred to religion as a “weird cult” and suggested that President Obama had to overstate his Christianity in order to be elected.

PHOTO: O’Dowd at the 2013 British comedy awards. Photo by Christopher William Adach under CC 2.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation