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Chris o'dowd 1.png
Chris O'Dowd
Biographical information

October 9, 1979



Current nation of residence

Los Angeles, USA



Eye colour


Hair colour



6' 3" (1.91 m)

Years Active

2003 - present

In The IT Crowd

Portrayer of Roy

Notable Roles
  • Roy in The IT Crowd
  • Tommy O'Dwyer in Festival
  • Lindsay Carol in FM
  • Simon Swafford in The Boat that Rocked
  • Nathan Rhodes in Bridesmaids

Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd (b. October 9, 1979) is an Irish actor and writer best known for his portrayal of Roy in The IT Crowd as well as his appearances in films such as Festival and The Boat that Rocked.


Early life[]

O'Dowd was born in Boyle, Co. Roscommon in the Republic of Ireland on October 9, 1979. He studied politics at University College Dublin (UCD), where he contributed to the university's newspaper, The University Observer, and was also involved in the UCD Dramasoc and the Literary and Historical Society. Originally, O'Dowd's passion was in speechwriting rather than acting, however, this changed when he accompanied a friend to an audition and landed the part himself instead of his friend. He then moved to Britain to pursue his passion for acting. He subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).

Coincidentally, this is where O'Dowd met his future The IT Crowd co-star, Katherine Parkinson. He has admitted that both he and Parkinson were 'two of the worst students'. Neither finished their courses there and left because both of them 'kind of got a mixture of thrown-out and left-of-our-own-volition'. O'Dowd also worked as an impersonator of singer and Live Aid creator, Bob Geldof, and also featured on a Pizza Hut advert, he also appeared in an advert for Daz washing powder, playing Sean, who after cheating on his girlfriend Lisa, gets a large plateful of spaghetti bolognese emptied down his clean white shirt and a huge bowl of trifle tipped over his head, whilst sat in a restaurant .

Acting carreer[]

After his training at LAMDA, O'Dowd went on to land some minor roles in Red Cap as Bertie Maddox and in Festival as Tommy O'Dwyer, until he was noticed by Graham Linehan who asked him to audition for the part of Roy in his new sitcom, The IT Crowd. O'Dowd succeeded in securing the part and went on to film four series of the show, running from 2006 - 2010.

O'Dowd's portrayal of Roy sent him into the limelight and he went on to appear in such films as Hotel Very Welcome, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, The Boat that Rocked, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Hippie Hippie Shake Shake, Dinner for Schmunks and a remake of Gulliver's Travels.

O'Dowd has also starred in the 2009 radio station-based sitcom, FM, as DJ Lindsay Carol. He has also made appearances on the quiz panel show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He has also appeared in the David Eldridge play Under The Blue Sky at the Duke of York's Theatre, London.

O'Dowd also makes an appearance on Irish television and can be seen in RTE medical drama The Clinic as Brendan Davenport and in Showbands II as Mervin Mooney.

Awards and nominations[]

O'Dowd has been nominated for three awards and has won one. These nominations include Best Actor for a Supporting Role in Television for his portrayal of Mervin Mooney in Showbands II at the 2006 IFTA Awards, Best Supporting Actor in Television for his portrayal of Brendan Davenport in The Clinic at the 2003 IFTA Awards, and Best Actor in a Scottish Film for his portrayal of Tommy O'Dwyer in Festival at the 2005 BAFTA Scottish Awards, which he won.

Personal life[]

Chris O'Dowd is currently in a relationship with TV presenter and journalist, Dawn Porter. They currently reside in Los Angeles, California, USA, with their dog Potato and their cat Lilu. O'Dowd has a collection of over a thousand chocolate bar wrappers. He is the son of photographer Sean O'Dowd and has a brother called John O'Dowd.


Year Title Type Role
2003 Red Cap Drama Bernie Maddox
Conspiracy of Silence Film James
2004 Vera Drake Film Sid's customer
2004 - 2005 The Clinic Soap opera Brendan Davenport
2005 Festival Film Tommy O'Dwyer
The Year London Blew Up: 1974 Documentary Dowd
3rd Irish Film and Television Awards Award ceremony Himself
2006 Showbands II Drama Mervin Mooney
The Amazing Mrs Pritchard Drama Headmaster
Doc Martin Drama Jonathan Crozier
Brit Awards 2006 Award ceremony Himself (presenter)
8 Out of 10 Cats Quiz panel show Himself
2006 - present The IT Crowd Sitcom Roy
2007 Hotel Very Welcome Comedy drama Liam
Roman's Empire Comedy Jase
2008 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Panel show Himself
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People Film Post Modern Review Staff #4
2009 Something for the Weekend Cookery show Himself
The Justin Lee Collins Show Chat show Himself
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel Film Ray
The Boat That Rocked Film Simple Simon Swafford
FM Sitcom Lindsay Carol
2010 Hippie Hippie Shake Film Felix Dennis
Gulliver's Travels Film General Edward
Dinner for Schmucks Film Marco Blind Swordsman
2011 Bridemaids Film

Officer Nathan Rhodes

2012 Friends With Kids Film Alex

Behind the scenes[]

  • O'Dowd once interviewed his future director, Graham Linehan, for Mongrel Magazine years before writing The IT Crowd.
  • O'Dowd convinced Linehan to write Roy as Irish instead of British.
  • One of O'Dowd's hobbies is tennis and he once played for the National Irish Tennis Team.
  • O'Dowd based his portrayal of Roy on his brother-in-law.
  • Some of O'Dowd's favourite TV shows include The Wire, Mad Men, Summer Heights High and Peep Shows.
  • O'Dowd's great-grandfather, a traveling salesman with a wife and family in Cork, had another, illegitimate family in Birmingham. He claims that George O'Dowd, better known as Boy George, originated from the family.

External links[]