Born and raised in Northern Ireland, actor James Nesbitt didn't plan on becoming an actor until a teacher suggested he join the theater. Since then, he has gone on to appear in many international feature films set in Ireland, but he is mostly known as Adam Williams on Cold Feet, the popular British sitcom about three couples in their thirties living in the Manchester area. After his feature-film debut in 1991, he landed a regular spot on the British comedy series Ballykissangel. After a brief stint with serious subjects in the war drama Welcome to Sarajevo and the thriller Resurrection Man, Nesbitt found a place for himself working in comedies with the sleeper hit Waking Ned Devine. In 1999, he starred in two wicked comedies: Women Talking Dirty and The Most Fertile Man in Ireland. His first leading role came in A Lucky Break, the crime caper from the director of The Full Monty, but it was not as successful as it was projected to be. In 2002, he returned to more somber material with Bloody Sunday, a docudrama about the murder of peaceful protesters in Northern Ireland during the early '70s. In 2003, he moved on to musical comedy for John Irvin's The Great Ceili War.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Began acting at age 13, when he won the role of the Artful Dodger in a local production of Oliver!
- Initially attended university to study French, with the intentions of following in his father's footsteps and becoming a teacher, but dropped out after a year to study acting.
- As a drama student, shared an apartment with Jason Isaacs and Jared Harris.
- Was named a UNICEF ambassador in 2005, campaigning for children's rights.
- Appointed chancellor of University of Ulster in 2010.
- Works with Wave Trauma Centre, which helps victims affected by the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
- Appointed an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2016 New Year Honours list.