Brendan has generously donated a great deal of his time to various charities. He is an honorary patron of the Origin Theatre in New York, including 1st Irish, which is a celebration of the best of Irish theatre. Additionally, he is a Performing Arts Patron at The King’s Lynn Arts Centre in Norfolk, and supports Arts Educational Schools, London. Coyle also supports Centrepoint, the UK's leading charity for homeless young people, Work-wise, which helps young people find jobs, and serves as an ambassador for Prostaid, a prostate cancer charity. Brendan is also a patron of Lakelands Hospice in Corby, and narrated a documentary film for their benefit.
He appeared as John Bates, a lame valet, in the period drama series, "Downton Abbey", for which the cast won the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Screen Actors Guild Awards. The show previously won 2 BAFTAs, 12 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes, 3 National Television Awards and a Broadcast award. Brendan has personally received BAFTA, IFTA, and Primetime Emmy nominations for his role. In 2012, he was presented with the Basauri Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts in Spain.
Brendan has contributed his voice to the audiobook version of "The child and Silence", a children’s book written by John King, which is slated for release in 2017. He is also scheduled to appear in Requiem, The Rising, Butterfly in the Typewriter, and Philip John's Band on the Run.
He has formed a production company, Anderson Shelter Productions, which has recently produced the short film, The Timetable, as well as Ash Morris's 'Bare', Emerald City, and the work of Dean Waite.
Brendan Coyle (birth name David Anderson Coyle) was born on 2 December 1962 ( though some sources say 1963) in Corby, Northamptonshire, England, UK. His Northern Irish father and Scottish mother earlier emigrated from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland to settle in the Midlands. Brendan's father, a master butcher, ran a shop in Rugby, Warwickshire, where Brendan began learning the trade as a young man. After Coyle left school in 1979, he worked as a meat trimmer in the butcher shop, until his father’s untimely death when Brendan was 17.
In 1983, he earned a scholarship to the London Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, auditioning with Philadelphia, Here I Come!, before a panel including Judi Dench and Twiggy. Brendan received the largest scholarship the Academy had ever given at the time, and he returned years later to direct plays for Mountview Academy.
Afterward, Brendan toured Ireland as a stage manager with the Trapdoor Theatre Company, gaining a few bit parts in the process. He also toured Ireland with Rough Magic and toured Europe as a member of Leeds Laughing Stock Children's Crusade Theatre Company. Acting in fringe and pub theatre, Brendan appeared in primarily Irish plays, both in Britain and Ireland, including Stephen Daldry’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist in 1987. He moved on to play Christie Mahon in Playboy of the Western World and Private Gar in Dan Crawford’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! in 1992.
He has done adverts for TK Maxx's "Give Up Clothes For Good" campaign, the World Food Programme, and the Macmillan Cancer Centre. Further, he has read for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, which provides care to sick children and RAPt, which works to help people with drug and alcohol dependence. He has spoken out for the Christina Noble Children's Foundation and, along with the cast and crew of Downton Abbey, helped raise funds for Merlin, the UK medical relief charity and Acting For Others, an annual fund-raising event for all theatrical charities. Additionally, along with the cast of Mojo, he contributed to a video to raise funds for Water Aid, which seeks to provide clean water to communities across the world and along with the cast of Downton Abbey, contributed to a video in support of Peace By Piece and Animals Asia.
Brendan has an older brother and is a great-nephew of legendary football manager Sir Matt Busby of Manchester United F. C. fame. He has maintained a life-long love of football and enjoys cooking, music, art, and literature.
Also in 1992, he made his television debut with small roles in the made-for-TV movie "Fool's Gold: The Story of the Brink's-Mat Robbery" and on the ITV series "The Bill". He also moved from primarily Irish short films into feature films in the nineties, while eventually landing larger television roles, including Nicholas Higgins in "North & South" and Robert Timmins in "Lark Rise to Candleford".
He continued to act on the stage, winning the 1999 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the barman, Brendan, in Conor McPherson’s multi award-winning play The Weir. Following its West End run, the Royal Court production transferred to New York, where Coyle also won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.