Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
21st November 1929
Member: British Actors Equity
& Irish Actors Equity
Founding member of the
Irish Film & Television Academy
Languages: English, Irish, German
Master of accents and dialects
Niall Toibin divides his time between New York & his home in Dublin, Ireland.
He married Judy Kenny in 1957. Niall has five children and six grandchildren.
The voice....ahhh that voice! The voice of the award-winning presentation in the Lismore Heritage Centre is Niall Toibin's; the voice of Lyon's Tea is Niall Toibin; and the Irish National Bank was built on a foundation of Niall Toibin's radio campaign.
Niall began training that voice as a child in the cathedral choir and the Opera House in Cork. In his teens, Niall joined a drama society attached to the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League. It was when Niall started acting in amateur plays with the Compantas Amharclaine na Gaeilge that he became "determined to be an actor."
In 1953, Toibin joined the Radio Eireann Repertory Company and quit his day job at the Civil Service. Toibin perfected his craft by playing every conceivable role possible during his 14 years in "the Rep" after which he established a distinguished tenure at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. By then, Niall Toibin was indisputably one of Ireland's greatest actors and was courted by all of the top theatres in the country.
Next Toibin was cast in a major motion picture and in 1970, his illustrious television career was launched. Equally comfortable with comedy and drama, Toibin quickly became a staple of British and Irish television with strong ties to RTE, ITN and the BBC.
Between the movies and television, Niall Toibin has returned again and again to the stage. Toibin has captivated audiences from London to New York, picking up a Drama Desk award along the way for Outstanding Performance by an Actor…on Broadway.
Over the years, Toibin amassed a treasure chest of humorous stories expertly told and impressions brilliantly performed. As The Clare Champion stated so well "His use of accents is simply brilliant". Fortunately for his many fans, he developed these gems into a wildly entertaining one-man show which continues to tour stages on several continents.
"The amiable Toibin, who resembles the late Spencer Tracy, is so comfortable with his material and his audience that he lobs his show across with such effortlessness and grace that it's as if he were telling these stories across his dinner table." Joseph Hurley, Theater Review, Irish Echo Newspaper (March 2001)
Tim Brannigan of The Irish News said of Niall Toibin after a recent performance in The Salvage Shop, "He has just finished putting another feather in his cap and this is a cap with a remarkable plumage."
Niall Toibin is a recipient of the Sunday Independent Irish Life special award for "Distinguished Service to the Theatre." In 1996, Mr. Toibin was named Best All Round Entertainer at the International Irish Music Award ceremony in London. He also won the 2001 CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor in a Television Series.
In 1986 Niall Toibin edited a collection of ballads, poems, and recitations for a book called The Irish Reciter. For the title of his 1995 autobiography, Toibin used a line from the first act of Shakespeare's Hamlet….Smile and Be a Villain! One reviewer said, "It would be difficult for anything emanating from this very funny man to be other than entertaining, and this book is no exception."
There is an old Irish saying, Molann an obair an fear which translated means the work praises the man. That has certainly been true in the case of Niall Toibin and the projects currently in the works promise that this actor will move "from glory to glory".