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Rumplestiltskin is fun to play... it takes me back to my childhood.

—Robert Carlyle

Robert Carlyle is the Scottish actor who portrays Rumplestiltskin, Mr. Gold, Rumplestiltskin (Wish Realm) and Weaver on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Robert Carlyle was born on April 14, 1961[1] in Maryhill, Glasgow to bus employee Elizabeth and painter and decorator Joseph Carlyle. His mother left when he was just four years old, so Robert was brought up by his father. He left school at the age of sixteen without any qualifications and worked for his father as a painter and decorator. However, Robert continued his education by attending night classes at Cardonald College in Glasgow. At the age of twenty-one, after reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible, he enrolled in acting classes at the Glasgow Arts Centre.[2]

In 1991, together with four other actors, including Caroline Paterson,[3] Robert founded the Raindog Theatre Company, a company dedicated to innovative work.

His breakthrough role was in Ken Loach's 1990 building site drama Riff Raff. Unforgettable performances in popular 1994 television thriller Cracker and as psychotic thug Begbie in 1996's Trainspotting followed, along with gentler roles as the BBC's dope-smoking cop Hamish MacBeth and Sheffield stripper Gaz in The Full Monty, one of the most successful British films ever made.[2] In 1999, he played the villain Renard in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, after which he starred for two seasons in the television series Stargate Universe.

In 2019, he portrayed Ogilvy in a three-part television adaption of "The War of the Worlds" for the BBC, and made an uncredited appearance as John Lennon in the film "Yesterday". Since 2020, he portrayed Robert Sutherland, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party in "Cobra".

Robert is married to make-up artist Anastasia Shirley, who he met on the set of Cracker. They have three children, Ava, Harvey and Pearce.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Silent Scream Big Woodsy Credited as Bobby Carlyle
1991 Riff-Raff Stevie
1992 Tender Blue Eyes Richard Fascetti Video
1994 Being Human Priest
1994 Priest Graham
1994 Marooned Peter Short
1995 The Last Ten Minutes Chris Short
1995 Go Now Nick Cameron
1996 Trainspotting Francis "Franco" Begbie
1996 Carla's Song George Lennox
1997 The Full Monty Gaz
1997 Face Ray
1999 Plunkett & Macleane Plunkett
1999 Ravenous Col. Ives / F.W. Colqhoun
1999 007-The World Is Not Enough Renard
1999 Angela's Ashes Malachy (Dad)
2000 The Beach Daffy
2000 There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Eric Wirral
2001 To End All Wars Maj. Ian Campbell
2001 The 51st State Felix DeSouza
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Jimmy
2002 Black and White David O'Sullivan
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School Frank Keane
2005 The Mighty Celt O
2005 Dead Fish Danny Devine
2006 Eragon Durza
2007 Flood Rob Morrison
2007 28 Weeks Later Don
2008 Stone of Destiny John MacCormick
2008 Summer Shaun
2008 I Know You Know Charlie
2009 The Tournament Father MacAvoy
2012 California Solo Lachlan MacAldonich
2015 The Legend of Barney Thomson Barney
2017 T2 Trainspotting Francis "Franco" Begbie
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Taggart Gordon Inglis 1 episode
1991 The Bill Tom Ward 1 episode
1992 Advocates II DC Murray TV Movie
1993 Screenplay Nosty 1 episode
1994 99-1 Detective Constable Trevor Prescott 1 episode
1994 Cracker Albie Kinsella 3 episodes
1995-1997 Hamish Macbeth Hamish Macbeth 20 episodes
1998 Looking After Jo Jo John Joe 'Jo Jo' McCann
2003 Hitler: The Rise of Evil Adolf Hitler TV Mini-Series
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot King James I TV Movie
2005 Class of '76 DI Tom Monroe Filme para TV
2005 Human Trafficking Sergei Minissérie
2006 Born Equal Robert TV Movie
2008 The Last Enemy David Russell 5 episodes
2008 24 Carl Benton Filme para TV
2009 Zig Zag Love Jacko Filme para TV
2009 The Unloved Lucy's Father TV Movie
2009-2011 SGU Stargate Universe Dr. Nicholas Rush 40 episodes
2011–2018 Once Upon a Time Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin (Wish Realm) / Weaver Starring
2019 The War of the Worlds Ogilvy TV Mini-Series
2020-current Cobra Robert Sutherland Starring
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Eragon Durza(voice) Vídeo Game
2010 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Gabriel Belmont(voice) Vídeo Game
2013 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Dracula (voice) Vídeo Game
2014 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Dracula (voice) Vídeo Game


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

External links