Brendan Coyle is a British actor, veteran of stage and TV, best known for playing valet John Bates on Downton Abbey.

Brendan trained at drama school in Dublin, founded in the late 1960s as the Focus Theatre, was co-founded by his aunt Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy. Brendan started there in 1981 and then received a scholarship to Mountview Theatre School in England in 1983. He has directed at least two plays at Mountview since graduating from there.

He was awarded the 1999 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for best supporting performance for his role in The Weir in the 1998 season.

Brendan is also the great nephew of footballing (i.e. soccer) legend Sir Matt Busby of Manchester United fame.


A Merry Murdoch Christmas


  • Brendan Coyle is the second cast member of Downton Abbey to guest star on Murdoch Mysteries as Mr. Rankin in Murdoch Mysteries' first stand alone holiday special.


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