Cillian Murphy Wife: Meet Yvonne McGuinness, the Visual Artist

By Lynda Keleer

15th October 2019

Cillian Murphy’s Wife: Meet Yvonne McGuinness, The Visual Artist

You’ve all heard of Cillian Murphy – but what about his wife? Little is known about Yvonne McGuinness; even though the pair have been married since 2004!

Cillian Murphy wife

In today’s article, you’re going to learn all about Yvonne McGuinness, the visual artist. Oh, and you’ll get to know her famous husband a little better too…

Who Is Yvonne McGuinness?

So who exactly is Yvonne McGuinness? Let’s keep it simple. She’s best known as the wife of famous Irish actor Cillian Murphy.

But she’s got her own career too. And, turns out she’s pretty good at it.

McGuinness – also Irish – is a talented visual artist, born in Kilkenny. Her works cover a range of media industries. These include performance and sound, though video installation and print are her two specialties.

Cillian Murphy wife has a Masters of Art from the Royal College of Art in London. After graduating, she featured in an exhibition of work by eight European artists. This feature was called View from the Sitting Room.

All eight European artists were graduates from the Royal College of Art, London.


Her work featured at View from the Sitting Room in 2004. This is what she said about her work at the time:

“Recent works have been preoccupied with notions of portrayal of the self and with deception, dealing with the sublimated desire for self-expression of the artist and the tension between revelation and concealment.”

McGuinness’ works have been shown throughout the UK and Ireland.

You might think that she’d be busy enough with her visual work. But she’s actually made several independent films too.

This is Between Us was released in 2011. Charlie’s Place and Procession were the two following films to be released in 2012.

McGuinness received her MA while the pair were living in London. In 2015, they moved back to Ireland where they remain today.

So What About Cillian Murphy?

We’ve spoken so much about Yvonne McGuinness – the wife of Cillian Murphy. But how much do you know about the film and television star?

Cillian Murphy was born in County Cork, raised in Ballintemple. He was raised a Roman Catholic and attended a catholic secondary school. Later, he would abandon religion altogether.

Murphy would go on to have an incredibly successful acting career. However, music was his first love.

Cillian Murphy and Music

Murphy started playing the guitar aged 10. he would continue to write songs and play in several bands in to his mid-twenties.

He had little interest in sports, even in school. Instead, he was drawn to creative arts. Murphy described his first drama module in secondary school and the performances there as a “huge high.”

His English teacher (poet and author William Walls) suggested Murphy consider studying drama. But Murphy knew better apparently! Instead, he pursued his musical career.

Cillian Murphy

Murphy’s most successful band was The Sons of Mr. Greengenes. They were offered a record deal by Acid Jazz Records, but turned it down. Speaking to Dublin’s Evening Herald, Murphy later confirmed that it was the correct decision:

“I’m very glad in retrospect that we didn’t sign because you kind of sign away your life to a label and the whole of your music.”

An Acting Career Takes Off

Instead, Murphy begged old friend Pat Kiernan for an audition at Corcadorca Theatre Company. In 1996, his dream would come true. Murphy secured his first professional acting role in Disco Pigs.

Disco Pigs would prove to be a huge success. Originally, the show was scheduled to run for three weeks. Instead, it toured throughout Europe, North America, and Australia for two years.

Murphy’s talent was spotted, and he took the hint! He quickly left behind his studies and bands to pursue a career in acting.

Cillian Murphy and Theatre

The Irish actor would go on to become world-famous in television and film. But first, he spent his time in the theatre. Much Ado About Nothing, The Country Boy and Juno and the Paycock were immensely successful.

He would also begin to appear in independent films from 2000. This would prove to be a first step into Hollywood.

The Move to Hollywood

Cillian Murphy’s big break came in 2002. He starred in 28 Days Later which became a global hit.

Roles in Intermission, The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Breakfast on Pluto would follow. Murphy was becoming one of the most popular names in film. That was proven beyond doubt when his performances earnt nominations and awards.

Cillian Murphy

It sounds alright being a Hollywood star, doesn’t it?

Murphy continued to perform in theatre too. But when Christopher Nolan came calling, he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

The Irish actor leapt at the chance to work with the famous director. Murphy played Dr. Jonathan Crane, who was also the supervillain Scarecrow in Batman Begins. The Batman Begins trilogy was an international success.

Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy became a household Hollywood name. But after all the success, he longed to return to the theatre. So he did.

While the Hollywood parts would continue to appear, Murphy also performed in theatre around the world.

In 2013, Murphy secured the lead role of Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. The BBC television series Peaky Blinders has recently concluded its fifth season.

Peaky Blinders
Source/Hollywood Reporter

People are expecting Murphy to appear in the next season of the popular Peaky Blinders. But only if he finds the time between film, theatre and of course, family life.

Yvonne McGuinness And Cillian Murphy

The pair met at one of Murphy’s rock shows in 1996. Murphy would marry Yvonne McGuinness, his long-term girlfriend, in 2004. That’s when she became the visual artist wife of Cillian Murphy.

The couple have a relaxed home and personal life. Yvonne gave birth to the first of two sons, Malachy, in December 2005. Aran was born in 2007.

McGuinness is also the niece of Irish politician John J. McGuinness. Despite their fame and fortune, the family live a private life. McGuinness isn’t the only person to have a world-famous partner.

Murphy, for instance, confessed to the Sunday Times that he enjoys the quiet life.

“I haven’t created any controversy, I don’t sleep around, I don’t go and fall down drunk.”

The talented couple, living happily in Dublin, will look forward to what their future and careers bring them.

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