Richard Coyle was born in Sheffield, England. Coyle is the second youngest of 5 sons and their father was an Irish builder. He began his acting career after a stint working on a ferry entertaining passengers, where he was told by a theatre director that he had a talent and should pursue it further. He graduated in Languages and Philosophy from the University of York in 1995 and was then accepted into Bristol’s prestigious Old Vic Theatre school, graduating in 1998, the same year as his close friends Dean Lennox Kelly and Oded Fehr.
Richard Coyle was married to actress Georgia Mackenzie with whom he has a daughter, Purdy (b. 2008)
A decision to raise funds to study at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School resulted in an extra’s job on a new film adaptation of the classic novel Jane Eyre. When director Franco Zeffirelli heard Richard was about to start drama school he gave him a line, his first on screen: “Mr. Rochester, Mr. Rochester, your house sir!”
He then took a number of small roles in television and film before landing a larger role in the 1998 ITV drama The Life and Crimes of William Palmer (1998) (TV) and a super cameo turn in Justin Kerrigan’s Human Traffic (1999) as “Andy” – a party goer engaged in some seriously “deep” debate on Star Wars and drugs culture with Danny Dyer’s character “Moff”.
In 2000 Richard landed the two roles that would launch him into the limelight: “Jeff” in BBC Two’s inspired BBC2 comedy series “Coupling” (2000) and “John Ridd” in the BBC’s Christmas production of Lorna Doone (2000) (TV). n 2003 he chose not to return to Coupling for its fourth series, and refused requests to return for a “goodbye episode”. In a 2005 interview, He also starred in the short-lived 2002-2003 BBC show Strange, and had roles in the films Human Traffic, Franklyn, and A Good Year. He appeared in the new special episode of Cracker: Nine Eleven in October 2006 (TV) and starred in The Whistleblowers on ITV 1. He also starred in the 2001 version of Othello as Michael Cassio.
In 2004, Coyle played the role of Alcock, body servant to John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, in The Libertine alongside Johnny Depp. He appeared in Mike Newell’s 2010 movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, playing Jake Gyllenhaal’s older brother, the ambiguous Crown Prince Tus.
He was cast as the lead role, Moist von Lipwig, in the film Going Postal, based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett. This was broadcast on television in May 2010.
Coyle had a leading role in Renny Harlin’s movie Georgia renamed 5 Days of War, about the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over the territory of South Ossetia. In September 2011, Coyle appeared as William Winthrop, in Madonna’s feature-directorial debut W.E. about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He appeared as Garda Ciarán O’Shea in Grabbers, the Irish comedy monster movie. Coyle also plays Wallace in Outpost Black Sun, the sequel to the 2008 British horror film Outpost, and the lead of of drug pusher Frank in the English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 cult classic Pusher.
In 2012, Richard Coyle was cast on USA Network’s show Covert Affairs as Simon Fischer, an FSB agent and love interest for Piper Perabo’s Annie Walker. His character recurred until halfway through season three.