After some years as an actor of Irish and English theaters, and around two decades in more or less insignificant movie roles Stephen Rea in 1992 overnight known as Fergus in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game, for which he was nominated in 1993 as Best Male Actor for the Oscar.
His acting training was undertaken at the Abbey Theatre School. In the 1970s and 1980s, he shuttled constantly between theater, television and film. On Theatre Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney among his colleagues. He made his film debut in 1970 in a tiny supporting role in the horror film The Shout of witches with Vincent Price. Neil Jordan gave his first major role to him in 1980 in the film Angel, considered the prequel of The Crying Game. Since then turned Rea and Jordan ten films together, most recently Breakfast on Pluto ( 2005).
In 1995, he played significantly in Citizen X is a forensic pathologist in a twelve- year-long search for a serial killer in Russia in the 1980s. In 2001, Rea was involved in the drama film On the Edge. In 2003, he embodied in the Bloom Leopold Bloom of James Joyce. In the elaborate comic book movie V for Vendetta in 2006, he played a starring role as plagued by his conscience, for a dictatorial regime -working police officer.
From 1983 to 2003, the Republican was a Protestant married to the former IRA fighter Dolours Price, with whom he has two sons.