Stephen Rae was born in Belfast and attended Belfast High School and graduated in English from Queen’s University.
He trained as an actor with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in the 1970s and established the highly influential Field Day Theatre Company, with Brian Friel in 1980.
Since the 1970s he has acted in a wide range of productions on stage and screen, and maintained ongoing relationships with notable directors and writers, for example Sam Shepard and Neil Jordan. His work with Sam Sheperd commenced with the playwright’s directorial debut with “geography of a horse dreamer” through to “A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)” which was premiered as part of Derry City of Culture in 2013. Rae’s work for Neil Jordan included “Angel” , “A Company of Wolves” and the role for which he was Oscar nominated in “The Crying Game”.