An Academy Award-winning songwriter, musician, actor and singer.
Born 21 April 1970 in Dublin, Ireland, Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on Dublin streets. He first came to popular attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the Alan Parker film The Commitments.
Best know in his native Ireland as the front man of The Frames, but best known outside of Ireland for his leading role in the award winning film Once, which was directed by his former Frames band-mate John Carney and co-stared Hansard's real-life musical collaborator Marketa Irglova whom he had originally met when he was on tour in her home town in the Czech Republic - they record and perform together as The Swell Season.
The sound-track to Once featured songs from Hansard's writing back catalogue, including new arrangements of songs previously recorded with The Frames. More famously it included compositions co-written by Marketa Irglova, one of which Falling Slowly was nominated for the 2007 Grammy for "Best Song Written for Motion Picture" and won the 2007 Academy Award for "Best Original Song".