Sean is of Irish descent. His family originates from the town of Cavan in County Cavan, Ireland. They were prominent in the London Irish community in the late 1970s as Irish dancers and the whole family performed regularly at events and in competitions. His parents are now running the Maguire O’Shea Academy, one of the most successful schools in the world. All five of his siblings are/were professional dancers and have performed with Riverdance.
Discovered by a talent agent while dancing with his siblings, he started his career at a very young age. His first appearance was in the film A Voyage Round My Father with Sir Laurence Olivier when he was just five.
At age seven, he played one of the many children in the ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ musical number in the 1983 film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
“My siblings [and I] were some of the many children singing ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’.” – Sean Maguire (The Torch Online – April 2009)
He first shot to fame in the UK thanks to his role as Tegs Ratcliffe in the children’s school drama Grange Hill. After playing Tegs Ratcliffe for four years, he played the role of Simon Leighton in the drama series Dodgem which was awarded Best Children’s – Drama and Light Entertainment by the Royal Television Society.
In 1992, he appeared on the show Growing Pains playing Jason Begley. He also appeared in the dramatic feature film Waterland with Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. He shared a scene with Lena Headey.
In 1993, Sean had a guest role on the police drama The Bill before he joined the cast of the British soap EastEnders playing Aidan Brosnan, a young Irish footballer. He received the most coverage and fan mail in the series’ history. Though his role on EastEnders lasted for only one full year, Sean and his endearing Aidan made quite an impression on audiences, and when the well-meaning but ultimately troubled young character returned to his home in Ireland, fans were distraught. Lucky for them Maguire had no plans to leave the public eye, but rather was embarking on a pop music career. He was opposed to doing it after receiving many offers. He never thought of himself as a good singer so he didn’t want to do it for a living but a really motorcycle accident that nearly killed him changed his mind. While in the hospital he decided that he would give music a try.
He signed a six-record deal and within months had a single on the charts, debuting at No. 14. The songs quickly became top 20 hits, prompting four successive UK tours at venues as large as Wembley Stadium. He scored a respectable eight Top 40 hits from two studio albums over a three-year period.
His first single Someone To Love was released on August 14, 1994 and made it on No. 14 in the UK Singles Chart. His first, self-titled album Sean Maguire followed on November 26, 1994. He released two more singles from that album Take This Time on October 30, 1994 and Suddenly on March 13, 1995.
He released Now I’ve Found You on June 12, 1995. Then came the single You To Me Are Everything on November 6, 1995. It was a cover of a song originally recorded by a UK pop group called ‘The Real Thing’ back in June 1976.
Then came Good Day on May 20, 1996, his most successful single, reaching No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart. On June 3, 1996, a second album entitled Spirit was released. Another single Don’t Pull Your Love followed on July 22, 1996.
During this time, Maguire appeared on the Childliners record The Gift Of Christmas alongside acts such as Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, E.Y.C., MN8, Deuce, Ultimate Kaos, Let Loose, East 17, Peter Andre, Michelle Gayle, Dannii Minogue and many more.
His last single Today’s the Day was released on March 17, 1997. It doesn’t appear on any of Sean’s albums. The song was a change of style in Sean’s music, while his first two albums had been pop music, Today’s the Day was almost britpop in style. However, following the disappointing chart position, he called time on his pop ambitions to concentrate on acting.
Nonetheless, a compilation album with his Greatest Hits was released on June 18, 1998.
In the midst of his recording career, Sean had a featured role in the British TV series Dangerfield, playing the son of the eponymous detective in 1995.
In 1997, he did some stage work. His roles subsequently included starring as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the King’s Head Theatre in London and Hal in the Joe Orton comedy Loot at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. He also played Darren in the UK tour of Funny about Love with Stephanie Beacham.
In the same year, he appeared in an episode of the show Scene and later on in the tv movie Dear Nobody which was based on a novel by Berlie Doherty. The movie dealt with first love, the first time and teenage pregnancy.
In 1999, he guest starred in the medical drama Holby City as Darren Ingram.
He made his feature starring debut in Out of Depth, a 1999-lensed gritty independent drama released in Great Britain in 2001. Playing a young man from rough beginnings who turns his life around, Sean proved himself a gifted actor, more than capably of handling the emotions surrounding his self-made man’s descent into the thug life after getting embroiled in a violent scheme of vengeance and drug pushing. Positive notices surrounded both the film and its star.
In 2000, he returned to series television with a role as a dashing bachelor in the comedy Sunburn.
In the same year, he did one more guest role in the UK on the show Urban Gothic before he moved to the States.
In 2001, he got the lead role of Prince John in the TV movie Prince Charming opposite Christina Applegate and Martin Short. This marked Sean’s first appearance in an American production.
In the same year, Sean landed a lead role in the WB Network sitcom Off Centre alongside John Cho and Eddie Kaye Thomas. Here he played Euan, a decadent British womanizer who shows the ropes to Eddie Kaye Thomas’ more neurotic American Mike. Although the show was quite popular it was canceled early in its second season.
In 2003, Sean was reunited with his Off Centre co-star Jason George. They were both cast as regulars on the sitcom Eve alongside rapper Eve. Sean played Donovan Brink, the handsome, fashionable manager of Bedlam, one of Miami’s hottest clubs, and friend to both Shelly (Eve) and J.T. (Jason George) who inevitably got stuck in the middle when problems arose. The show had a good run for three seasons with many famous guest stars such as Queen Latifah.
In 2004, he filmed the romantic comedy The Third Wish alongside Jenna Mattison, Armand Assante, Betty White and the late James Avery. The movie premiered in 2005 in Las Vegas.
In 2006, Sean was cast as one of the lead roles in the CBS sitcom The Class. Sean played Kyle Lendo, an elite school teacher, who tries to make amends with his senior prom date because he ruined her night by sleeping with another guy. The show was well received by the critics and the audience and was awarded a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. CBS however didn’t renew the show for a second season.
In 2007, he filmed the comedy LA Blues opposite Kevin Rahm and Dave Foley and then later had a small role in the movie The Dukes starring Robert Davi and Chazz Palminteri.
In 2007, he landed his first big Hollywood role in Meet The Spartans, a spoof of the movie 300. He played heroic Spartan king Leonidas, the fearless and sometimes clueless leader of his army of 13. The movie went to No. 1 in the US Box Office Chart in 2008 and grossed $84,646,831 worldwide.
In 2008, he filmed Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, a comedy fantasy series in which he played a ‘sensitive, but clueless freedom fighter’. The show premiered in the US on Comedy Central on April 9, 2009.
In the same year, he shot the ITV romantic comedy Mister Elven with Michelle Ryan and Adam Garcia. The mini series premiered on December 11, 2009 in the UK.
In 2009, he guest starred on the ABC comedy Cupid portraying Dave O’Leary, an Irish musician, who comes to NY to find the woman of his dreams only to discover that it’s not the one he thought it is.
In 2010, he had several guest appearances on popular TV shows such as Cold Case, CSI:NY and Undercovers.
In 2011, he shot a comedy pilot for NBC called Lovelives starring Ryan Hansen. Unfortunately, the pilot wasn’t picked up. He also guest starred on the shows Bedlam and Death in Paradise.
In the same year, he participated in the reality show 71 Degrees North. He withdrew after two episodes fearing that he would get hurt or more importantly his actions would get someone else from his team hurt.
Later that year, he filmed the music comedy/drama Songs for Amy playing Sean O’Malley, who loses the love of his life because he doesn’t show up to their wedding due to drinking and partying the night before and tries to win her back with the help of music. The movie premiered at the Newport Beach International Film Festival and won Achievement Awards for Oustanding Achievement in Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking. The film premiered in Irish theaters on May 2, 2014.
In 2012, he was cast as the recurring character PC Sean McCartney in the crime show Scott & Bailey. He appeared in almost all of S2 and S3.
On October 19, 2012 Sean married police detective Tanya Flynn. It was a civil ceremony with their friends. They renewed their vows on December 30, 2014 in Sneem, Ireland with their entire family present.
In 2013, he appeared on the CBS hit show Criminal Minds.
Sometime in May 2013, he filmed the romantic drama The 7.39 starring his Waterland co-star David Morrissey. The movie premiered on January 6, 2014.
Thanks to his wife Tanya, as he revealed at the Xivents Fairy Tales Convention in 2014, he auditioned for the role of iconic Robin Hood in the ABC hit show Once Upon A Time. He appeared in two episodes of the first half of S3 and in one episode of the short-lived spin-off Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. He returned for the rest of the episodes in the second half of S3.
Sean is set to reprise the role of Robin Hood for S4 of Once Upon A Time which starts filming July 9, 2014.
In June 2014, Sean filmed the comedy Party Pieces with Burt Reynolds, his Mister Eleven co-star Adam Garcia and his Meet The Spartans co-star Carmen Electra. The movie is set to come out in 2015.
In November 2014, he filmed a TV movie called The Red Dress (formerly The Cove) with his good friend Callum Blue, Rachel Skarsten and his Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire co-star John Rhys-Davies. The movie is set to premiere in 2015.
On January 20, 2015, Sean announced that his wife and him are expecting their first child together.
In an interview with Marvel at AC BC, Sean mentioned that their son is due on July 8, the same day S5 of Once Upon A Time starts filming.
On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 2:37 a.m. Tanya gave birth to their first child, a son named Flynn Patrick. The baby boy was born in Vancouver, Canada, where the couple lives now, and weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces.
On April 10, 2016, during his panel at the Emerald City Comic Con, Sean announced that he is working on a project with a friend that he will hopefully release in 2016/2017. He released more details during his panels at various conventions. The project he is working on is a comedy that he is writing together with his friend, director Alex Hardcastle. He also has a small role written for himself but doesn’t know if he will be playing it if the show gets picked up.
On May 8, 2016 Sean’s last episode as Robin Hood on Once Upon A Time aired.
On August 12, 2016, it was announced that Sean will play the role of “James Bond” author Ian Fleming on the new NBC show Timeless.
During the panel at HVFF in San Jose, Sean told the audience that he is writing not just one show, as previously mentioned, but two. One a comedy and the other one a drama.
On September 27, 2016, it was announced that he will reprise his role as Robin Hood on Once Upon A Time for multiple episodes. The news came as a big surprise and shock for most of the fans who thought all hope for him coming back was lost.
On October 24, 2016, Sean’s episode of Timeless aired. His performance was praised by several critics and fans really loved seeing him on the show.
On December 4, 2016, Sean’s first episode of his 5 episode arc on Once Upon A Time aired before the show went on hiatus. It returned on March 5, 2017. Sean didn’t reprise his role as the Robin Hood the fans knew and loved but played a slightly different version of the prince of thieves, Robin Of Locksley. His arc was concluded with him going back to his realm and having his happy ending with the Evil Queen. In the S6 finale, that aired May 14, 2017, we find out that Robin Of Locksley and the Evil Queen are still going strong and at the end Robin proposed to her. Sean has a small voice over for that scene.
On June 22, 2017, Sean tweeted that him and his wife Tanya are expecting a second child. Tanya also announced the pregnancy via twitter with the additional information that they are expecting another boy for Christmas.
In July, Sean shot a short film Are We Good Parents? written and directed by Bola Ogun. He stars opposite Tracie Thoms and Gabrielle Skye. Sean and Tracie play a couple who deal with the possibility of their daughter being gay. During a convention in San Francisco, in September, Sean mentioned the film being submitted to festivals soon.
At the end of July, Sean filmed a feature film HeadShop. His character Grant is one of the main roles and seems to be quite an unlikable guy which Sean enjoyed playing. The movie is supposed to come out in 2018.
In October, Sean and Tanya teamed up with Oxfam and traveled to Greece to see firsthand what is going on with the refugees there and to help as best as they can. The experience was eye-opening and heartbreaking esp for Tanya who was 7 months pregnant at the time.
Sean is currently working on selling the show he has written together with his partner Alex Hardcastle and preparing to become a father for the second time.
On December 16, 2017, Tanya gave birth to the couple’s second son, Leo James Maguire, in Los Angeles. Baby Maguire weighed in at 7lbs, 1 oz, his name was inspired by DaVinci, who Sean has always admired.
In 2019, Sean appeared in two episodes of The 100 playing Russell Lightbourne.