Ireland's Ciaran Hinds has won best actor at a top New York film festival for his role in spooky movie "The Eclipse."

Hinds won the award at the Tribeca Film Festival - not bad for a man who started his acting career as the rear end of a horse!

Hinds, who stars as a father haunted by the ghost of his dead wife in Irish playwright's Conor McPherson’s supernatural shocker The Eclipse, was praised for his “sad eyed and deeply affecting performance that confirms he’s one the most intuitive and gifted Irish actors of his generation.”

Several companies are now vying for the film rights for the movie.

Hinds - who starred in the Oscar-winning "There Will be Blood" was a huge hit in the HBO production of "Rome."  And Hinds is no stranger to New York. He was a huge hit as the devil in McPherson's "The Seafarer" which played to rave reviews on Broadway in 2008.

Hinds, who was born in Belfast in 1953, began his stage career at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theater as the rear end of a horse in a production of "Cinderella."

The youngest of five children, his father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his decision to be come an actor.

His film and TV career took off  in 1981 in the John Boorman movie Excalibur, which was filmed in Ireland and which boasted a cast including fellow Irish actors Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne.

Hinds is based in London with the French-Vietnamese actress Helene Patarot and their daughter Aoife.

“The Eclipse,” an Irish film based on a collaboration between Irish playwrights Billy Roche and Conor McPherson, premiered at the Tribeca Film Fest this weekend. Word from the festival is that several major U.S. distribution companies were impressed, and the Irish made film will have a general release later this year.

McPherson, 39, adapted the screenplay from a short story originally written by Roche, adding his own trademark supernatural elements and also directing the finished script.

Based in and around an Irish literary festival, the film follows Michael (Hinds), a widowed teacher who works as a volunteer at the festival. To his surprise he finds himself becoming increasingly obsessed with a woman writer participating in it. 

While Hinds honored with Tribeca’s Best Actor award, American actress Zoe Kazan won for Best Actress for her performance in “The Exploding Girl.”