Dominic Haakon Myrtvedt Purcell (born February 17, 1970) in Wallasey, Merseyside, England, the eldest of five children. Is a British-born Australian actor most active in the United States. He also holds an Irish passport by means of his ancestry.
Dominic moved to Sydney with his family when he was two, where he was raised by his father and Irish mother, Maureen, in the Western Suburbs. Purcell attended St Dominic's College, Penrith. Purcell's father, who had previously served in the Norwegian Merchant Navy, installed air-conditioning ducts for a living, but later separated from the family.
Purcell's paternal grandfather, Haakon, was from Bergen, and his paternal grandmother, Martha, a New York-born Irish-American according to herself, her family and her birth certificate.
After quitting his high school education at Blaxland High, Purcell was employed as a landscaper.
He applied and was accepted to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where Purcell studied alongside fellow actors, Hugh Jackman and Frances O'Connor. After graduating in 1996, Purcell obtained his first acting role as Granger Hutton, a leading role in the Australian television series Raw FM.
In 2000, he won a green card lottery and now resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Rebecca Williamson, and their four children: Joseph (born 1999), Audrey (born 2001), and twins Lily and Augustus (born 2003). In 2006 and 2007 Purcell spent the Christmas period in Louth Village, Co. Louth, in Ireland, the home area of his mother and drew considerable attention in the local press. On October 21, 2007, Purcell and his wife Rebecca Williamson separated.
On December 29, 2007 while driving to Strandhill, Co Sligo on Ireland's Atlantic coast to go surfing, Purcell and his brother Damien were waved down by a woman carrying a child, who was choking to death. They saved the child's life by performing CPR until the paramedics arrived. The sixteen month old baby - who made a full recovery - was choking after an onion ring became lodged in his throat.