Hansard came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments, after attending the New York Film Academy School of Acting. He has often stated that he regretted taking the role, because he felt it distracted him from his music career. In 2003, he presented the television programme Other Voices: Songs from a Room, which showcased Irish music talent on RTÉ.
On 22 April 2006, he released his first album without The Frames, The Swell Season, onOvercoat Recordings in collaboration with Czech singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France oncello. Hansard also spent part of 2006 in front of the cameras for a music-infused Irish filmOnce, in which Hansard plays a Dublin busker, and Irglová an immigrant street vendor. The film had its American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and received the Festival's World Cinema Audience Award. During the promotional tour, he and Irglová began dating. Said Hansard about his relationship with Irglova: "I had been falling in love with her for a long time, but I kept telling myself she's just a kid". One of the songs they wrote ("Falling Slowly") won an Oscar for Best Song in February 2008. Hansard became the first Irish-born person to win in that category. He was accompanied by his mother, Catherine Hansard.
Hansard has recorded several cover songs, both alone and with band member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, for the Today FM discs Even Better than the Real Thing. Songs that he has recorded include Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" on Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 1 andBritney Spears' "Everytime" on Vol. 2.
He voiced a role on an episode ("In the Name of the Grandfather") on The Simpsons as an Irish busker. A new album of original songs recorded as The Swell Season with Markéta Irglová and entitled Strict Joy was released on October 27, 2009 on the ANTI- record label.
On 14 August 2009, Hansard sang "Amazing Grace" at the funeral of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. In December 2009, he was joined byBono, Damien Rice and other Irish musicians on Grafton Street in Dublin, to busk in aid of the Simon Community. In January 2010, Glen and fellow musician Mark Geary auctioned off a house concert on eBay in aid of Haitian relief after the catastrophic earthquake left the country in dire need of assistance. The pair would travel anywhere within a 2 hour drive of Dublin and play a private gig in the highest bidder's house. In the end the two musicians played for the highest bidder and a selection of other fans in a central Dublin cafe. The auction raised in the region of €6,000 (six thousand euro) for charity.
In the summer of 2011, he joined Eddie Vedder on his American solo tour in support of Vedder's solo album, Ukulele Songs. He also played his own solo concert at the opening of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art Guitar Heroes exhibit in May and on Cape Codat the Cape Cinema on 17 June. On 3–4 September 2011, he played at Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary Festival PJ20 at the Alpine Valley Theatre outside of East Troy, Wisconsin.
Hansard plays several guitars, amongst which a very recognizable battered Takamine NP15 acoustic guitar (even sporting a large hole), which he calls "The Horse".
In a recent interview[when?] in the Huffington Post with Irglova, it was revealed that Hansard was preparing a solo album and that there was a very possible third release from the Swell Season. This solo album was later revealed to be titled Rhythm and Repose
American Songwriter included Hansard's "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" on its The Muse July Sampler.
Hansard sang the song "Take the Heartland" on the soundtrack for the 2012 film The Hunger Games. Another song he wrote, "Come Away to the Water", is also featured on the soundtrack, but is covered by Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane. Hansard can be found singing "Come Away to the Water" on the deluxe edition of his first solo album Rhythm and Repose.
Hansard guest-starred in an episode of the TV series, Parenthood, playing himself. In the episode, Trouble in Candyland, he will perform "High Hope," the latest single from his solo debut Rhythm And Repose.
taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Hansard