Dominic Bernard Patrick Luke Monaghan (pronounced /ˈdɒmɨnɨk ˈmɒnəhæn/; born 8 December 1976) is an English actor. He has received international attention from playing Merry in Peter Jackson's adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and for his role as Charlie Pace on the television show Lost.
Monaghan was born in Berlin, Germany, to British parents: Maureen, a nurse, and Austin Monaghan, a science teacher. Monaghan has a brother, Matthew, who is a year older, and is a teacher, singer and musician. Monaghan's family lived in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Münster, moving about every four years. When he was about 11 years old, his family moved from Germany to Heaton Moor in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Monaghan's first language is English, but he also speaks some German and is well known for his ability to impersonate others and replicate accents. Bernard is his maternal grandfather's name, and Patrick his paternal grandfather's name. He chose Luke as his confirmation name after Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, his favourite movie, which was also one of his inspirations for becoming an actor. He attended St Anne's Roman Catholic High School (where his uncle taught and later became head teacher) and Aquinas College, where he studied English literature, drama and geography.
Although Dominic held many occupations when he was younger, he always wanted to be an actor. After his second year at St. Anne's, Monaghan became a regular in school plays such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and Bugsy Malone before joining Manchester Youth Theatre. There, he was scouted for Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, on which he played Hetty's under-aged sidekick, Geoffrey Shawcross, for four seasons. He made his feature film debut as Russian sailor Sasha in TV film Hostile Waters.