Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on the streets of Dublin. He first came to widespread public attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the Alan Parker film "The Commitments," a role he won after attending the New York Film Academy School of Acting. He also rose to prominence in Irish media as a presenter on the music program "Other Voices: Song from a Room." In April, 2006, Glen released his first solo album "The Swell Season" in collaboration with singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová from the Czech Republic, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France on cello. Hansard also spent part of 2006 in front of the cameras for a music-infused Irish film "Once," in which Hansard plays a Dublin busker, and Irglová 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. One of the songs he wrote with Irglová for the film, "Falling Slowy," won a 2007 Oscar for Best Song, and Hansard became the first Irish-born person to win in that category. Hansard and Irglová also recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for the 2007 film "I'm Not There," featuring Heath Ledger and Cate Blanchett. Aside from his projects with The Frames and Irglová, Hansard also appeared as part of the band on the 2006 Oxfam charity album "The Cake Sale,", and has recorded a number of cover songs, both alone and with band member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, for the Today FM discs "Even Better than the Real Thing," inluding "Cry Me a River," and Britney Spears' "Everytime."