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Irish Actors

Collection of Classic Irish Actors

Risteard Cooper
Ristard Cooper

Risteard Cooper (Wikipedia)

Risteard Cooper is an Irish actor, comedian, singer and writer and is one third of comedy trio Après Match.

Cooper graduated from the acting program at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College. He lived in New York for several years where he worked at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Irish Rep and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company (founded by, amongst others, John Malkovich) playing Mickey in the American premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Olivier award-winning play, Mojo directed by Ian Rickson.

He has played lead roles in the major theatres in Ireland including Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at the Abbey TheatreAuntie and Me at the Gaiety TheatreI Keano at the Olympia Theatre, and in numerous productions at the Gate Theatre such as ArcadiaAn Ideal HusbandSee You Next TuesdayEccentricities of a NightingaleBetrayal (Pinter Festival) and The Deep Blue Sea.

In 2009, he played the role of Dmitri in Brian Friel‘s play The Yalta Game, directed by Patrick Mason for the Gate Theatre at the 2009 Sydney and Edinburgh International Festivals.

He played the leading role of Michael in the RTÉ/Element Pictures film Bitter Sweet for which he received a Best Actor nomination at the 2009 Monte Carlo Television and Film Awards.

He starred as Setanta de Paor in An Crisis, an Irish language satirical comedy series for TG4 for which he was also nominated at the 2010 Monte Carlo Awards, this time in the Best Comedy Actor category.

In 2011, he wrote and starred in a series of parodies on YouTube sponsored by sports betting agency Betdaq.

Later that year he played Henry Higgins in the Abbey Theatre’s first ever production of Shaw’s Pygmalion going on in 2012 to star as Joxer Daly with Ciarán Hinds (Boyle) and Sinéad Cusack (Juno) in O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the Abbey Theatre, before transferring to the National Theatre of Great Britain.

In 2013 he played Finbar in a production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir at The Donmar Warehouse, which transferred to the West End in 2014. It also starred Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwin, Ardal O’Hanlon and Peter McDonald and was directed by Josie Rourke.

In September 2014 he appeared as Sir Henry Coverly in the ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher “The Ties That Bind”, while in 2015 he portrayed Dermot Nally in RTÉ’s “Charlie” and most recently, the serial-killer Laurie Gaskell in the critically acclaimed eight-part comedy-drama “No Offence” for Channel 4.

Cooper also writes for the newspaper, The Irish Times.

Pauline Flanagan
Pauline Flanagan

Pauline Flanagan (Wikipedia)

Pauline Flanagan was a County Sligo-born Irish actress who had a long career on stageAmerican television audiences best knew her as Maeve Ryan’s sister, Annie Colleary, on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope in 1979 and again in 1981. She later returned to the show as Sister Mary Joel.

She appeared in many Broadway plays, starting in 1957 with Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. he starred in the 1976 Broadway revival of The Innocents. She appeared on Broadway in Philadelphia, Here I Come! in 1994.

She appeared Off-Broadway, several times with the Irish Repertory Theatre, including Juno and the Paycock (1995). She appeared in the Harold Prince play Grandchild of Kings at the Irish Repertory Theatre in February 1992, receiving the 1992 Outer Critics Circle Awardnomination for Best Actress. Other Off-Broadway work included Yeats: A Celebration.

She appeared in the play Summer, by Hugh Leonard at the Hudson Guild Theater, directed by Brian Murray. (Summer premiered at the Olney Theatre, Maryland, in August 1974.)

A resident of Glen Rock, New Jersey, she died at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey one day before her 78th birthday of heart failure following a battle with lung cancer. She was survived by her husband, George Vogel (whom she married in 1958), a sister, Maura McNally, and her daughters Melissa Brown and Jane Holtzen.

In 1997 she won the Barclays Theatre Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Jennifer Johnston‘s Desert Lullaby, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. (The Barclays Theatre Awards are for outstanding regional theatre (including opera and dance) in the UK.)

She was nominated for the 1982 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Medea in which she performed on Broadway in 1982. In 2001 she won an Olivier Award, Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in Frank McGuinness‘ Dolly West’s Kitchen at the Old Vic.

Dictionary of Irish biography:

Flanagan, Pauline (1925–2003), actress, was born 29 June 1925 in Sligo town, youngest child of Patrick J. Flanagan and his wife Elizabeth (née McLynn). Her paternal family, originally from Co. Fermanagh, were driven out by anti‐catholic pogroms and resettled in Sligo, where her parents managed a retail business. The family’s politics were strongly nationalist and republican; her father fought in the war of independence, spending much time on the run or in jail. Both her parents served as mayors of Sligo, her father as an independent republican in 1939, her mother (the first woman to hold the office) in 1945; Pauline’s uncle Thomas Flanagan served two consecutive terms as mayor (1904–5).

Educated in Sligo at the Ursuline convent school, Flanagan was drawn to acting while a schoolgirl, but faced some family objection to pursuing the interest as a career. After performing in amateur dramatics, she landed her first professional roles with the Garryowen Players during the 1949 summer season in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. In the early 1950s she spent three years in the renowned fit-up company of Anew McMaster (qv), in later life recalling fondly the constant travelling, cheap digs, hard work, invaluable experience, and wonderful fun. She played a great range of roles – support and lead, comic and tragic – in Shakespeare, ancient Greek drama, contemporary potboilers, and melodrama. Colleagues in the company included T. P. McKenna (qv), Patrick Magee (qv), Milo O’Shea (qv), and Harold Pinter.

While visiting a sister in New York in the mid 1950s, Flanagan took a job as understudy in a production of ‘The living room’ by Graham Greene. Thus began her long and distinguished career on the New York stage and elsewhere in America, including numerous appearances on and off Broadway. Her Broadway debut came in the first Main Stem production of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices ‘Under Milk Wood’ (1957); the cast included Tom Clancy (qv). Other early New York credits included ‘Ulysses in Nighttown’ (1958), an adaptation from the text of James Joyce (qv), directed by Burgess Meredith; Flanagan played both Molly Bloom and Mrs Dedalus among other characters, opposite Zero Mostel as Leopold Bloom. She appeared in two other stage adaptations with Irish settings: ‘God and Kate Murphy’ (1959), directed by Meredith and starring Larry Hagman; and ‘Drums under the window’ (1960), from the autobiographical work by Sean O’Casey(qv).

In the early 1970s Flanagan performed several major Broadway roles with the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center: the Female Chorus Leader in ‘Antigone’ (1971); Ann Putnam in a revival of Arthur Miller’s ‘The crucible’ (1972); and Bessie Burgess in O’Casey’s ‘The plough and the stars’ (1973), in a cast that included Jack MacGowran (qv) as Fluther Good, and Christopher Walken as Jack Clitheroe. She played Myra White in ‘Summer’ (1974) by Hugh Leonard (1926–2009), both in the original production at the Olney Theater in Maryland, and at the Olympia in the Dublin theatre festival. Pinter directed her on Broadway as Mrs Grose in ‘The innocents’ (1976), an adaptation of Henry James’s ‘The turn of the screw’, starring Claire Bloom and a young Sarah Jessica Parker.

Flanagan received a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding featured actress in a play for her Broadway performance as the First Woman of Corinth in an acclaimed production of ‘Medea’ (1982), supporting the Tony‐winning Zoe Caldwell in the title role. She appeared in the original Broadway production of ‘Steaming’ (1983), and with Keith Baxter and Milo O’Shea in the long‐running ‘Corpse!’ (1986). In her last Broadway role, she played Madge in a revival of ‘Philadelphia, here I come!’ (1994) by Brian Friel. Her many roles with the off‐Broadway Irish Repertory Theatre included Sean O’Casey’s mother in ‘Grandchild of kings’ (1992), adapted and directed by the noted impresario Hal Prince from O’Casey’s early autobiographies, for which she was nominated for best actress by the Outer Critics Circle. Other credits with the troupe included O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the paycock’ (1995) (as Mrs Boyle), and Leonard’s ‘A life’ (2001).

From the early 1990s Flanagan returned to the Irish stage with outstanding performances in some of the most important Irish plays and productions of the period. She was Mrs Grigson in Shivaun O’Casey’s production of her father Sean’s ‘The shadow of a gunman’, in both Dublin and off‐Broadway in New York (1991). In ‘The desert lullaby’ by Jennifer Johnston at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre (1996), Flanagan played Nellie, the housekeeper, friend, and confidante of the mistress of an old Wicklow country house (played by Stella McCusker); the performance, ‘all mothering minder and loving tender, yet never without due reserve’ (David Nowlan, Ir. Times, 1 Nov. 1996), won her the TMA Barclays Award for best supporting actress in UK regional theatre. She appeared as Mother in ‘Tarry Flynn’, adapted and directed by Conall Morrison from the novel by Patrick Kavanagh (qv), both in the Abbey Theatre premiere (1997), and in the warmly received London run at the Royal National Theatre (1998).

Flanagan appeared in two first productions by the Abbey company of plays by Marina Carr. In ‘Portia Coughlan’ (1996) she played Blaize Scully, the vicious‐tongued paraplegic grandmother of the eponymous character (played by Derbhle Crotty), directed by Garry Hynes. In another pungent work of earthy midlands gothic, she was (in Nowlan’s words (Ir. Times, 8 Oct. 1998)) ‘strikingly and effectively unpleasant’ as the ‘venomously selfish’ Mrs Kilbride in Carr’s ‘By the Bog of Cats’ (1998), opposite Olwen Fouéré; directed by Patrick Mason, she was nominated for best supporting actress in the Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Awards. She appeared as Nell in ‘Endgame’ (1999) by Samuel Beckett (qv), with Alan Stanford, Barry McGovern, and Bill Golding, which played Dublin’s Gate Theatre, the Melbourne Festival, and the Barbican Centre in London. Directed by Mason at the Abbey, Flanagan was superb as Rima West, the hard drinking, raunchy mouthed, but compassionate widowed matriarch in ‘Dolly West’s kitchen’ (1999) by Frank McGuinness, set along the Donegal–Derry border during the second world war. Receiving a Beckett Award as best actress in the 1999 Dublin theatre festival, she remarked: ‘At my age I should be saying my prayers and getting ready for the grave, but here I am winning awards’ (Ir. Times, 20 Oct. 1999). For the production’s run at the Old Vic (2000), she won an Olivier Award as best supporting actress on the London stage, which she described as the pinnacle of her acting career.

Primarily a stage actress, Flanagan did relatively little work in television or film. Early in her American career she performed in two worthy productions of television theatre: in ‘Juno and the paycock’ (1960) in a cast that included Walter Matthau and Liam Clancy; and in ‘Little moon of Alban’ (1964) by James Costigan, supporting Julie Harris and Christopher Plummer. She made several appearances on US television in the 1980s, and impressively supported John Hurt and Brenda Blethyn in the feature film Night train (1998), set in contemporary suburban Dublin, directed by John Lynch.

Flanagan’s last performances were among the greatest of her career. In a revival of Tom Murphy’s ‘Bailegangaire’ she played the physically and mentally demanding role of Mommo, a confused, bedridden old woman (on stage throughout the entire play), who night after night tells the same disjointed story without ever arriving at the conclusion: how a laughing competition resulted in the renaming of the eponymous ‘town without laughter’. Flanagan compared the role to a nightly ascent of Everest, the script being so tight that the performance must not only be word‐perfect and letter‐perfect, but every punctuation point must be perfectly placed. Directed by the playwright as part of the Abbey’s five‐play Murphy retrospective in the 2001 Dublin theatre festival, supported by Jane Brennan and Derbhle Crotty as Mommo’s two granddaughters, Flanagan was hailed for liberating the play from the legend of Siobhán McKenna (qv), who had originated the role in the Druid production of 1986. Fintan O’Toole praised Flanagan’s ‘exquisitely detailed’ performance, ‘not the baroque opera of McKenna, but a haunting chamber piece’ (Ir. Times, 5 Oct. 2001). As the role had been the swansong of McKenna’s career, so it was of Flanagan’s; the production’s reprisal at the Peacock in 2002 was her last appearance on an Irish stage. Though ill with lung cancer, she repeated the role with the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York, where Bruce Weber described her ‘captivating performance’ as ‘by turns comic, pathetic, and chilling in depicting the madness of old age’ (NY Times, 15 Oct. 2002).

Among the best Irish actors of her generation, Flanagan was strikingly featured rather than beautiful; Leonard remembered her ‘Nefertiti profile’ (Sunday Independent, 6 July 2003). Some thirty years old when she first hit the New York stage, she never played ingénue roles, and few leading ones, but excelled as strong supporting characters, with distinctive, often difficult or disturbed personalities, going from strength to strength in such parts as she aged. Michael Colgan of the Gate Theatre compared her legacy to the Irish theatre to that of Donal McCann (qv) and Ray McAnally (qv), remarking: ‘It takes such a long time in theatre to nurture that level of timing and talent’ (Ir. Times, 1 July 2003). Lauded by Murphy as ‘a superb woman, a lion-hearted woman’ (ibid.), she was eulogised for her kindness, generosity, and tolerance. She married (1958) George Vogel, an actor whom she met when he was writing a thesis on O’Casey; they had two daughters, and resided in New Jersey. She died of heart failure 29 June 2003 in New York

Aisling O’Sullivan
Aisling O’Sullivan

Aisling O’Sullivan (Wikipedia)

Aisling O’Sullivan was born in 1968 in Tralee, Co Kerry.

O’Sullivan attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and joined the Abbey Theatre in 1991.

She garnered major acclaim for her performance as Widow Quin in Druid Theatre Company‘s 2004 production of The Playboy of the Western World, which toured throughout Ireland including her native Kerry, and also starred Cillian Murphy and Anne-Marie Duff

In 2011 and 2012, she toured Ireland again with Druid, playing the titular character in Big Maggie by John B. Keane and was consequently nominated for Best Actress in the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.

At the National Theatre she played in LiolàMutabilitie, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

She played the role of Aileen Beck in the “Best Boys” episode of the 1995 TV series Cracker.

O’Sullivan had a small part in Michael Collins (1996).

She appeared in another Neil Jordan film, The Butcher Boy (1997) as Francie’s mentally unstable mother.

In a 1998 PBS adaptation of Henry James novel The American, she played the part of Claire De Cintré, opposite Matthew Modine and Diana Rigg.

She played the grieving mother who commits suicide in Six Shooter, playwright Martin McDonagh‘s Oscar-winning short film.[3]

She is familiar to Irish television audiences as Dr. Cathy Costello from Series 1 to Series 5 in the drama series The Clinic, a role for which she has won an Irish Film and Television Awards best actress award in 2008.

She had a leading role in the Channel 4 thriller Shockers (1999). She starred in Seasons 2 through 5 in Raw, an RTÉ drama portraying the lives of a restaurant staff, playing manager Fiona Kelly.


Gary Whelan
Gary Whelan

Gary Whelan (born 1953 in Dublin) is an Irish actor who sporadically appeared as detective Terry Rich in EastEnders from the shows interception in February 1985 to May 1987

Gary Whelan

Dublin-born, he moved with his family to London at the age of ten. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and was also a successful property developer during the 1980s. He is the owner of the public house, the Lion and the Lobster, in Brighton and known for roles in television programmes Michael Collins, Dracula Untold and Beyond the Sea.

Valene Kane
Valence Kane

Valene Kane (Wikipedia)

Valene Kane is best known for playing Rose Stagg, the ex-girlfriend of serial killer Paul Spector, in The Fall on BBC Two and for her role as Lyra Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  She is also known for her role in the BBC drama Thirteen. She starred as DS Lisa Merchant, described as “superb” by The Radio Times: “The former star of The Fall‘s scenes […] are among the show’s most intriguing, simmering with sexual tension and professional frustration.”

Kane won the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Supporting Performer for her role in The Stroma Sessions and her film Profile (in which she played a struggling undercover journalist who connects with a Jihadi through Facebook) won the Panorama Audience Award at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

She is the daughter of Val Kane “successful Down county Gaelic footballer and coach”and was raised in Newry, County Down. From the age of 15, she was part of the National Youth Theatre, most notably starring in their production of 20 Cigarettes. She left Northern Ireland for London at 18 and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Kane was cast in The Fading Light by the director Ivan Kavanagh after he spotted her in a short film, July, that was posted on YouTube.  She was chosen partly for her successful experience with improvisation in the short film. 2013 saw her play Rose Stagg in the BBC‘s TV series The Fall, and Dara in the comic Irish thriller Jump. Also in 2013, Kane played the title role in Strindberg‘s Miss Julie at the newly founded Reading Rep.

Other film work Still Early, a short film which premiered at the Galway Film Festival. Kane’s work for the BBC in 2016 includes taking the lead in BBC3 drama Thirteen, the third series of The Fall, and an episode of Murder. Also that year, she played Lyra Erso, the protagonist’s mother, in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Kane has been seen on stage as Nance, in the Finborough Theatre‘s production of Autumn Fire, The Love in Punchdrunk‘s production The Black Diamond, which sold out “in mere minutes” and Lady Lydia Languish in The Rivals. She also played Girleen in Martin McDonagh‘s The Lonesome West in which one reviewer said “Kane gives Girleen a schoolgirl reality, her confident swagger and challenge covering the only genuine feelings for anyone else that the play possesses”.

Kane’s radio drama work for the BBC includes The Demon Brother and Stroma Sessions for which she won Best Supporting Performer.

In 2018 Valene Kane played journalist Amy Whittaker who investigates the recruitment of young European women by the ISIS in the 2018 thriller film Profile by Timur Bekmambetov. The film takes place entirely on computer screens. It premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Panorama Audience Award.

2019 saw Kane in Anne Sewitsky‘s Sonja: The White Swan which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and in BBC TV Movie Counselin which she played the “an alpha female barrister [who] complicates her professional and personal life when she takes on a young client” 

Kane could also be heard on the Monobox Speech Share podcast reading from Marina Carr‘s “Portia Coughlan” 

Lorraine Pilkington
Lorraine Pilkington

Lorraine Pilkington (Wikipedia)

Lorraine Pilkington was born 18 April 1974 & is an Irish actress from Dublin, who is best known for her role as Katrina Finlay from Monarch of the Glen

Born in Dublin, Pilkington grew up in the affluent suburban village of Malahide, and attended Manor House SchoolRaheny.

Trained at the Gaiety School of Acting, Pilkington began her career at the age of 15 when she appeared in The Miracle directed by Neil Jordan. She appeared onstage in the plays The Plough and the Stars and The Iceman Cometh

At age 18 she moved to London where she was given a part in a Miramax film which eventually fell through. After returning to Dublin, Pilkington appeared in films including Human Traffic and My Kingdom, a retelling of King Lear

In 2000, she was cast as Katrina Finlay, a schoolteacher in a Scottish village in the BBC television series Monarch of the Glen. After leaving the show at the beginning of the third season, she appeared in various other television productions such as Rough Diamond and Outnumbered

She married Simon Massey, the director of Monarch of the Glen, in 2001. They have three sons, Milo, Luca and Inigo.

In 2008, she appeared in a short film by Luke Massey Within the Woods, with James Chalmers.

In 2016 she voiced the lead role in a Paramount animation, Capture the Flag.


Amybeth McNulty
Amybeth McNulty

Amybeth McNulty (Wikipedia)

Amybeth McNulty is an Irish-Canadianactress, born in Donegal in 2001. She is known for her starring role as Anne Shirley in the CBC/Netflix drama series Anne with an E (2017–present), based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

McNulty was born to an Irish father and a Canadian mother. She is from LetterkennyCo. Donegal. McNulty is a natural blonde, contrary to the widespread public belief that she is a redhead. She dyed her hair red for her role in Anne with an E

McNulty has previously appeared in the RTÉ One series Clean Break and Agatha Raisin.[3] Since 2017, she has starred as Anne Shirley in the CBC/Netflix drama series Anne with an E, which is based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.


Patrick Colbert
Patrick Colbert


Patrick Colbert was born on November 20, 1897 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland. He was an actor, known for Shipmates o’ Mine (1936), The Mikado.   He died in 1971.

Stephen Mangan
Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan (Wikipedia)

Stephen Mangan was born in 1968. He has played Guy Secretan in Green Wing, Dan Moody in I’m Alan Partridge, Sean Lincoln in Episodes and Postman Pat in Postman Pat: The Movie.

As a stage actor, he was Tony-nominated for his portrayal of Norman in The Norman Conquests on Broadway. He also starred as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre, which won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Mangan was born in Ponders EndLondon, to Irish parents. He has two sisters, Anita and Lisa.

Mangan was educated at two independent schools for boys: at Lochinver House School, in Potters BarHertfordshire, and Haileybury and Imperial Service College (now co-educational), a boarding school in the village of Hertford Heath (also in Hertfordshire). He was in a school prog rock band called Aragon, who recorded an album called The Wizard’s Dream.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Law at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Mangan took a year out to care for his mother, Mary, who died of colon cancer at age 45. Weeks after her death, he auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to study there for three years. His father, James, died of a brain tumor at age 63.

After graduating from RADA in 1994, Mangan did not pursue lead roles on-screen, preferring to take what he saw as the less limited opportunities on the stage. Between 1994 and 2000, he performed in plays throughout the UK and the West End before joining the theatre company Cheek by Jowl for an international tour of Much Ado About Nothing, earning him a nomination for a National Theatre Ian Charleson Award. He worked again for director Declan Donnellan at the Royal Shakespeare Company in School for Scandal, and at the Savoy Theatre in Hay Fever.

In 2008 he played the title role in The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus, at The Old Vic and then at the Circle in the Square on Broadway.  The production was a huge critical success earning several Tony Award nominations, including one for Mangan himself and won the Tony Award for Best Revival.

In 2012 he appeared at the Royal Court in a Joe Penhall play, Birthday, directed by Roger Michell, playing a pregnant man.

Mangan starred as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre alongside Matthew Macfadyen as Jeeves from October 2013 until they were replaced by Mark Heap and Robert Webb in April 2014. The production won the 2014 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Mangan’s breakthrough television performance was as Adrian Mole in the six-part BBC TV show series Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years in 2001. That same year he appeared in Sword of Honour on Channel 4, alongside Daniel Craig.

In 2002, he appeared as Dan Moody in the I’m Alan Partridge episode “Bravealan”. A scene where Alan repeatedly shouts “Dan!” at Dan from a distance in a car park, while Dan pretends not to notice him, was named the second best moment from the series by Metro, and in 2014 Mangan said that he has “Dan!” shouted at him by passers-by almost every day.

Mangan played Guy Secretan in the BAFTA-winning British sitcom Green Wing. In Channel 4’s The World’s Greatest Comedy Characters, Guy was voted 34th. He starred as Keith in Never Better, a British television sitcom on BBC Two. He plays a recovering alcoholic Keith Merchant and Kate Ashfield is his long-suffering wife Anita. The series was written by Fintan Ryan for World Productions.

In 2009, Free Agents, a romantic black comedy starred Mangan, Sharon Horgan and Anthony Head. Originally a pilot for Channel 4 in November 2007, the series began on 13 February 2009.  It spawned a short lived US remake, which was cancelled after just four episodes aired, although four more were later released on Hulu.

He played the title role in Dirk Gently, a British comedy detective drama TV series based on characters from the Dirk Gently novels by Douglas Adams. The series was created by Howard Overman and co-starred Darren Boyd as his sidekick Richard MacDuff. Recurring actors included Helen Baxendale as MacDuff’s girlfriend Susan Harmison, Jason Watkins as Dirk’s nemesis DI Gilks and Lisa Jackson as Dirk’s receptionist Janice Pearce. Unlike most detective series Dirk Gently featured broadly comic touches and even some science fiction themes such as time travel and artificial intelligence. He has said that he was “bitterly upset” at the BBC’s axing of the series after four episodes due to a freeze on the licence fee.

He played the title role in “The Hunt for Tony Blair“, a one-off episode of The Comic Strip Presents…, a British television comedy, which was first shown on Channel 4 on 14 October 2011. The 60 minute film was written by Peter Richardson and Pete Richens and presented in the style of a 1950s film noir. It stars Mangan as the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is wanted for murder and on the run as a fugitive. The film received its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2011. It first aired on Channel 4 on 14 October 2011; it received a mostly positive reaction from reviewers, and was nominated for a BAFTA award (Best Comedy Programme 2012) and the British Comedy Awards (Best Comedy Drama 2011).

He appeared in Episodes, a British/American television comedy series created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and produced by Hat Trick Productions. It premiered on Showtime in the United States on 9 January 2011 at 9:30 pm  and on BBC Two in the UK on 10 January 2011.

The show is about a British husband-and-wife comedy writing team who travel to Hollywood to remake their successful British TV series, with disastrous results. On 11 December 2013, it was announced that Showtime had renewed Episodes for a fourth season. Episodeshas received positive reviews by critics, with many singling out Mangan, Tamsin Greig, and Matt LeBlanc‘s performances.

In 2018 Stephen Mangan played the lead role in a comedy British TV Series Bliss that was aired on Sky One.

Mangan’s first film part was as Doctor Crane in Billy Elliot. He played French cabaret singer Pierre Dupont in the cult film Chunky Monkeyalongside David Threlfall and Alison Steadman. He appeared in the Miramax film Birthday Girl, starring Nicole Kidman and Vincent Cassel.

He appeared opposite Keira Knightley in the 2002 short New Year’s Eve, and played the leading role in SuperTex (2003), a Dutch film, filmed in English and directed by Jan Schütte. He played a comedian in Festival is a 2005 British black comedy about a number of people at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe directed by Annie Griffin. The general shots of the festival were filmed during the 2004 event. Mangan was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for his performance.

Confetti, a 2006 British mockumentary romantic comedy film, was released on 5 May 2006. It was conceived and directed by Debbie Isittand stars many British comedians, including Jessica StevensonJimmy CarrMartin FreemanMark HeapJulia DavisRobert Webb, and Olivia Colman. It follows a bridal magazine competition for the most original wedding, the ultimate prize being a house, and the three couples who are chosen to compete. Mangan plays one of the grooms, a professional tennis player.

He starred in Beyond the Pole, a 2010 British mockumentary adapted from the cult BBC radio series of the same name. It received its UK cinema release in 2010. It was directed and produced by David L. Williams.  The film was shot on floating sea ice off the coast of Greenland, and stars an acclaimed cast of actors and comedians including Mangan, Rhys ThomasMark BentonAlexander Skarsgardand Helen BaxendaleVariety magazine described the film as a cross between The Office and Touching the Void.

In 2013 Mangan played Alastair Caldwell in Rush, a British-German biographical sports drama film centered on the rivalry between race car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season. It was written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. The film premiered in London on 2 September 2013 and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival[30][31] before its UK and US theatrical releases on, respectively, 13 and 20 September 2013.

In 2014, Mangan voiced the title role in Postman Pat: The Movie, a British 3D computer-animated comedy film featuring Postman Pat, star of a long-running BBC children’s series. It was originally due to be released on 24 May 2013,[33] but was pushed back to a year later. Pat’s singing voice was performed by Ronan Keating. Other voice actors in the film included Jim BroadbentRupert Grint, and David Tennant.

Mangan was host of the Evening Standard British Film Awards for four years (2009–2013). On 27 April 2014, he returned to host the British Academy Television Craft Awards in London for a third time. Mangan recorded the role of Cloten in Shakespeare‘s Cymbelinefor the Arkangel Shakespeare audiobook series, directed by Clive Brill.

Mangan is married to actress Louise Delamere. They have three sons.

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Marie O’Neill
Marie O’Neill

Marie O’Neill (Wikipedia)

Marie O’Neill was born in 1886 and was an Irish actress of stage and film. She holds a place in theater history as the first actress to interpret the lead character of Pegeen Mike Flaherty in John Millington Synge‘s controversial stage masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World (1907).

Born Mary Agnes Allgood at 40 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, she was one of eight children of compositor George and french polisher Margaret (née Harold) Allgood,[2][3]she was known as “Molly”. Her father was sternly Protestant and against all music, dancing and entertainment, and her mother a strict Catholic.  After her father died in 1896, she was placed in an orphanage. She was apprenticed to a dressmaker. One of Allgood’s brothers, Tom, became a Catholic priest.

Maud Gonne set up Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland) in 1900 to educate women about Irish history, language and the arts, and Allgood and her sister Sara joined the association’s drama classes around 1903. Their acting teacher, Willie Fay, enrolled them in the National Theatre Society, later known as the Abbey Theatre. Maire was part of the Abbey Theatre from 1906-1918 where she appeared in many productions.[9]In 1904 she was cast in a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy called Katie Roche  where she played the part of Margaret Drybone, there were 38 performances in this production.

Marie O’Neill

In 1905 Molly met Irish playwright John Millington Synge and they fell in love, a relationship regarded as scandalous because it crossed the class barriers of the time. In September 1907 he had surgery for the removal of troublesome neck glands, but a later tumour was found to be inoperable. They became engaged before his death in March 1909. Synge wrote the plays The Playboy of the Western World and Deirdre of the Sorrows for Allgood.

Under her professional name Maire O’Neill, she appeared in films from 1930-53, including Alfred Hitchcock‘s film version of Seán O’Casey‘s play Juno and the Paycock(1930). She made her American debut in New York in 1914 in the play General John Regan at the Hudson Theatre.

In June 1911 she married G. H. Mair, drama critic of the Manchester Guardian, and later Assistant Secretary of the British Department of Information, Assistant Director of the League of Nations Secretariat in Geneva, and head of the League of Nations office in London, with whom she had two children. He died suddenly on 3 January 1926. Six months later she married Arthur Sinclair, an Abbey actor. They had two children but divorced.

Her life suffered a full share of tragedies; she was crushed by her brother Frank’s death in World War I in 1915, her fiancé Synge died before they married, her beloved husband died after 15 years of marriage, and their son died in an air crash in 1942. Her sister Sara’s husband and baby died of influenza during the Spanish flu. Sara died two years before her; they had become estranged.

She died in Park Prewett Hospital, BasingstokeEngland, on 2 November 1952, aged 66, where she was receiving treatment after being badly burned in a fire at her London home.

Joseph O’Connor‘s 2010 novel, Ghost Light, is loosely based on Allgood’s relationship with Synge.


Paul Hickey
Paul Hickey

Paul was born and grew up in Dublin. He studied and worked in Belfast and now lives in West London. You might recognise him from Dr Who, the multi BAFTA winning Three Girls or as Johno in the award winning Irish cop show Red Rock, now on the BBC.

Paul has worked extensively in British and Irish Theatre, including at the RSC and many appearances at both the Royal Court and the National Theatres. Film and TV includes, Fr Ted, Whitechapel, Dr Who, Red Rock, Inspector Lynley, Three Girls, Saving Private Ryan

Paul Hickey
Siobhan Finneran
Siobhan Finneran
Siobhan Finneran

Siobhan Finneran (Wikipedia)

Siobhan Finneran was born in 1966 and is an English actress. She made her screen debut in the 1987 independent film Rita, Sue and Bob Too, and subsequently worked consistently in television drama including roles in Coronation Street, (1989–1990) Clocking Off (2000–02) and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006). In 2005, Finneran originated the lead female role in the stage play On the Shore of the Wide World and was awarded the Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Also a comedy performer, Finneran appeared as a leading character in the first seven series of popular ITV sitcom Benidorm (2007–15).

Later television roles include portraying a lawyer in the mini-series Unforgiven (2009), an embittered servant in the first three series of the costume drama Downton Abbey (2010–12) and a recovering addict in Happy Valley (2014–present), for which she was nominated for the 2017 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress. Later film credits include Mrs Swift in the 2013 film release, The Selfish Giant, which earned her a British Independent Film Award nomination.

Finneran was born in Oldham, Lancashire on 27 April 1966 to Irish immigrant parents. As a child Finneran was always drawn to the performing arts and was a fan of the celebrated English comedian Eric Morecambe, recalling that “as a little girl I wanted to be Eric Morecambe. Not to be like him but to actually be him”.  After studying a theatre studies course, she was in cast in her first major role as Rita in the 1987 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too. Kate Muir, chief film critic at UK newspaper The Times described the characters of Rita and Sue —two teenagers who both have a sexual affair with the older, married Bob (George Costigan)— “as raunchy, cheeky, unstoppable schoolgirls played with relish by Siobhan Finneran and Michelle Holmes.  Between August 1989 and March 1990 Finneran appeared as factory employee Josie Phillips, in the long running ITV1 soap opera Coronation Street.  The character of Josie is best remembered for her on-off employment, and difficult relationship, with her boss, Mike Baldwin.

Finneran continued to appear regularly on UK television, making guest appearances in numerous drama series including Heartbeat(1993, 1994, 2003), Peak Practice (1995),  Out of the Blue (1996), Where The Heart Is (1997), Hetty Wainthrop Investigates (1998) and The Cops (1999). Finneran also established herself in comedic roles including episodes of Josie (a 1991 comedy series starring Josie Lawrence), Cannon and Balls Playhouse (1991)[17] and as a regularly appearing cast member in ITV1‘s production of The Russ Abbot Show (1995–96).  Whilst having performed frequently in comedy, Finneran credits her performance as “a very damaged mother” in Out of the Blue in 1996 in triggering a shift towards more dramatic roles. From the late 1990s Finneran began to consciously cut back her acting work to raise her two children as her husband, the actor Mark Jordon, (whom she married in August 1997) was regularly away from home filming as a series regular in Heartbeat.

Between 2000 and 2002 Finneran appeared as Julie O’Neill in three series of the BBC1 drama series Clocking Off.  Subsequent roles in the early 21st century include the ITV1 Russell T Davies drama series Bob & Rose (2001), Sparkhouse (2002) –a modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights scripted by Sally Wainwright– and the two-part thriller Passer By (2004) starring James Nesbitt. In 2005 Finneran appeared as the female lead, Alice Holmes, in the original stage production of On the Shore of the Wide World at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Finneran’s performance earned her the Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. In 2006 Finneran was cast as a series regular in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006). Her character, Beverley Clarke is an established partner in a law firm who is inspired to launch a career in politics by her experience of the titular Ros Pritchard, and ultimately becomes an MP.

In 2007 Finneran appeared as Kelly in the British Independent film Boy A. Also In 2007 Finneran appeared as part of the original regular cast in the British sitcom Benidorm which details the experiences of holidaymakers and employees at the fictional Solana hotel in Benidorm, Spain. Finneran described her character Janice Garvey as “feisty, foul-mouthed and quite fantastic”. Over the course of the series, Janice struggles to keep her family unit—comprising Janice’s mother Madge (Sheila Reid), her husband Mick (Steve Pemberton) and their own children and grandchild—under control. A television correspondent at the Sunday Mirror described the character as a “fiercely protective lioness, humorous, straight-talking, and saucy” inclined to “let-it-all-hang-out” with a wardrobe comprising “skimpy, mutton-dressed-as-lamb outfits”.  Finneran found elements of the shoot embarrassing — including the requirement to be filmed in swimwear— and one scene which involved her character “snogging” a young barman played by an actor in his early twenties.  In spite of the outlandish elements of the sitcom, Finneran notes that the cast “tried to find the truth in each character, to make them a real person – not a stereotype.” In 2008, Finneran explained that as the series was filmed on location in Benidorm, her parents stepped in to help with childcare back home, with the children visiting during half-term.

Finneran would ultimately remain with the series, through to its 7th series, which aired in 2015. Discussing the enduring appeal of the series in 2013, Finneran stated that the series’ fan base had become firmly established by the fourth series and that viewers were attracted to the “banter” and recognisable family dynamics that take viewers “to the extremes”.  She also felt that the contrasting summer setting and typical winter air date also provided a form of escapism for the UK audience. After discussing their intent to leave Benidorm during filming of the sixth series (2014), Pemberton and Finneran announced their join departures ahead of the 7th series (2015). Both actors wanted to spend less time filming abroad, and neither wanted to leave on their own. Finneran found filming her last scenes “heartbreaking” noting she was in “a terrible state” upon bidding farewell to co-stars and crew with whom she had forged a close relationship.

Alongside her role in Benidorm, Finneran continued to star in original drama series’. In 2008 she portrayed Sister Ruth, a Vatican nun drawn to investigate a priest who performs exorcisms, in five episodes of the supernatural thriller Apparitions.  In 2009 Finneran appeared as a main cast member in the three part ITV1 thriller Unforgiven as Izzie Ingram, a family lawyer who aids convicted murder Ruth Slater (Suranne Jones) track down her long lost sister. George Costigan, who appears in Unforgiven and first worked with Finneran in 1987 cited the mini-series as an illustration of Finneran’s versatility, and justification of his appraisal of her as an acting “hero” and personal inspiration, stating that “she has no background in it and she just goes there. It’s extraordinary. Those are the actors that electrify you.”[31] Also in 2009, Finneran appeared in episodes of The Street, and Blue Murder,  and the straight-to-DVD soap opera spin-off Coronation Street: Romanian Holiday. ‘She’s worked since she was probably 14 or 15 years old, and has basically sacrificed her entire life to somebody else, for the good of their life and their home — it’s no wonder that she would get frustrated or angry about things.” “

In 2010 it was announced that Finneran had been cast in Downton Abbey, a period drama depicting the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants. Upon its transmission, Downton Abbey received extensive critical acclaim, and strong viewing figures in both the UK and America.  Finneran’s character, lady’s maid Sarah O’Brien serves as an archetypal villain in the series’ narrative, whose schemes affect both her employers and her colleagues. The role was Finneran’s first in a costume drama. To become O’Brien, Finneran was required to wear “frumpy black” servants attire, a wig— which Finneran described as having “poodle curls” and “one bit [that is] proper bouffant” and spend around an hour in make-up each day to look less attractive.  Though screenwriter Julian Fellowes did not give her a backstory to work with, Finneran imagined that O’Brien was both traumatised by past experiences and, had accumulated anger, frustration and resentment issues from having worked in service all her life. In 2012 Finneran stated that she enjoyed the response to the character noting that viewers “love that she’s a nasty piece of work” and “love to dislike her”.

During her time on the show, the Downton Abbey cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012 (for series 2), and were nominated also in 2013 (for series 3).  Finneran announced her departure in March 2013, ahead of the fourth series, explaining that she had been signed for only three series and did not wish to extend her contract, adding: “When I stop loving something, I stop doing it.” BbLater that year, when asked by the Radio Times how her character’s abrupt exit would be handled, Finneran retorted: “I’m hoping she’s flung off the roof of the Abbey”.

In 2013 Finneran starred in the second series of The Syndicate on BBC1, portraying Mandy, a hospital worker and domestic abuse victim who wins the national lottery with her colleagues. Finneran was attracted to the role because of the suspense of her character’s storyline, and the challenge of keeping the abuse scenes as true-to-life as possible.  Also in 2013, Finneran portrayed Mrs Swift in The Selfish Giant an independent film inspired by both Oscar Wilde‘s short story of the same name and screenwriter and director Clio Barnard‘s personal experiences of the socially fragmented northern English underclass.  Finneran’s character is a troubled yet loving mother, who she describes as “not quite the full shilling”.  In spite of the tough subject matter of the film Finneran enjoyed the filming process noting that she felt “safe and secure” in the hands of Barnard, who she felt to be a calmer director than any other she had worked with.  For her portrayal, Finneran was nominated for the 2013 British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2014, Finneran appeared in the French-Language film Un Illustre Inconnu (Nobody from Nowhere). In her private life, 2014 saw Finneran obtain a divorce her husband, Mark Jordan.[2]

Also in 2014, Finneran portrayed recovering heroin addict Clare in BBC One‘s Happy Valley—a crime drama that centres on the personal and occupational struggles faced by Clare’s cohabitant sister, sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire)—to general acclaim. Whilst eulogising the series’ feminist credentials Gerald O’Donovan of The Daily Telegraph praised Finneran’s “quietly compelling performance” and the character’s “gritty wisdom” and stated viewers were unlikely to witness “a more believably crafted female character” that year. A second series aired in 2016, which gave more focus to Clare’s backstory, interpersonal relationships and struggles with alcoholism. Reviewing an episode of the second series, Jack Seale of The Guardian described Finneran as “brilliant” in her depiction of both Clare’s “jittery vulnerability” and portrayal of “a snarling addict who has relapsed”. In spite of the series’ subject matter, Finneran claimed that as an inept cook, she found having to peel carrots and act simultaneously the hardest part of filming. She blamed being given a faulty vegetable peeler by the props team in having to “hack” at the vegetables and opined that the end result of filming “looks like I’m digging a hole in the road.

By the time of Happy Valley‘s second series, Finneran had known Lancashire for over 30 years. Both their on-screen partnership and the depiction of middle-aged women in general in Happy Valley have been lauded as two of the series’ most distinctive elements by television journalists and critics. Reflecting on the series’ popularity, Finneran stated she felt viewers had taken the show to their hearts because the cast “reflected them” and “looked like real human beings with authentic emotions and flaws”. Radio Timesreviewer Alison Graham stated in 2016 that Finneran and Lancashire “should share every acting award going”. Happy Valley won the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series in Both 2015 and 2017.  Finneran was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2017.  Though correctly predicting that she would not win the award, Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraphidentified her as who he felt to be the deserving winner praising the “subtle, unfurling power” of her depiction. A third and final series of Happy Valley is expected to enter production, though not before Autumn 2018.

Between December 2014 and February 2015, Finneran appeared in the stage drama 3 Winters at the Royal National Theatre in London. In Autumn 2015 Finneran played a supporting role in the three part supernatural drama serial Midwinter of the Spirit.

In 2017, she portrayed real-life Detective Constable Christine Freeman in two-part drama The Moorside, a depiction of the 2008 disappearance of Shannon Matthews told from the perspective of the local community. Upon reading the script, Finneran felt that The Moorside told a necessary story that illuminated truths that had been distorted by media coverage.

Finneran’s next television role in 2017 was as Detective Chief Inspector Lauren Quigley, one of the protagonists in six-part ITV drama The Loch, a crime mystery set on the banks of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Quigley is an ambitious English career detective drafted in to investigate a serial killer and acts as a foil to the other protagonist, working mother and local woman DC Annie Redford (Laura Fraser). Finneran was keen to star in the series after reading the first three scripts and finding both her character and the small community setting intriguing, in addition to the prospect of working with a former Downton Abbey director (Brian Kelly) and Laura Fraser, whose acting she had long admired. Finneran based herself in Glasgow during the filming shoot and enjoyed “the buzz, the architecture, the social life”,describing the city as “one of my favourite places to ever work

In 2017, she played Nikki Kirkbright in ITV’s Cold Feet.

In 2018, Finneran played Becka Savage in the Doctor Who episode “The Witchfinders“.

In 2019 she played Sally Newell in The Widow episode “Poteza”.

Jessie Buckley
Jessie Buckley

IMDB:

Jessie Buckley is an Irish singer and actress, who came in second place in the BBC talent show-themed television series I’d Do Anything, and subsequently played Anne Egermann in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Most recently, Buckley appeared on three BBC television series, as Marya Bolkonskaya in BBC’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, as Lorna Bow in Taboo and as Honor Martin in The Last Post.

Buckley was born in Killarney, County Kerry, the eldest of five children. Her mother, Marina Cassidy, encouraged her to sing and coached her. She has a brother and three sisters. Buckley went to Ursuline Secondary School, an all-girls convent school in Thurles, County Tipperary, where her mother works as a vocal coach and where she performed in school productions. She played a number of male roles at school, including the male lead role of Jets gang founder Tony in the musical West Side Story and Freddie Trumper in Chess.

She has achieved Grade eight in piano, clarinet and harp with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is also a member of the Tipperary Millennium Orchestra. Buckley also attended The Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) workshops during the summer, to help improve her singing and acting; it was where she was then recognised as a talented actress and was encouraged to apply for Drama School in London. Just before she auditioned for I’d Do Anything, she was turned down by two drama schools, including one the day before her first audition for the show. In 2008, Buckley won the AIMS Best Actress award for her portrayal of Julie Jordan in the Killarney Musical Society production of Carousel.

Buckley competed in I’d Do Anything, a search for a new, unknown lead to play Nancy in a London West End stage revival of the British musical Oliver. Buckley reached the final on 31 May 2008, finishing in second place behind Jodie Prenger. Before the final vote was announced in Show two of the final, Graham Norton asked the panel who they each thought was Nancy. Three of the panel said Buckley and two Prenger. John Barrowman and Denise van Outen said “Jodie”, while Barry Humphries, Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber said “Jessie”. However, the public voted for Jodie.

uckley performed at the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday in the Park show in Hyde Park, London on 14 September 2008, singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” as a solo and “Light at the End of the Tunnel” from Starlight Express with fellow I’d Do Anything finalists Keisha Amponsa-Banson, Niamh Perry, Rachel Tucker as well as Any Dream Will Do finalists Daniel Boys, Lewis Bradley, Ben James-Ellis and Keith Jack. On 18 September she and Aoife Mulholland performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at an Andrew Lloyd Webber evening at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. On 26 August 2008 Buckley performed on Denny Street in Tralee, Co. Kerry where the first ever Millionaire raffle was broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1. After this, Jessie performed at a charity concert in Tipperary, where she announced that she would be starting rehearals for A Little Night Music in London the following Monday.

Buckley was offered the opportunity to understudy Nancy, but turned it down in favour of another production: on 10 October 2008 it was announced that Buckley would be appearing in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, in the role of Anne Egerman, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a fringe Studio Theatre, in London from 22 November 2008 to 8 March 2009. She appeared alongside Maureen Lipman and Hannah Waddingham in the production, which was directed by Trevor Nunn. A Little Night Music transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End on 7 April 2009 (previews from 28 March – 6 April). A Little Night Music was Buckley’s West End debut. The show closed on 25 July 2009. Since then, she has appeared in a number of concerts nationally, including a Christmas concert alongside Maria Friedman, Cantabile – the London Quartet and Tim Rice, and in February 2010 appeared alongside Daniel Boys (and Night Music co-star Kelly Price) in a series of Valentine musical concerts.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: ahmetkozan

Rory Keenan

Irish actor Rory Keenan has worked extensively in theatre and film. He performed leading roles on the London stage, he has also appeared in TV and film projects such as Peaky Blinders, War & Peace, Birdsong, The Guard, and soon Versailles. Rory resides in London, England where he continues to work regularly in theatre.

Rory Keenan
Moe Dunford
Moe Dunford

IMDB Entry:

Moe Dunford is an actor, known for Vikings (2013), Patrick’s Day (2014) and Gridlock(2016).   Named as one of European films’ Shooting Stars by European Film Promotion. [2015]   In 2015, he received an IFTA in the category of Best Actor in a Lead Role in Film for Patrick’s Day.   He grew up in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland.   In 2016, he received an IFTA in the category of Best Actor in a Supporting Role in TV Drama for Vikings.

Killian Scott
Killian Scott
Killian Scott

Killian Scott.

Killian Scott was born on 6 July 1985) is an Irish actor. He is best known for his role as Tommy in the RTÉ One series Love/Hate.

The youngest of six children, Scott grew up in SandymountDublin, and attended St Michael’s College on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4. His siblings include Fine Gael politician Eoghan Murphy and playwright Colin Murphy.[1] His interest in acting was inspired by his brother Eoghan’s performance in a school production of Hamlet. He studied English and Philosophy at University College Dublin before moving to London to study at the Drama Centre.

Initially starting out in theatre, he changed his name to Killian Scott to avoid confusion with Cillian Murphy, another Irish actor. He earned fame in Ireland for the role of Tommy in Love/Hate, which first started airing in 2010. During the next few years, Scott appeared in small roles in films including ’71 and Calvary, as well as starring in 2013’s Black Ice.

Programme Name: Dublin Murders – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: *First look image* (l-r) Rob (KILLIAN SCOTT), Cassie (SARAH GREENE) – (C) Euston Films – Photographer: Steffan Hill

After Love/Hate finished, Scott appeared in his first lead role in Irish thriller film Traders in 2015. Scott joined Ripper Street for series four and five in 2016, portraying Assistant Commissioner Augustus Dove. The same year, he appeared in Trespass Against Us.  In 2017, he appeared in Strike as D.I. Eric Wardle. The same year, he was cast as the lead in Damnation, replacing Aden Young, who departed the show due to creative differences. Due to Young’s departure, Scott filmed the pilot episode within a week of being cast in late 2016. The series was picked up by USA Network in June 2017, with filming beginning the following month. Damnation was cancelled after its first season ended in January 2018. He starred in The Commuter with Liam Neeson in 2018, and described the film as a “genuine career highlight”.

In 2019, Scott starred alongside Sarah Greene in Dublin Murders, based on the Dublin Murder Squad book series by Tana French. He portrays lead character Detective Rob Reilly and adopted an English accent for the role. The series was filmed in Belfast and Dublin over seven months.

Barry Ward
Barry Ward
Barry Ward
Barry Ward
Barry Ward

 

 

Made his debut at 13 years of age in Family, directed by Michael Winterbottom. The following year he appeared on stage for the first time in Buddleia as part of Dublin Theatre Festival before transferring to Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End. He has since starred in 20 theatrical productions. Soon to be seen as Sawyer in Britannia and as Barry in Save Me, both for Sky Atlantic, and as Gordon Close in feature film Maze.

Denise Gough
Denise Gough
Denise Gough

Denise Gough is an Irish actress. She has received a number of accolades for her work in theatre, including two Laurence Olivier Awards as well as a nomination for a Tony Award.

Born in Wexford and grew up in EnnisCo. Clare, daughter of an electrician, Gough is the seventh of eleven siblings. One of her younger sisters is the actress Kelly Gough. She trained as a soprano before leaving Ireland for London at 15. She was awarded a grant to study at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in Wandsworth aged 18,  and graduated from ALRA in 2003.

In 2012, she was nominated for the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her performances in Eugene O’Neill‘s Desire Under the Elms at the Lyric Hammersmith and Nancy Harris‘s Our New Girl at the Bush Theatre.  In January 2014 she was Julia in The Duchess of Malfi, the inaugural production at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London.[6] At the National Theatre, London, in September 2015 she presented an “electrifying” performance as a recovering substance user in Duncan Macmillan‘s People, Places and Things, directed by Jeremy Herrin. She reprised the role when the production transferred to the Wyndham’s Theatre in March 2016, and subsequently won the Olivier Award for Best Actress. She returned to the National Theatre in April 2017 playing the role of Harper in Marianne Elliot‘s revival of Tony Kushner‘s play Angels in America, for which she won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Gough then returned to People, Places & Things for its New York transfer. In February 2018, Gough returned to the role of Harper in the Broadway transfer of the National Theatre’s production of Angels in America, alongside the majority of the London cast.

Damien Malony
Damien Malony
Damien Malony

Wikipedia entry:

Damien Molony (born 21 February 1984) is an Irish actor now based in London. He is best known for his television roles as Hal in BBC Three’s Being Human, DC Albert Flight in the BBC’s Ripper Street and DS Jack Weston in Channel 5’sSuspects.

Molony grew up in Johnstown Bridge, County Kildare, Ireland. After graduating from the Drama Centre London in 2011, he co-starred as Giovanni in a production of theJohn Ford play ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, directed by Jonathan Munby.

Molony’s casting as vampire Hal in the BBC Three series Being Human[2] brought him his first television credit. In an interview with SFX magazine, Molony revealed that when approaching the role of Hal he did research on drug addicts and alcoholics.[3] He has previously starred in the short film When the Hurlyburly’s Done,[4] filmed in Germany.[5]

After the filming of series 4 of Being Human, Damien played the lead role of Motl Mendl in the National Theatre production of Travelling Light alongside Sir Antony Sher. Following the London run, the play toured England before returning to the National Theatre in late April 2012.[6]He returned to the National Theatre in January 2015 to play Spike in Sir Tom Stoppard‘s The Hard Problem, which ran until 17 May 2015 and was broadcast live to cinemas across the world via NT Live on 16 April 2015. Both plays were directed by the then Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Sir Nicholas Hytner.

The fifth and final series of Being Human was screened in February–March 2013. At the same time Molony starred in the play “If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep” at the Royal Court Theatre.[7]

Damien’s television slate grew when he joined the cast of Victorian BBC show Ripper Street in series 2 as Detective Constable Albert Flight. He appeared in 7 of 8 episodes, airing November-December 2013 on BBC One in the UK and February-April 2014 on BBC America. The crime drama was set in London’s Whitechapel in the period following the Jack the Ripper murders.

Molony has starred alongside William Gaminara in the play The Body of an American by Dan O’Brien in January-February 2014 at the Gate Theatre (London) about the conversation of a war photographer and a struggling playwright. [8] Molony then starred as Detective Sergeant Jack Weston in innovative crime procedural Suspects. The drama is shot in a documentary style, using fly-on-the-wall filming techniques. Series 1, comprising 5 episodes, aired in February-March 2014 on Channel 5 in the UK. Series 4 has been announced for late 2015.

Molony was cast as Ross in the feature film Kill Your Friends, adapted from the novel by John Niven, set in the music industry in the Britpop era. The film is due for a UK and Ireland release in November 2015.

He subsequently went on to film Tiger Raid in the deserts of Jordan, alongside Brian Gleeson and Sofia Boutella. The feature film, a dark thriller about a tiger kidnapping in Iraq, is set to premiere at a film festival in late 2015. Molony’s also been cast as Robert Putnam in an upcoming HBO pilot, The Devil You Know, created by Jenji Kohan and directed by Gus Van Sant. The story is set in 17th century New England and focuses on the Salem witch trials.

In September-October 2015 Molony starred alongside Aidan McArdle and Adam Fergus in the RTÉ One crime drama mini-series Clean Break.

His most recent TV role is as Anthony in the Phoebe Waller-Bridge comedy Crashing on Channel 4.

Hugh O’Conor
Hugh O'Conor
Hugh O’Conor

TCM Overview:

A young dramatic actor began acting at the age of eight in the TV show “The Irish RM” (RTE). He went on to appear in “Rawhead Rex” and “Fear of the Dark” as well as radio dramas and stage shows like “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”   O’Conor was still a relative unknown pre-teen when he co-starred with Liam Neeson in the British-made feature “Lamb” (1985). O’Conor played the ten-year-old Owen, a lonely epileptic boy who is temporarily rescued from a violent and oppressive children’s home by Brother Sebastian (Neeson). It was three years before the actor landed another major film role, that of the youthful version of the Martin Sheen’s narrator (seen in flashbacks) in the 1988 film adaptation of Hugh Leonard’s heartwarming Tony-winning play “Da.”

His next film was his biggest hit to date, the Daniel Day Lewis tour de force “My Left Foot” (1989). Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film told the story of the severely handicapped writer Christy Brown. Once again, O’Conor played the lead as a child, but this was a much more demanding and widely-seen performance. Much lighter in tone was the big-budget remake of “The Three Musketeers” (1993), in which O’Conor played the Boy King Louis, who is protected from assassination by the title characters. The film, which included a bit of updated wisecracking by its stars Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell, got a mixed reception.   O’Conor’s first starring role came with Ben Ross’ dark British comedy “The Young Poisoner’s Handbook” (1995), in which he was an amateur toxicologist unwisely paroled from prison after testing his theories on family and friends, with fatal results. Based on a true story, it was a thoroughly unpleasant bit of work, yet found an appreciative audience. The following year, O’Conor played a teen trying to form a rock band in 1959 Russia in “Red Hot.”

Jeananne Crowley
Jeananne Crowley
Jeananne Crowley

Jeananne Crowley (born 18 December 1949) is an Irish actress and writer, remembered for her collaborations in British film and television. She appeared in the film Educating Rita and is possibly best known for her role as Nellie Keene in the BBC drama series Tenko.

More recently, Crowley has appeared in The Clinic and Proof. Other television credits include The Onedin Line, Shoestring, Reilly, Ace of Spies and Doctor Who (in the serial Timelash, as Princess Vena). The Racing Game as Meg Appleby.   She also appeared in several movies, including Educating Rita alongside Julie Walters and Michael Caine.   Crowley is a veteran stage actress, having been a member of the National Theatre for a period in the 1970s,[1] and has also made appearances at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, including one in Pygmalion in 2004,[2] and as the lead in Tom Stoppard‘s Arcadia.

Crowley is also a prolific writer; she has written two plays, one of which was performed at the Royal Court Theatre, and has also been a regular contributor to national newspapers, including the Sunday Times, The Observer, The Guardian and the Irish Times. In 2002, she was a judge for the Irish Novelist of the Year competition.

Sarah Greene
Sarah Greene
Sarah Greene

 

IMDB Entry:

Sarah is originally from Cork and trained in Dublin where she graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2006.

Sarah played Helen McCormick (Slippy Helen) opposite Daniel Radcliffe as Billy Claven in Martin McDonaghs’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, directed by Michael Grandage at the Cort Theatre on Broadway,NYC. Sarah was nominated for a TONY award (Best Actress in a Featured Role) 2014 for her performance in this show, one for which she was already nominated for an Olivier Award in 2013 during it’s West End run and for which she was awarded the 2014 World Theater Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.

Other theatre includes Rough Magic’s production of PEER GYNT for Dublin Theatre Festival 2011 her acclaimed performance as Alice in thisispopbaby’s and the Abbey Theatre’s hugely successful production ALICE INFUNDERLAND in 2012. She also appeared in ELLEMENOPE JONES both directed by Wayne Jordan at The Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 2011. Sarah appeared as Sorcha in Paul Howard’s play BETWEEN FOXROCK AND A HARDPLACE at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and Cork Opera House. She played Ismene in Rough Magic’s production of PHAEDRA by Hilary Fannin, directed by Lynne Parker as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Sarah appeared as Amber in Guna Nua’s award winning and highly acclaimed production of LITTLE GEM which won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and led to a remounting of the production in New York as well as tours across the UK and Ireland. Other previous productions have included: Danti Dan for Galloglass, The Death of Harry Leon for Ouroboros, The Year of the Hiker and The Playboy of The Western World, The Empress of India, and most recently Big Maggie, all with Druid Theatre Company and directed by Garry Hynes.    Sarah stars as Christina Noble alongside Deirdre O’Kane, Liam Cunnigham and Brendan Coyle in Stephen Bradley’s feature NOBLE and has already won awards Jury and Audience awards at the Boston Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Newport Beach Festival, Nashville and Dallas Festivals.

In 2014, Sarah was cast alongside Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller in The Weinstein’s ‘Untitled John Wells Project’ and joined the cast of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful playing Hecate Poole.

Other film and television includes: RAW RTE/Ecosse Films, EDEN/Samson Films, SPEED DATING/RTE, BACHELOR’S WALK/Samson Films/RTE. She played the leading role of Cathleen in the Canadian/Irish feature LOVE AND SAVAGERY directed by John N. Smith. MY BROTHERS (Treasure Films) and THE GUARD (Element) opposite Brendan Gleeson. She most recently appeared as Judith in three episodes of VIKINGS (History Channel/MGM).

– IMDb Mini Biography By: The Lisa Richards Agency   

The above IMDB Entry can also be accessed online here.

Programme Name: Dublin Murders – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: *First look image* (l-r) Rob (KILLIAN SCOTT), Cassie (SARAH GREENE) – (C) Euston Films – Photographer: Steffan Hill
Sarah Greene
Gabrielle Reidy
Gabrielle Reidy
Gabrielle Reidy

Gabrielle Reidy

“Guardian” obituary by Michael Coveney from Oct 2014:

The Irish actor Gabrielle Reidy, who has died of cancer aged 54, made her first appearance at the Abbey theatre in Dublin as a child and her last, four years ago, as Bessie Burgess in an acclaimed production of Seán O’Casey’s masterpiece about the Easter Rising, The Plough and the Stars. In between, she had a varied career in television, film and on the stage, which included playing mother to both Scarlett Johansson and Daniel Radcliffe, respectively, in the film Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003) and the West End revival in 2007 of Peter Shaffer’s Equus. In the latter, she was a flaky, Bible-thumping teacher and it was typical of her that she made the small role vivid and memorable without being self-aggrandising. Fiery and determined in life, with a broad open face and strong presence on stage, she was always asked to play the sort of tough maternal roles for which, ironically, she was now, in late middle age, best suited.

She was the youngest of three daughters, raised in Malahide, Co Dublin, of Robert Reidy, a pilot with Aer Lingus, and his wife, Patricia. Still a schoolgirl, Gabrielle appeared at the Abbey in 1971 in O’Casey’s The Shadow of a Gunman. Joining the Trinity College Players the minute she went to the university, she performed in the Irish premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Footfalls aged 17 and is remembered, too, for an emotionally powerful version of Racine’s Phaedra.

Her career gathered momentum when she appeared in Graham Reid’s first play, The Death of Humpty Dumpty (1979), at the Abbey, a searing study of sectarian violence in Belfast, with Colm Meaney and Liam Neeson; 10 years later, she was in Michael Harding’s strange and disturbing Una Pooka, also at the Abbey, a play about homicide and impersonation, with Sean McGinley and Barry McGovern. Also in 1989, she filmed an Abbey solo show, Fragments of Isabella, the diary of a Holocaust survivor, which she also played in French at the Avignon festival. The previous year she had appeared at the Gate in Frank McGuinness’s fine version of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, directed by Patrick Mason.   She moved to London and appeared in Julian Garner’s The Awakening (1990) at Hampstead theatre, embodying a sort of aphrodisiac to loneliness, a remarkable performance, in a story of redemption and child abuse on a remote Norwegian farm; and as an Irish writer revisiting her childhood in Geraldine Aron’s Same Old Moon (1991) at the Globe (now the Gielgud) in the West End.

She was in Women of Troy directed by Annie Castledine at the National Theatre (1995), Much Ado About Nothing (2004, as Borachio) directed by Tamara Harvey at Shakespeare’s Globe, and, significantly, García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba (1998) and Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms (1995), both directed by Polly Teale for Shared Experience. In the latter, she met her future husband, the actor Gary Lilburn; as Abbie, a rural giant whose body is a symbolic battlefield, Reidy hit the heights in a storming display of fierce sexual yearning. And she became a regular on popular television series such as The Bill, Peak Practice and Holby City.

Her last appearance in an English production was in Andrew Sheridan’s Winterlong (2011), directed by Sarah Frankcom at the Royal Exchange in Manchester and the Soho theatre in London, a strange but talented play asking how best to express love in an apocalyptic climate. Her Bessie Burgess in Dublin (a 2012 Abbey theatre production of The Plough and Stars also toured in Ireland and the UK), a Protestant fruit vendor who expresses grief and sorrow in the Troubles and is shot in the back for her pains, linked her indelibly to the great Abbey tradition she so loved; the great Siobhán McKenna’s performance in the role had changed her life when she saw it as a child.

Other movies included Alan J Pakula’s IRA terrorist thriller The Devil’s Own (1997), starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford, and Joel Schumacher’s Veronica Guerin (2003), in which Cate Blanchett played the campaigning Irish journalist. Gabrielle’s last major television work was playing a mother superior in this year’s BBC series The Musketeers. She had lately taken up, and much enjoyed, teaching at the Mountview drama school in London.

She is survived by her sisters, and by Gary, and their teenage son, Finn.

• Gabrielle Mary Reidy, actor, born 23 July 1960; died 13 October 2014

The above “Guardian” obituary can also be accessed online here.

Ned Dennehy

IMDB Entry:

Ned Dennehy (born 8 December, 1965) he is an Irish actor, who has appeared in British and Irish films and television.   His most notable film role to date is Tommy in Tyrannosaur. He has also appeared in Blitz, he played Alderton in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, – Part 1 and the independent British feature film Downhill.   His television work includes RTÉ’s Damo and Ivor and BBC dramas Parade’s End, Luther, Peaky Blinders, and the Leading role of Letters Malloy in Banished and Dickensian.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Ann White

Frank Kelly

 

Frank Kelly will always be remembered as “Fr Jack” in the classic cult TV series “Fr Ted”.   He died in 2016.

“Telegraoh” obituary:

Frank Kelly, who has died aged 77, was the actor best known for playing the irascible, foul-mouthed Father Jack Hackett in the sitcom Father Ted, which was broadcast on Channel 4 from 1995 until 1998.

Kelly’s acting career spanned some 60 years and he was already well known in his native Ireland for his work on the satirical television comedy show Hall’s Pictorial Weekly

(1971-1980), before his role as Father Jack brought him to a wider audience. Father Ted followed the hapless adventures of three priests who have found themselves exiled – for various misdemeanours – on Craggy Island, a fictional island off the west coast of Ireland, along with their chaotic and batty housekeeper, Mrs Doyle.

Much of the success of the series lay in the fond irreverence of the writing (by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan) and the interaction between the amiable but somewhat wayward Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan – who died in 1998, shortly after the series ended), the doltish Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O’Hanlon) and Kelly’s Father Jack, best known for his liberal use of the word “feck” (as well as “arse”, “girls” and “drink”).

With his wall eye, wild grey hair, alcoholic incoherence and occasional lapses into mindless violence, Father Jack delighted viewers and became something of a cult figure. The reason behind his enforced exile was, as with his fellow priests, somewhat unclear, but seemed to be connected to his behaviour at a wedding. Once ensconced on Craggy Island, however, he was always treated with benign tolerance by Fathers Ted and Dougal.

Despite his appalling antics (including, in his attempt to get hold of some “drink”, downing both Toilet Duck and Windolene), Father Jack somehow retained a grandfatherly presence in the series. Kelly later said that he was occasionally approached by young priests who would tell him that they too were taking care of a much older man. “They’ll say, ‘how do you know about ours?’” he explained in 2015. “[He’s] not without foundation in reality.”

Kelly himself could not have been less like his character. Softly spoken, genial and conservative in temperament, he was modest about his own achievements in the show (“Every raised eyebrow is in the script”) and did not seem to mind that other professional achievements were often overshadowed by his role as the outrageous old priest. He treasured one particular page of the script, which he kept for years after the show ended. It read: “Caution. It is very dangerous to approach Father Jack.”

Frank Kelly was born Francis O’Kelly in Dublin on December 28 1938, one of six children of the Irish cartoonist and satirist, Charles E Kelly, and educated at Blackrock College, where he was a schoolboy opera star, before going on to read Law at University College, Dublin. He was called the bar at King’s Inns but decided to switch to acting as a career.

His first film role was as a prison officer in The Italian Job (1969), and from 1968 until 1982 he appeared in the RTÉ children’s series Wanderly Wagon. His work on Hall’s Pictorial Weekly, made his name in Ireland. The show’s satirical take on the country’s politics was such that it was said to have played a part in bringing down the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition government in 1977.

From 1999 to 2001 Kelly starred in the RTÉ series Glenroe. Other parts included a role in 2003 as John Smith, leader of the Labour Party, in the Stephen Frears drama The Deal.

In 2010, he joined the ITV soap Emmerdale, but left after five months because he missed his family and Ireland. He also appeared as the judge in Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

He married Bairbre Neldon in 1964. She survives him with their seven children.

Frank Kelly, born December 28 1938, died February 28 2016

 
 
Nick Duning
Nick Duning
Nick Duning
Nick Duning
Nick Duning

Nick Dunning (born 1959) is an Anglo-Irish actor.

Born in London, Dunning is a well known theatre actor who attended RADA (Dip Hons), where he won the Ronson Prize for Most Promising Young Actor. He has appeared on stage in the West End in London and at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. He has won two Irish Times Theatre awards. He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. To date, he is best known for his role as Thomas Boleyn in The Tudors, a Showtime original series, for which he won an IFTA award for Best Supporting Actor.[1] He has also appeared in numerous popular British TV shows such as Waking the Dead, Kavanagh QC, and the Midsomer Murders episode Death’s Shadow. He is currently starring in a production of Dangerous Liaisons at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

Dunning was head of development at the now defunct website www.screenwritingonthenet.com. He wrote two books on screenwriting. He also wrote the screenplay for The Lorelei, directed by Terry Johnson, BBC Screen Two. He has developed several works for TV. He is currently writing a play with the Gate Theatre, Dublin, and developing a screenplay with a freelance TV and film director.

Dunning attended a private school in London and a comprehensive school in Leicester.[2]

Dunning has been married to Lise-Anne McLaughlin since 1992. Their children are Kitty and Phoebe. He lives in Dalkey, Dublin.[2]

Zara Turner
Zara Turner
Zara Turner
Zara Turner
Zara Turner

Zara Turner appeared alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah in the 1998 romantic drama film Sliding Doors, and as Dr. Angela Moloney (again with John Hannah) in the television series McCallum (1995–1998).[1] In 2001, she appeared in the comedy film On the Nose as Carol Lenahan, with Dan Aykroyd and Robbie Coltrane.

Turner has won the Best Actress award at the Reims International Television Festival and the Golden FIPA at the 2004 Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels.

Ms Turner is married to fellow actor Reece Dinsdale and they live in Yorkshire, England with their children

Michael Smiley
Michael Smiley
Michael Smiley

Michael Smiley was born in 1963 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is an actor, known forPerfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), The World’s End (2013) and Kill List (2011). He is married to Miranda Sawyer. They have one childIn 1993 he was a runner up at the So You Think You’re Funny competition at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Was a cycle courier before he moved into the entertainment business, where he is perhaps best known as a Stand-Up comedian.
 
2014 article in “Belfast Telegraph”:

If you don’t already own a bicycle then be prepared to want to rush out and buy one after you hear how the star of stand-up, TV and film enthuses about them

The Holywood-born comic and actor believes bicycles are THE best invention of the past 100 years.

While Michael’s acting career has seen him star in a long and impressive list of movies and TV dramas, last year he landed his dream job when BBC Northern Ireland asked him to hop on his bike and visit many of his old stomping grounds around the province for a new three-part series.

Beginning tonight, Something To Ride Home About sees Michael indulge his infatuation for cycling, giving his own unique comic insight into the places and the people who share his zeal for two wheels.

It was his love affair with bikes which led to his acting debut when a friend created a character for him – Tyres O’Flaherty, the bicycle riding raver who starred in two episodes of the cult Channel 4 sitcom Spaced.

It was based on Michael’s days working as a cycle courier in London before he got his big break on stage as a stand-up comic.

Currently in Kerry filming sci-fi romance The Lobster with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, Smiley is very open when I ask him about all aspects of his life and career.

Strikingly, even though he has lived in London for the last 30 of his 51 years he hasn’t lost an ounce of his strong Northern Irish accent. Nor is there a hint of a superstar ego, despite his considerable success and fame as both a comic and actor.

Married twice and a father of four, Michael and his first wife Merilees – whom he describes as his childhood sweetheart – left Northern Ireland in 1983 to start a new life in London.

The couple, who are still best friends, have two children, Dillon (30) and Jasmine (26).

Michael’s second wife, meanwhile, is journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer, with whom he has two children, Patrick (8) and Frankie May (3).

Incidentally, Merilees is godmother to his two younger children. He says: “We all get on great and are best mates.”

Michael grew up in Redburn in Holywood and recalls the story of his birth which he says his late parents were often fond of telling him: “I was born in my mum and dad’s bedroom in the winter of 1963.

“The snow was up to the window ledge and my poor dad had to walk to my granny’s house in Belfast to get milk and coal. It was that winter everyone references as one of the worst and my first cot was a bottom drawer in my mum’s dresser.

“I was the baby of the family. I have a brother, John, who lives in America and a sister, Collette, who still lives in Holywood. My mum passed away three years ago and my dad seven years ago and my big sister is great, she has always been there for me.”

Growing up he describes himself as “a wee tearaway” who was “always chasing girls, blowing smoke and drinking cider”.

Mum Alice was a seamstress and dad Frank a post office engineer, and they worked and saved hard to give their youngest a good education, paying for him to go to boarding school from the age of 11 until 16.

“Unfortunately it didn’t really work,” says Michael. “I wasn’t an ideal pupil. I was a bit skittish and had a short attention span and was really hyperactive. I still haven’t settled down.

“After boarding school I went to college in Belfast but I felt slightly disjointed and in the Eighties there was nothing really happening in Northern Ireland apart from the Troubles.

“There was a bit of a music scene in Belfast but no big bands were really coming to the city and I didn’t know any creative people back then, no writers or actors or musicians.”

He decided to move to London when he was 20 with no real career goal.

He did various jobs working on building sites and spent some time on the dole before getting a job as a cycle courier.

It was a friend who recognised his natural talent for making people laugh and persuaded him to go on stage at an open mic night in London in 1993.

“He used to drag me to comedy clubs and one night persuaded me to take a slot which I did and my life changed,” recalls Michael.

“It was amazing. I got up on stage and I was so excited and nervous and that night I couldn’t sleep. I just felt this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

“I started to write material and for the next 20 years I did stand-up all over the world.”

He was writing and performing one-man shows in Edinburgh when he got the chance to make his acting debut in 1999 in a role that was specially written for him.

“Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson were writing Spaced for Channel Four and they based the character Tyres O’Flaherty on me from my time as a cycle courier. They asked me to play him and I jumped at it.”

Two series of seven episodes of Spaced each were broadcast in 1999 and 2001 on Channel 4, and became an instant cult hit, not only for the witty dialogue and numerous pop culture references, but also the ‘will they, won’t they?’ relationship of the two leads.

A long list of acting roles followed including playing Jordan, a former member of the Parachute Regiment, in 2008 horror film Outpost, as well as a Tyres-like zombie cameo in old pal Pegg’s movie Shaun Of The Dead.

In 2003, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio drama Creatures Of Beauty and in 2004 appeared in an episode of Hustle as Max the forger.

He has also appeared in all three series of The Maltby Collection on Radio 4 as Des Wainwright, an eccentric security guard who keeps repeating himself and reminding people he was in the SAS. In 2010, he reunited with his Spaced co-stars for a major role in the film Burke And Hare and further cemented his cult credentials in 2011 after starring in the graphic and bleak British horror film Kill List.

The film received critical acclaim, and earned him the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2011 British Independent Film Awards.

Last year he appeared in an episode of BBC1’s Ripper Street as George Lusk, and the critically acclaimed Channel 4 shows Utopia, as Detective Reynolds, and Black Mirror, as Baxter.

The list of credits goes on and on and this year he has been just as busy, playing Micky Murray in BBC Four’s The Life Of Rock and filming one of the first episodes of the eighth full series of Doctor Who, playing a character by the name of Colonel Blue. While he is enjoying great success and increasing recognition, Michael remembers all too clearly what it was like to be unemployed. “I spent a long time not knowing what I wanted to do and being fearful of life and worrying about not being able to support my wife and family,” he says.

“It wasn’t a happy time for me, but I am blessed with good friends and beautiful relationships in my life.

“It took other people to see the talent and I think that for many people it takes those who love you to help you.

“At school I never settled and was always the class joker. Now I’m older I realise that exams at school give you the ability to concentrate.

“Its only now that I am capable of doing that, although there is still a wee part of me that wants to run around and blow raspberries.

“Real success takes work. It has taken me 20 years to be an overnight success.

“You have to work hard; it doesn’t just drop in your lap. Each time you learn from your mistakes and so the next time you can do it better.

“It’s like an education for my soul. I feel like I am learning every day now when I wasn’t as a child.”

Although he does return home from time to time to see his sister, his new BBC series filmed last year was his first chance to spend some quality time at home since he left for London 31 years ago.

The fact that he got to spend it indulging his passion for his beloved cycling was incredible to him, and it’s obvious he loved every minute.

He lifts cycling onto a whole new plain as he extols its many virtues. “I’ve always had a love affair with cycling. Bicycles are by far the best invention of the past 100 years, they save your life.

“People in villages were able to escape and find work through bicycles and were able to shop for food at markets and get their kids to school.

“Cycling helps you get fitter and it also helps the planet. It calms the body and dispels depression.

“If you are feeling p****d off, just cycle for five minutes and I can guarantee you that you won’t be feeling that anymore.

“You meet other cyclists and it lifts your spirits. It’s not like being stuck in a gym – you are out in the countryside, smelling our cows*** and freshly-cut grass and feeling the sun on your face and the rush of fresh air. You meet a better class of people and as HG Wells said, ‘When I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair of the human race’.”

On his travels with the series he rides some of our most stunning local scenery, tries some alternative cycling disciplines and meets a number of local enthusiasts including a world record holder, and Newtownards-born cycling world championship gold medallist – and BBC NI Sports Personality of The Year 2013 – Martyn Irvine.

“The fact it wasn’t studio-based really appealed to me, I loved it,” says Michael.

“Chris Jones of Green Inc had the idea for the series and I just thought it was fantastic.

“When I left Northern Ireland in the 1980s I remembered it as being very parochial back then.”The show made me realise there were three types of people in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – the ones who left and never came back, the ones who left but came back and the people who stayed. To me the people who didn’t leave are the real heroes”Despite all the rubbish that was going on they stayed and educated their kids and did what they could under difficult circumstances.      It was incredible to get the chance to talk to these people and to get a bit of the Northern Ireland craic.   “No one has a turn of phrase like we have here, or the humility.

“I got to talk to Isobel Woods in her home. Isobel set and held Irish records for cycling which were not broken until about six years ago.   “She still holds seven records no one has broken.  “She broke my heart, she is my hero, and I just fell in love with her.”  The show has renewed Michael’s love for his home country and has given him a new goal – to buy a camper van and tour Ireland with his children.   “Sadly I haven’t got back home much over the years, mainly for funerals,” he says.   “I am going to change that next year and buy a Mazda Bongo and take my children touring the north and south of Ireland.”

Michael Smiley: Something To Ride Home About begins on BBC1 Northern Ireland tonight at 10.20pm

In Something to Ride Home About, Michael begins his journey in Belfast and visits St George’s Market, before meeting one of only six Penny Farthing owners in Northern Ireland.   Meanwhile, viewers also get a sneak peek behind the doors of a community cycle workshop which provides repairs and servicing for bikes in the city.   And after a visit to his home town of Holywood, Michael gets to meet keen cyclist, acclaimed photographer and one of his own personal heroes, Bill Kirk, in Newtownards.

He also experiences a hairy moment with a ladies cycling club in Armagh, drops in on a world record holder in Lisburn, puts himself on trial against the clock in Dungannon and meets a fellow comic on the banks of the Foyle.   Producer Chris Jones, from Green Inc, says: “In my opinion, Smiley is our finest actor and funniest comedian.   “We were thrilled to be working with him on this series that lets Michael revel in two things he’s brilliant at: cycling and telling funny stories.

“It’s his first outing as a presenter on a BBC NI series and you won’t need to be a cyclist to enjoy it. Yes, although Smiley is a keen cyclist he didn’t cover the full length and breadth of Northern Ireland but he certainly brings us to some breathtaking and interesting places and we get to meet some very fascinating people with great stories to tell with a lot of laughs guaranteed along the way with Michael. Maybe it might inspire some people to get on their bike!”

The above “Belfast Telegraph” article can also be accessed online here.

Phyllis Ryan

Jacqueline Ryan & Phyllis Ryan

Jacqueline Ryan & Phyllis Ryan

 

 

 

Biography from the Irish Theatre Institute:

Phyllis was born in Dublin in 1920. At the age of 13 she was accepted into the Abbey School and at 14 made her Abbey debut in Denis Johnston’s play The Moon and the Yellow River. In 1937, at 16 she played ‘Brigid’, the lead, in Paul Vincent Carroll’s play Shadow and Substance, directed by Hugh Hunt, and was then recommended for membership of the Abbey Company. With the appointment of Ernest Blythe as the Abbey’s managing director, Phyllis left the company and pursued a successful freelance acting career. By that time, 1944, she had performed in over 28 Abbey and Peacock productions and worked with the greats of Irish theatre including Eileen Crowe, Cyril Cusack, Barry Fitzgerald, F.J. McCormick, Ria Mooney and Shelah Richards.

Phyllis moved into theatrical management in 1956 and set up Orion Productions. Then, in 1958, she formed Gemini Productions with the actor Norman Rodway. The company was based for many years in the Eblana Theatre (at Busáras) and established itself very quickly as a leading producer of new Irish writing. Gemini had very important and successful relationships with many leading Irish writers including Hugh Leonard and John B. Keane. In the mid 1960s, Gemini had huge commercial success with The Field (Ray McAnally as Bull McCabe) and Big Maggie (Marie Kean as Maggie). Also, in the 1960s she produced world premiere productions of Eugene McCabe’s King of the Castle, Máiréad Ni Ghráda’s An Triail (English language version On Trial) and Tom Murphy’s The Orphans. Gemini produced many world premieres of Hugh Leonard plays, often in association with the Dublin Theatre Festival. Her most significant Leonard production was Stephen D at The Gate for the 1962 Dublin Theatre Festival which, following a capacity sellout run in Dublin, travelled to the West End and launched T.P. McKenna and Norman Rodway’s careers in the UK.

In the mid-1970s, Phyllis was instrumental in setting up the state funded Irish Theatre Company and was its first Artistic Director. ITC was founded “to present plays and theatrical entertainments of a high standard round Ireland”[1]. ITC had also a remit to give employment to actors and throughout Phyllis’ producing career she was a significant employer of actors and was especially keen to spot new acting, directing and playwriting talent.

Phyllis produced more that 100 plays and revues over her long career in theatre of which about 40 were new plays or adaptations. For many years in the Eblana Theatre, Gemini produced revues with some of Ireland’s leading theatre names including Des Keogh, Rosaleen Linehan and Fergus Linehan. The Black Rosie revue, written by Fergus Linehan, is considered to be one of Gemini’s Productions’ highlights.

In later years Phyllis made a return to acting and worked on a number of productions with director, Michael Scott including his Cuchulain Cycle.Phyllis’ final stage performance was in 2000 in Deborah Warner’s production of Medea starring Fiona Shaw for the Abbey Theatre.

Phyllis received a number of awards including honorary life membership of Irish Actors Equity and in 2002 she was recipient of the Special Tribute Award at the Irish Times/ESB Theatre Awards. She wrote and published her memoire, The Company I Kept, in 1996.

Phyllis married Sean Colleary in 1941 and had two children Jacqui and Graham (Gregg). Phyllis died on 7th June 2011.

The above biography can also be accessed   online here.

Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie

Image result for thelma ramsey martin crosbie

 

“Wikipedia” entry:

Martin Crosbie (1911 – 10 February 1982) was an Irish tenor and older brother to Paddy Crosbie of The School Around the Corner.

Martin, who was affectionately known as “The Miller’s daughter”, a song he made his own, started in show business in his early 30s

The eldest in a family of four, he was christened John Martin but was known as Mossy to his family and friends. His mother and father came from Wexford town. His father, Martin Crosbie, was a foreman-fitter and turner on the Permanent way, that is the tracks section, of the old Dublin United Tramways. Before coming to Dublin, he had earned quite a reputation in his native town, both as a singer and comedian. He won the Wexford Feis gold medal in 1904 in the tenor competition. Martin’s paternal grandmother was a Bolger. She was reputed to have had a three-octave voice, and used sing in Bride Street Church in Wexford.[1] So, quite a history of singers in his family.

Before his singing career began Martin worked as a fitter / mechanic in CIE’s Summerhill depot.[2]

“One night in the late 1930’s himself and the legendary Billy Morton went to a show in the Olympia. In the bar during the interval Billy and other friends talked him into singing a song. One song led to another and soon there were more people in the bar than in the audience. The manager came in and said if he could keep an audience away from the show he should be able to keep them in their seats the following week. That’s how he joined Lorcan Bourke Productions. Martin caused a bit of stir the next Monday night when he cycled to the Olympia, walked through the stage door, hung up his bicycle clips, and went straight out on stage to sing. I didn’t know anything then about using dressing-rooms and make-up he had laughed.” [3]

His CIE supervisor, recognised a genuine talent and gave him a couple of months leave of absence, and pretty soon Martin was a star of variety at the Royal and the Capitol where the “Miller’s Daughter” legend was born in 1942.

It was when he was playing Belfast with Harry Bailey that he met (his wife) a young girl, just left school, called Thelma Ramsey. When he came back to the Royal in Dublin, Thelma was the accompanist. Pretty soon they were “walking out”

They toured with some of showbiz’s big names, including famous comic Max Miller. They missed out on playing the London Palladium with Max as he was allowed to bring only one other act. A halfpenny was tossed and they lost. “Imagine losing the Palladium with a halfpenny… wouldn’t have minded had it been half-a-crown!” [4]

He was a regular in the Clontarf Castle Cabaret from 1964 where he continued to perform six nights a week even when his health started to fail him in the early ’80’s. In 1979, he received the Variety Artists’ Trust Society award for his contribution to Irish show-business.[5]

He made numerous Television appearances, some of which still survive on R.T.E. and Ulster Television etc. He was a member of Equity and appeared in small parts in most of the Films made in Ireland at that time.

The above entry from “Wikipedia” can also be accessed online here.

Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis

IMDB entry:

Niall MacGinnis is not as well known outside of Europe, but he was a wonderful character actor whose variety of roles matched his great gift for characterization and the look beyond just makeup that he projected. He was educated at Stonyhurst College and Trinity College, Dublin. He obtained a basic medical education which qualified him as a house (resident) surgeon during World War II in the Royal Navy. But after the war he decided to pursue acting. He worked in stage repertoire and stock companies and moved on to do significant stage work at the Old Vic Theatre in London, where John Gielgud was director and Shakespeare has a particular focus. MacGinnis had the burly look of a farm hand with a large head and curly hair falling away from a progressively receding hairline. He could portray a broad enough accent – or little at all, as the case might be – which could entail any part of the British Isles.

He moved on to film work in 1935 when British sound cinema was hitting its stride. He met young but well experienced director Michael Powell, who was eager to sell his script for an intriguing film to be shot on the furthest island from the north coast of the UK, Foulda. Alexander Korda was impressed and optioned the production of this script forThe Edge of the World (1937), and MacGinnis got the nod as the central protagonist, Andrew Gray. Soon after in 1938, MacGinnis worked with Old Vic mentor and director Gielgud for a role in an early TV production of the play “Spring Meeting” (1938). As the war years ensued and before his own service, MacGinnis did several war effort films, most notably asked by Powell to take the role of a German U-boat cook in 49th Parallel(1941). The film sported a great ensemble cast, including Leslie Howard and Raymond Massey, and was shot in Canada where the drama unfolded, but it lacked the drive to keep the story vital. MacGinnis shone as the good-natured peasant who loved food and had no use for Nazi strictures and warring on the world. Luckily for Powell, the movie with its flag waving spirit was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

By the late 1940s, MacGinnis was donning historical garb for what would be some of his most familiar roles. Olivier remembered him and gave him small but standout roles in both his Henry V (1944) and Hamlet (1948). At about that time MacGinnis began associations with American film actors and production money coming over to Britain, the first being with Fredric March and his wife Florence Eldridge in Christopher Columbus(1949). He finally came to American shores with an appearance on Broadway in “Caesar and Cleopatra” in late 1951 through April of 1952. In 1952 back in England, he had a supporting role as the Herald in a screen version of the story of Thomas a’ Becket titledMurder in the Cathedral (1951). Interestingly, he was also in the much better known and Hollywood-financed Becket (1964), as one of the four murderous barons. When MGM came back to England to follow up its previous visit and subsequent huge hit, Ivanhoe(1952), with Knights of the Round Table (1953), MacGinnis had a brief but again noticeable role as the Green Knight, bound by loss of combat to Robert Taylor as Ivanhoe. The next year brought one of his rare lead roles, an exemplary one in every measure. As Luther in Martin Luther (1953), MacGinnis joined a mostly British cast in a US/West German co-production and American director Irving Pichel with West German and historical scenery topped with a first rate script with American and German co-writers. It received two Oscar nominations.

Into the later 1950s, MacGinnis held to a steady diet of sturdy movie roles, usually supporting but always memorable because of his great acting skill. Historically, he went further back in time with several films of epic Ancient Greece, first as King Menelaus inHelen of Troy (1956), an American/Italian co-production with Robert Wise directing. That same year he stayed on the continent for another epic, this time Alexander the Great(1956) with American director Robert Rossen in an US/Spanish co-production that enlisted another first tier British cast, centered on box office idol Richard Burton, along with former co-star Freddy March. MacGinnis finally made it to Mount Olympus – that is, playing Zeus – in the rousing US/UK co-production of Jason and the Argonauts (1963), certainly best remembered for the stop motion animation magic of Ray Harryhausen.

Yet, MacGinnis’ perhaps best remembered role – certainly to discriminating fans of horror/fantasy – was that of two-faced Dr. Julian Karswell, jocular magician – but deadly serious cult leader and demon conjurer (loosely based on the outrageous English social rebel and occultist Aleister Crowley). The film Curse of the Demon (1957) (the American cut was renamed “Curse of the Demon”) was a stylishly atmospheric and convincingly spooky outing directed by Val Lewton, the protégé of Hollywood veteran film directorJacques Tourneur, best known for Cat People (1942). Based on M.R. James‘ Edwardian ghost story, “Casting the Runes,” the film is now considered a classic of the genre with MacGinnis, sporting a devilish goatee, having fun with his split personality but also effectively betraying his inward fear of the powers he has unleashed. He easily stole the show from co-star Dana Andrews, as the stubborn American psychologist almost done in by the demon he does not believe exists.

Through the 1960s and into the 1970s, MacGinnis kept to up a fairly steady stream of varied historical and contemporary movie roles, always noticeable, and in some of the high profile films of the period, including: Billy Budd (1962), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), and the Cinerama adventure Krakatoa: East of Java (1968). There were some TV spots as well to showcase his character-molding talents into the year of his passing to round out a body of over 75 screen appearances.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: William McPeak

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

Stanley Townsend
Stanley Townsend
Stanley Townsend

Stanley Townsend was born in Dublin, Ireland. He is an actor, known for The Libertine(2004), Cars 2 (2011) and In the Name of the Father (1993).

Townsend was born and brought up in Dublin. After attending Wesley College, Dublin, he studied mathematics and civil engineering at Trinity College. While there he joined the Dublin University Players, the college’s Amateur Dramatic Society. He later co-founded co-operative theatre company Rough Magic with writer/director Declan Hughes and theatre director Lynne Parker, performing in numerous productions including The Country WifeNightshade, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He subsequently went on to perform in several productions at The Gate and The Abbey Theatres in Dublin. In London, he has worked with such directors as Sam Mendes in The Plough and the StarsRichard Eyre in Guys and Dolls and Rufus Norris in Under the Blue Sky. Theatre appearances at the Royal Court include The Alice Trilogy directed by Ian Rickson and Shining City directed by Conor McPherson, for which he won an Irish Theatre Award and was nominated for the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor in 2004.[1]

Career

Townsend’s television work began on a number of shows for RTÉ in Dublin. Since moving to London, television appearances have included SpooksThe CommanderHustleWaking the Dead, and Omagh Bombing.

Film credits include Mike Newell‘s Into the WestJim Sheridan‘s In the Name of the Father with Daniel Day-LewisThe Van by Stephen FrearsPeter Greenaway‘s The Tulse Luper SuitcasesThe Libertine with Johnny Depp, Paul Morrison’s Wondrous Oblivionwith Delroy LindoJohn Boorman‘s The Tiger’s Tale and Michael Radford‘s Flawless. He currently lives in London.

Theatre

Townsend’s work in theatre includes: Remember This,  Guys and DollsPhedre and Happy Now? at the National Theatre, London; The Alice Trilogy, Shining City  (for which he won the Irish Times Best Actor Award),[1] Under the Blue Sky,[5] The Weir and Tribesat the Royal Court, London; The Wake, Trinity for Two and Sacred Mysteries at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin; The Gingerbread Mix-upat St Andrews Lane, Dublin; Prayers of Sherkin[7] at the Old Vic, London; Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at West Yorkshire PlayhouseLeedsThe Plough and the Stars at the Young Vic, London; Democracy  at the Bush Theatre, London; Speed-the-Plowfor Project Arts Centre, Dublin; Saint Oscar for Field Day Theatre Company, Derry; Sexual Perversity in ChicagoThe Caucasian Chalk CircleThe Country WifeNightshade and The White Devil for Rough Magic, Dublin; Who Shall Be Happy…? for Mad Cow Productions, Belfast, London and tour; and ‘Art’ in the West End. He played Eddie Carbone in A View from the Bridge at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in early 2011. His portrayal of Sims in The Nether for director Jeremy Herrin at the Royal Court Theatrein July 2014 won critical acclaim.

Television

Townsend’s television credits include: Zen,[11] WhistleblowerHe Kills CoppersProsperitySaddam’s Tribe,[12] Rough Diamond,[13]Waking The DeadSpooks,[14] The Virgin QueenHustle,[15] OmaghThe BriefMurder SquadFallenWire in the BloodThe CommanderMenace,[16] Seventh StreamHeartbeatStation JimTable 12CasualtyBest of Both WorldsActive DefenceDDU (Making the Cut)BallykissangelPeak PracticeJonathan CreekA Touch of FrostThe Governor,[17] The BillParnell and the EnglishwomanNighthawksFortycoats & Co.Lost BelongingsLapsed CatholicGlenroeAshes to AshesMad DogsSherlockCall the MidwifeQuirkeRipper Street24: Live Another DayGalavantThe Hollow CrownRedwaterThe TunnelNew TricksFoyle’s WarThe CollectionDeath in ParadiseInformerFresh Meat, and General Ad-Din in The Spy.

Film

Film includes: Killing Bono (2011), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Nativity (2006),  Flawless (2007), The Tiger’s Tail (2006), Isolation (2005),  The Libertine (2004),[23] Inside I’m Dancing (2004), Tulse Luper II (2004), Suzie Gold (2004),  Wondrous Oblivion (2003), American Girl (2002), Monsieur N (2003), Mystics (2003),  The Van (1996), My Friend Joe (1996), Moll Flanders (1996), Jake’s Progress (1995), Beyond Reason (1995), Good GirlsIn the Name of the Father (1993), Blue Ice(1992), The Miracle (1991), Taffin (1988), Cars 2 (2011), Lovely Louise [de] (2013) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016).

James McCaffrey
James McCaffrey
James McCaffrey

James McCaffrey was born in 1959 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is an actor and producer, known for Rescue Me (2004), Max Payne (2001) and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003)   Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland; he was raised in Albany, New York.   Attended the University of New Haven on a football, baseball, and Fine Arts scholarships.After graduating from college, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned a living as an artist, graphic designer, and commercial art director. He also worked as a bartender at Gatsby’s Restaurant on Boylston Street.   Has been a member of ‘The Actors Studio’ since 1987, and co-owned ‘The Workhouse Theatre’ in Tribeca, New York City from 1992-99.

Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Antonia Campbell-Hughes

Antonia Campbell-Hughes was born in 1982 in Northern Ireland. She is an actress and writer, known for Albert Nobbs (2011), Bright Star (2009) and The Canal (2014)

Born to an Irish mother and English father, Antonia grew up in USA, Germany and Switzerland. She was named one of Screen Internationals Stars of Tomorrow in 2011, and was awarded the Berlinale Shooting Star award in 2012.
Clive Standen
Clive Standen
Clive Standen

Clive Standen is a British actor, he was born in1981 in  a British Army base in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, and grew up in the East Midlands in England. He went to school at King Edward VII School (Melton Mowbray) followed by a performing arts course at Melton Mowbray College. In his late teens Standen was a international Muay Thai Boxer and later Fencing gold medalist. He married his wife Francesca in 2007 at Babington House. They live in London with their three children, Hayden, Edi and Rafferty.

His first experience of stunts and sword fighting was at the tender age of 12 when Standen got his first job working in a professional stunt team in Nottingham learning to Ride, Joust and sword fight. His sword fighting skills are seamless, he is left-handed but learned to fight with his right hand in his early years making him uniquely ambidextrous in the craft. At the age of fifteen Clive was both a member of the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre performing lead roles in plays and musicals in West End and at venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. He then won a place at the London Academy of Dramatic Art LAMDA on their three year acting course.

He is best known for playing the battle hardened warrior ‘Gawain’ a series regular in the Starz networks TV series ‘Camelot’ and also ‘Archer’, the swashbuckling brother of Robin Hood in the BBC TV series Robin Hood; a role which brought Standen much critical acclaim with many of the national press comparing Standen’s charming but edgy performance and seemingly effortless sword fighting Skill to Errol Flynn. It was much speculated at the end of the 3rd season that after his brothers death “Archer” would pick up the mantle of Robin Hood and become the shows new hero. Clive is also known for a previous recurring role as Private Harris in the British sci-fi show Doctor Who.

Prior to his role in Camelot & Robin Hood Standen appeared in 3 episodes of Doctor Who,the crime thriller “Waking the dead”,the Second World War drama documentary “Ten days to D-day”, three episodes of “Doctors” and “Tom Brown’s Schooldays”, the acclaimed ITV adaptation of the book by Thomas Hughes. He also played the lead role of Major Alan Marshall in the Zero Hour TV dramatization of the SAS mission in Sierra Leone known as operation Barras. Standen took a lead role in the mainstream Bollywood film “Namastey London” alongside Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar. Clive was also the face of Evian water 2008.

In 2012 Clive landed a lead role in the Vertigo films feature “Hammer of the Gods” and the new series “Vikings” produced by MGM/History both slated to be released in spring 2013

– IMDb Mini Biography By: spirit

Francis Magee
Francis Magee
Francis Magee

Francis Magee was raised in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. He spent eight years as a fisherman before becoming an actor and has also been a member of several music groups including Namoza – who released four singles and an album – and Disco D’Oro. He studied acting at the Poor School at London’s Kings Cross and made his television debut as Liam Taylor in ‘East Enders’, a role he played on and off for two years. Since then he has been a regular face in many television series, notably ‘No Angels’ and ‘City of Vice’.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: don @ minifie-1

Eithne Dunne
Eithne Dunne

Eithne Dunne

Eithne Dunne English Actress

Wikipedia entry|:

She was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[1] She first started acting in Dublin and made her first appearances at the Abbey Theatre in 1939. She remained there for most of the 1940s. In the 1950s she performed at the Gate Theatre, after which she made her first appearance on Broadway.In 1960 she took part in the highly successful Abbey touring production of The Playboy of the Western World. In the mid-1960s she was resident and performed in a number of plays at the Old Vic, including Henry VOthelloAll In Good Time and The Rivals.[1]   Although primarily a stage actress, she appeared in a number of TV series and motion pictures, including Shake Hands with the DevilDementia 13, and others.

Eithne Dunne

Dictionary of Irish Biography.

Dunne, Eithne (1919–88), actress, was born 30 October 1919 in Market St., Belfast, daughter of Patrick Dunne, case maker, and Mary Dunne (née McDonnell). She began her theatrical career with the Abbey school of acting and established herself as a versatile performer alongside Cyril Cusack (qv), F. J. McCormick(qv), and Ria Mooney (qv) in the first productions of plays by Paul Vincent Carroll (qv) and George Shiels (qv). Although Francis Stuart’s ‘Strange guest’ was not well received on its production in 1940, her performance was praised, while in 1943 she acted in ‘Thy dear father’, the first play of Gerard Healy (qv) at the Abbey; she had married Healy in 1942. As well as her performances in the Abbey during the early 1940s, she appeared in Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe spirit’ as Elvira, and Cathy in a stage adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’. Early in 1945, she left the Abbey with a group of players, including Healy and Liam Redmond (qv), who were dissatisfied with the policies of the national theatre, which they regarded as neglecting indigenous playwriting talent. They subsequently formed the Players’ Theatre for the production of new Irish plays and achieved great success in the Cork Opera House and the Gate with Healy’s ‘The black stranger’; Dunne took the leading role. They had a disappointing following season, however, which saw the company’s demise.

The highlight of her subsequent career was probably her performance as Pegeen Mike in ‘The playboy of the western world’ by J. M. Synge (qv), opposite Burgess Meredith on Broadway in 1946–7. She received rave reviews and the production was staged at the Mercury Theatre, London, to further acclaim in 1948. From the mid 1940s through the 1950s her staples were part-time positions with the Radio Éireann Players and Longford Productions, the company founded by Micheál MacLiammóir (qv) and Hilton Edwards (qv). Opposite MacLiammóir’s Hamlet, she played a highly regarded Ophelia in their production at Elsinore (1952). She was praised for her portrayal of St Joan in Jean Anouilh’s play, ‘The lark’, directed by Edwards and MacLiammóir (1955), and she toured the Mediterranean with their company in 1955–6. She spent much of the 1960s with companies in Bristol and Nottingham, never becoming a regular on the London stage, although she was outstanding in a London production of Edna O’Brien’s ‘Cheap bunch of roses.’ In the 1950s and 1960s she augmented her stage career with work in cinema and television. Her first film performance was perhaps her best in No resting place (1950) with Noel Purcell (qv). Other screen appearances came in the risible stage-Irish production, She didn’t say no! (1958) and James Cagney’s Irish revolution thriller, Shake hands with the devil(1959). She returned to the Abbey in 1971 to take part in a Dublin theatre festival production of Tom Murphy’s ‘The morning after optimism’, for which she received good reviews as the prostitute Rosie.

She and Healy had one daughter, Anne. After playing to an enthusiastic audience in Hugh Leonard’s ‘Stephen D’ in London in 1963, Healy collapsed in the theatre and died. Eithne Dunne died 21 December 1988 in a London hospital

Maureen Pryor
Maureen Pryor
Maureen Pryor

Maureen Pryor was born in 1922 in LimerickIreland, to an English father and an Irish mother.

She appeared in the West End in Seán O’Casey‘s Red Roses for MeNoël Coward‘s Peace In Our TimeJohn Griffith Bowen‘s After the Rain (also on Broadway), Doris Lessing’s Play with a Tiger[2] and plays such as Little Boxes and Where’s Tedd.[3] She was a member of the Stables Theatre Company. She also appeared on Broadway in the premiere season of Boeing-Boeing (1965).[

In Manchester, she appeared in Eugene O’Neill‘s one-act play Before Breakfast, directed by Bill Gilmour. She played Mistress Quickly in Terry Hand’s 1975/76 production of Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

She made over 500 television appearances, including a Play for Today, “O Fat White Woman” (1971),[4] adapted by William Trevor from his own short story, and Ken Russell‘s television film Song of Summer (1968), in which she played Jelka Delius, the long-suffering wife of the composer Frederick Delius. Russell cast her again in his cinema film The Music Lovers (1970) as Tchaikovsky‘s mother-in-law. In the 1974 BBC television film Shoulder to Shoulder she played the composer Dame Ethel Smyth.

She died in 1977.

Owen Moore

Oweb Moore was born in Fordstown Crossroads, County Meath, Ireland, and along with his brothers Tom, Matt, and Joe (1895–1926), and sister Mary (1890–1919), he emigrated to the United States as a steerage passenger on board the S.S. Anchoria and was inspected on Ellis Island in May 1896. All went on to successful careers in motion pictures in Hollywood, California.  He died in 1939 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 52.

Owen Moore
Owen Moore
Charley Boorman
Charley Boorman
Charley Boorman

IMDB Entry:

Date of Birth 23 August 1966Wimbledon, London, England, UK

Actor, father, motorbike fanatic: Charley Boorman is the epitome of the modern adventurer in pursuit of fresh challenges away from the success of his personal life. Choosing two wheels as his preferred mode of transport, Charley harnessed the challenges of a ’round the World trip with Ewan McGregor. Now his sights are set on the unyielding sands of the desert.

Charley Boorman has been riding motorcycles since he was seven years old. The son of renowned film director John Boorman, he grew up on a farm in Ireland and used to ride through the fields on his first motorbike and took part in schoolboy motor cross and Enduro races. The bike bug remained with Charley and, for four years, he ran a motorcycle race team and spent the years riding with David Jeffries and Matt Llewelyn.

In 2004, Charley and his best mate Ewan McGregor came up with the madcap idea of circumnavigating the globe on motorbikes. After months of intense preparations when at times, it looked like the project would not get off the ground, the pair set off from London in April 2004.

Over the next three grueling months, they traveled through three continents and fifteen countries. Long Way Round (2004) was the realisation of a dream born out of two friends’ love of motorbikes, the freedom of the open road, and the adrenaline rush of an extreme challenge. Their entire journey was filmed for Long Way Round (2004), a unique television series that was broadcast on Sky One in the UK and Bravo (USA) and spawned a best-selling DVD, book and CD soundtrack. It has now sold the world over into many territories including Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Spain, and Italy.

Following the overwhelming success of Long Way Round (2004), Charley has become an icon in the motorcycling world. On the Long Way Round (2004), UK Tour Charley visited motorcycle and adventure exhibitions plus BMW dealerships across the UK to talk about his adventures. Each event was a sell-out as crowds flocked to catch a glimpse of Charley and have their book or DVD signed. A similar tour of the southern hemisphere is to take place this winter.

Next up, Charley is taking on the desert with one of the World’s harshest challenges: the Lisbon-Dakar Rally. This is not just a race out of Europe via the Iberian Peninsula and down through West Africa. This is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding battles across inhospitable terrain, alone, to achieve the impossible. But for Charley, it is, as for many others, one of the most romantic and dangerous races known to man.

It remains the only race open to both amateur and professional bikers and for a first time participant like Charley, finishing the race in Dakar will be the ultimate goal.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Marcus Agar Communications

The above IMB entry can also be accessed online here.

Phil Burke
Phil Burke
Phil Burke

IMDB entry:

Phil Burke attended the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts in New York, on a Board of Trustees Scholarship. He graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts in 2003. Burke continued his acting training at various performing workshops and studios throughout New York. On stage, Phil Burke holds a noticeable list of leading-roles to his credit while holding mixed work in leading and supporting roles on the screen. Burke’s screen debut was in 2005 and since that year, he has performed in various films and on numerous television series. Notable television series of the latter 2000s include The Good Wife (2009) and Hell on Wheels (2011) on which he held a recurring role. Burke’s film work includes the direct-to-video, horror film Zombie Town (2007), then, direct-to-video Sci-Fi adventure thriller 100 Million BC (2008) and then a romantic comedy film short Mike and Lucy (2008).

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Westernado

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

Brendan Grace
Brendan Grace
Brendan Grace

Brendan Grace obituary in “The Irish Times” in 2019.

For 40 years, Brendan Grace, who has died aged 68, was Ireland’s most popular live comedian, delivering sell-out performances at venues big and small all over the country. Though his material was rarely subtle, his gag-per-minute ratio was very high, and archive film invariably shows his audiences in complete hysterics.

He was an imposing-looking man, powerfully-built and bearded, and there was often a slight air of menace behind the bonhomie. Within a fairly narrow range, he expertly presented several well-defined Dublin characters in his act, notably Bottler the bold schoolboy, a drunken father of the bride stumbling through a wedding speech, and Fr Michael McGillicuddy, the Singing Priest. Of himself and his audiences he once said: “We have the best sense of humour on the planet and there’s a good reason for it. It’s because none of us is the full shillin’. And I mean that in a good way.”

An elderly fan reinforced his appeal: “He was just so funny. He was a likeable slob but he had great charm. His humour was simple and he had his finger on the pulse of ordinary, everyday living. I saw him live in Macroom and it was the best show I was ever at. We were in howls, and came out reeling!”

In some respects Grace bridged the gap between the old Paddy-the-eejit comics like Hal Roach, Noel V Ginnity and Jimmy Cricket and the new breed of observational stand-ups starting in the Dublin comedy clubs in the 1990s. He was never as urbane or analytical as the slightly earlier Dave Allen, for example, but Grace was no fool. And he was clearly the kind of man who could easily deal with anyone who thought him one.
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He was, though, born on April Fool’s Day in Dublin’s Liberties, under the shadow of the Guinness brewery, to Séamus and Chrissie Grace, in 1951. Séamus worked at various jobs to keep a roof over the family’s head – barman, ambulance man – and Brendan left school at 13 to become a messenger boy. “Bottler is based on myself,” he said years later. “We didn’t know what a recession was because we lived in one. We were so poor we thought knives and forks were jewellery. And Bottler came out of all that.”

The personality of Bottler may have been forged in the Liberties in the 1950s but the format originated during the great days of variety, where there were many acts in which a supercilious schoolmaster received cheeky/ignorant answers to his questions.

Teacher: “Who invented the thermometer?”

Bottler: “Freddie Mercury!”

Always interested in music, at 18 he formed a folk group, The Gingermen, which had some success touring Ireland as a support to showbands. One night two of the group failed to turn up for a gig and, with the crowd getting restive, Grace started talking from the stage about his life and times, throwing in witty and sharp comments and any gags he could recall. This went down so well that he realised he might have a future making people laugh.

He was a fine singer, though, and once established in comedy recorded many songs, some of them traditional ballads. In 1975 his version of Combine Harvester (a big success in the UK for The Worzels, and a parody of American folk singer Melanie’s The Rollerskate Song, 1971) was a Number One in the Irish charts.

In 1973 Brendan Grace married Eileen Doyle and the couple went on to have four children. In an RTÉ documentary about his life broadcast in 2018 he said: “My very best friend is Eileen. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me, and that’s how it’s been for the past 45 years. Doing nothing for each other.”

The family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, and Grace spent much of his time there, with yearly Irish live tours. He had appeared on stage with Frank Sinatra, who admired him, and the singer opened up several opportunities in the US for Grace.

The geographical dislocation led to a certain lack of visibility for a new generation, to whom he had become just a name their parents sometimes mentioned with a smile. But that changed in 1996 when he was cast as the deeply unpleasant Fr Fintan Stack in New Jack City, an episode in the second series of Channel 4’s Father Ted. Brought in to cover for Fr Jack, who is in a nursing home, Stack starts drilling holes in the walls of the Parochial House and plays Jungle Music at top volume through the night. “God, Ted,” says Dougal. “I’ve never met anyone like him. Who would he be like? Hitler or one of those mad fellas.”

Stack goads a group of visiting priests who are watching a school sports day on television: “Yeah? Lots of young fellas runnin’ around in shorts . . . that’s the kind of thing you like lookin’ at, is it? Young fellas runnin’ around a field in shorts?”

Co-writer (with Arthur Mathews) Graham Linehan said: “You can’t really forget Fintan Stack, or the wonderful way Brendan Grace played the character. It was especially interesting how he interpreted his lines. We had written them as angry lines, but he played the part in a light, delicate, almost effeminate way, which makes the character far more threatening.”

Grace himself said: “When Father Ted first came on, I wasn’t really a fan. I’m not sure I had watched it at all, but there was a part on offer so I went along for the reading. Some very well-known actors went along, but mine was picked up because of the way I portrayed him. I put a different spin on Fr Stack, making him more passive/aggressive.”

For the rest of his life, wherever he was in the world, fans would approach and recite Fr Stack lines back at him, or ask him to record the lines himself on their phones.

A year earlier, he played a straight supporting role as bar-owner Murphy in the Irish-German movie Moondance, which was directed by Dagmar Hirtz and based on a Francis Stuart story. It starred Ruaidhrí Conroy, Ian Shaw and Marianne Faithfull.

Grace also owned a pub at Killaloe, Co Clare.

His last few years were marred by severe health problems, though he continued to tour. He suffered a stroke and soon afterwards was diagnosed as diabetic. An accident hampered his walk and balance, and he was obliged to perform most of his act from a chair, wearing slippers, getting up only occasionally to show audiences how he had been affected. He said: “My fear was always that people would think ‘this guy has had a few bevvies,’ so what I did was, I made a virtue of my leg problem and built it into the act.”

In July 2019 he had to cancel his summer tour after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer while in hospital being treated for pneumonia. When the news came out there was an outpouring of sympathy from his old fans and some fellow-stars. Dara O Briain described him as “a proper legend” and Marty Whelan said he was “one of the nicest fellas I ever met.”

He is survived by Eileen, daughters Melanie and Amanda, and sons Bradley and Brendan Patrick.

Aaron McClusker
Aaron McClusker
Aaron McClusker

Aaron McCusker was born in 1978 in Portadown, County Armagh, North