Redmond, William Gerard (Liam) (1913–89), actor, was born 27 July 1913 in Ballinacurra, Co. Limerick, son of Thomas Redmond, technical teacher, and Ellen Redmond (née McAllister). He attended UCD, but spent most of his time in the college dramatic society and failed to complete his degree.
He joined the Abbey company, making his debut in Sean O'Casey's (qv) ‘Silver tassie’. During ten years at the Abbey he acted in fifty productions and directed ten plays. W. B. Yeats (qv) described him as ‘the best Cuchullain I ever saw’ (Times, 17 September 1963). Hugh Hunt (qv) was a leading figure at the Abbey during this period. When the Abbey turned down ‘The white steed’ by Paul Vincent Carroll (qv), Hunt decided to direct the play in New York. Redmond appeared in this production in January 1939, when his co-stars were Barry Fitzgerald (qv) and Jessica Tandy. In 1947 he acted in the same play in London. Throughout the late 1940s he appeared frequently on the London stage, often at the Lyric and the Embassy. He occasionally appeared at the Abbey and returned to the New York stage in ‘The wayward saint’, winning the George Jean Nathan award of 1954/5 for this performance. Other notable stage performances were in a London production (1963) of ‘The doctor's dilemma’ by G. B. Shaw (qv), and a New York production of Brian Friel's ‘The loves of Cass McGuire’ (1966).
From time to time he read poetry on Radio Éireann. He wrote for radio, stage, and screen and in 1959 his only novel, Death is so kind, appeared. Increasingly his work was on film; he made his cinema debut in I see a dark stranger (1946), a spoof thriller, with Deborah Kerr and Trevor Howard. This was followed by Captain Boycott (1947) and Daughter of darkness (1948). Supporting character roles in scores of mediocre films followed. However, he also appeared in several fine films, including Ice cold in Alex (1958); The luck of Ginger Coffey (1964), which won a Canadian film award; Tobruk (1966); Philadelphia here I come (1970); and Barry Lyndon (1975). He regularly worked in television, appearing in ‘Z cars’, ‘The Saint’, and ‘The Avengers’.
He was married to Barbara, daughter of Thomas MacDonagh (qv). He died 31 October 1989 in Dublin.