Theatre, Film and TV

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Adrian (Bor), Max

Adrian (Bor), Max (1903–73), actor, was born 1 November 1903 in Ireland, the son of Edward Norman Cavendish Bor, a Bank of Ireland agent (or manager), and Mabel Lloyd (née Thornton). The family lived successively at Maryborough, Callan, and Waterford. Max was educated at Portora…

Aickin (Aikin), Francis

Aickin (Aikin), Francis (c.1736–1812) and his younger brother James (d. 1803), actors, were born in Dublin and apprenticed to their father, a weaver, before leaving him to begin their acting careers. Francis joined Philip Lewis's company of strolling players in 1754; his…

Aickin, James

This is a co-subject for the entry on Aickin (Aikin), Francis. View the original entry.

Allen, Dave

Allen, Dave (1936–2005), comedian, was born David Edward Tynan O'Mahony on 6 July 1936 in a nursing home at 37 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, youngest of three sons of (Gerard John) Cullen Tynan O'Mahony (nicknamed 'Pussy'), journalist, manager of the Irish Times, and…

Allgood, Sara

Allgood, Sara (1883–1950), actress, was born 31 October 1883 in Dublin, daughter of George Allgood and Margaret Allgood (née Harold). Her father was a protestant printing compositor, son of an English army officer; her mother's family were catholic, owners of a junk shop. There were…

Ashbury, Joseph

Ashbury, Joseph (1638–1720), actor and manager, was born in London of a good family and educated at Eton. He became an army officer, one of those who, in search of a political settlement, seized Dublin castle in December 1659. After the restoration of the monarchy he received…

Astley, Philip

Astley, Philip (1742–1814), horse-trainer and showman, was born 8 January 1742 in Newcastle under Lyme, England, son of Edward Astley, cabinetmaker. After a career of great gallantry in the cavalry, he set up a show in Lambeth, London, where he exhibited feats of horsemanship. Other…

Barker, Robert

Barker, Robert (1739–1806), inventor of the panorama, was apparently from a respectable family, though nothing is known of his life until 15 February 1764, when ‘Mr Robert Barker of Kells in the county of Meath’ married in Dublin (Freeman's Journal, 18 Feb. 1764). His wife…

Barnes, Michael James

Barnes, Michael James (1932–2008), festival director, was born in Peckham, south London, England, on 31 October 1932. His parents were Robert Barnes and Winifred Barnes (née Dee), who married in 1931. In 1945 he won a scholarship to Alleyn's School in Dulwich, an independent school…

Barry, Spranger

Barry, Spranger (1717–77), actor and theatre manager, was born in November 1717, in Skinner Row, Dublin, the second son of William Barry, a wealthy silversmith, and Catherine Barry (née Sprainger). He was educated in Dublin and apprenticed to his father's trade; with his first wife…

Bellamy, George Anne

Bellamy, George Anne (1731?–1788), actress, was born in Fingal, Co. Dublin, illegitimate daughter of James O'Hara (qv), 2nd baron of Tyrawley, then British ambassador to Lisbon, and a Miss Seal, an actress of quaker extraction from Kent. Her mother married a…

Bernelle, Agnes

Bernelle, Agnes (1923–99), singer and actress, was born Agnes Elizabeth Bernauer on 7 March 1923 in Berlin, Germany, daughter of Rudolph Bernauer (1880–1953), a Jewish-Hungarian actor, playwright, librettist, and theatrical director and impresario, and his second wife, Emmy (née Erb…

Betty, William Henry West

Betty, William Henry West (1791–1874), actor, was born 13 September 1791 in St Chad's parish, Shrewsbury, England (his mother's home), son of William H. Betty of Lisburn, Co. Antrim, who was in the linen trade; they moved back to a farm near Ballynahinch, Co. Down. His mother, Mary…

Blakely, Colin George Edward

Blakely, Colin George Edward (1930–87), actor, was born 23 September 1930 at Bangor, Co. Down, the son of Victor Charles Blakely and Dorothy Margaret Blakely (née Ashmore). Educated at Sedbergh school in Yorkshire, he began work as a salesman in the family sports retail business,…

Blythe, Ernest (de Blaghd, Earnán)

Blythe, Ernest (de Blaghd, Earnán) (1889–1975), revolutionary, politician, government minister, managing director of the Abbey Theatre, and Irish-language revivalist, was born 13 April 1889 at Magheragall, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, eldest child among two sons and two daughters of…

Boucicault, Dion Lardner

Boucicault, Dion Lardner (1820–90), playwright and actor, was born 27 December 1820 at Gardiner St., Dublin, probably the illegitimate son of Dr Dionysius Lardner (qv), a TCD scientist, and…

Bourke, Patrick John

Bourke, Patrick John (1883–1932), actor-manager and dramatist, was born at 34 Lower Dorset St., Dublin. His father, Laurence Bourke, died about 1892 and his mother, a native of Newbridge, Co. Kildare, three years later. He spent the next six years living with relatives in west…

Bourke, Patrick Lorcan

This is a co-subject for the entry on de Búrca, Séamus. View the original entry.

Boyce, James

Boyce, James (1909–66), actor and broadcaster, was born on 17 March 1909 in Belfast, the oldest of three sons of Hugh Boyce, a coachbuilder, and his wife Ellen (née Hayes), a dressmaker before marriage. The family, who were Christian Brethren in religion, lived in Rosebury Road,…

Boyd, John

Boyd, John (1912–2002), radio producer and playwright, was born 19 July 1912 at 9 Baskin Street, in a working-class area of east Belfast, the first of three children (two boys and a girl) of Robert Boyd, a fireman on steam engines and later an engine driver, and Jane Boyd (née…

Boyd, Stephen

Boyd, Stephen (1928–77), actor, was born William Millar 4 July 1928 at Glengormley near Belfast. He took his mother's maiden name for the stage, and became a US citizen under that name in 1963. He began acting with the Carnmoney Amateur Dramatic Society, making his professional…

Boylan, Patricia

This is a co-subject for the entry on Boylan, Henry Joseph. View the original entry.

Brambell, Wilfrid

Brambell, Wilfrid (1912–85), actor, was born Henry Wilfrid Brambell 22 March 1912 at 6 Edenvale Road, Rathgar, Dublin, youngest of three sons of Henry Brambell, clerk in Guinness's brewery, and Edith Brambell (née Marks), an opera singer. He made his first stage appearance at the…

Breen, Dermot H.

Breen, Dermot H. (1924–78), founder of Cork International Film Festival and film censor, was born 18 August 1924 in Waterford, sixth child of James Breen and Brigid Breen. He was educated in Cork at the Presentation Brothers College and at the Provincial College. Initially a…

Brennan, Denis Gerard

Brennan, Denis Gerard (1927–83), actor and broadcaster, was born 20 June 1927 in Sandyford, Co. Dublin, into a theatrical family, youngest of three children of Patrick Joseph Brennan, farmer, and Eva Jane Brennan (née Hayden), songwriter, broadcaster, and producer of variety…