Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald 1945.jpg
Barry Fitzgerald (10 March 1888 – 14 January 1961) was an Irish stage, film and television actor. In a career spanning almost forty years, he appeared in such notable films as Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Long Voyage Home (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Quiet Man (1952). For Going My Way (1944), he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and was simultaneously nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

He was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin, Ireland, the son of Fanny (Ungerland) and Adolphus Shields. His father was Irish and his mother was German. He was the older brother of Irish actor Arthur Shields. He went to Skerry's College, Dublin, before going on to work in the civil service, while also working at the Abbey Theatre. His career with the Abbey Theatre was from 1914–1936 where he was involved in numerous productions.

By 1929, he turned to acting full-time. He was briefly a roommate of famed playwright Seán O'Casey and starred in such plays as O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock and the premiere of The Silver Tassie.

Between 1931 and 1936, he appeared in three plays by Irish playwright Teresa DeevyA Disciple, In Search of Valour and Katie Roche—which were also Abbey Theatre productions.

Fitzgerald went to Hollywood to star in another O'Casey work, The Plough and the Stars (1936), directed by John Ford. He had a successful Hollywood career in such films as The Long Voyage Home (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), And Then There Were None (1945), The Naked City (1948) and The Quiet Man (1952).

In 1945, Fitzgerald achieved a unique Academy Awards feat. For portraying Father Fitzgibbon in Leo McCarey's Going My Way (1944), he was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (which he ultimately won) and the Academy Award for Best Actor; voting rules were changed shortly after this occurrence to prevent further dual nominations for the same role. An avid golfer, he later accidentally decapitated his Oscar while practicing his golf swing. During World War II, Oscar statuettes were made of plaster instead of gold-plated bronze to accommodate wartime metal shortages. The Academy provided Fitzgerald with a replacement statuette.

This page was last edited on 3 January 2018, at 04:48.
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