Starring as Oscar Schindler in the epic “Schindler’s List” in 1993 led to a Best Oscar nomination for the Irishman. Many more movie fans may recognize him for his portrayal as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in the Star Wars film “Phantom Menace” (1999) and in latest turns as action hero in the more recent “Clash of the Titans” and “Taken” franchises. Neeson is an American citizen.
7. Barry Fitzgerald
Known to friends and family by his birth name, William Joseph Shield, Fitzgerald began his career at the famed Abbey theater in Dublin appearing in plays written by his roommate Sean O’Casey.
In Hollywood Fitzgerald was the go-to-guy to play the quirky, witty, understated role of a token Irishman in various films. He is best remembered as playing a genial Irish priest alongside Bing Crosby in the comedy musical “Going My Way” (1944 ) which earned him a Best Oscar nomination. Fitzgerald also appeared in “A Quiet Man” (1952).
8. Pierce Brosnan
Born in Navan, County Meath, Brosnan was raised by his grandparents after his parents abandoned him, moving to England. Starting out as an artist, the Irishman soon turned to the art of acting. Brosnan’s big break came by playing one of the most iconic characters in 80s television as the lead character Remington Steele in “Remington Steele” (1982-1987).
For years Brosnan was offered the role of James Bond and finally donned the tuxedo and drank the shaken and not stirred martini in 1995’s “Golden Eye,” continuing in “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World is not enough” (1999), and “Die Another Day” (2002). Other notable films of Brosnan’s include “The Ghost Writer” (2010) and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief” (2010)
9. Aidan Quinn
An American citizen raised in Chicago, Quinn was born to Irish emigrant parents. Over the past 20 or so years Quinn has been an ubiquitous presence in films ranging from drama to comedies, and period pieces to horror, starring alongside the crem de la crem in Hollywood.
Such diverse films as “Benny and Joon” (1993), “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein” (1994), and “Michael Collins” (1996), alongside Liam Neeson, appear on Quinn’s deep and impressive filmography. The Shamrock Club has a special affinity for “Legends of the Fall” (1994) with Brad Pitt.
10. Una O’Connor
Belfast’s own Agnes Teresa McGlade was star of the stage in England and Ireland. In a career-turning role in the play “Calvacade,” O'Connor moved to Hollywood to revisit her role in the movie adaptation of the stage production.
Once there she found herself fame in horror and thriller genre films like “The Invisible Man” (1993) and “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935). She broke type and added a comic touch to Billy Wilder’s serious “Witness for the Prosecution.”
And there you have it Shamrock Club members. Our much-debated and fought over picks for our favorite Irish Actors of all-time. Yet more Irish culture brought to you exclusively from the Shamrock Club.