Some of these Irish actors (and a musician) took home the golden statue and some did not, but each of them gave a memorable and critically-acclaimed performance in roles ranging from an elderly priest to a physically-handicapped writer.


Daniel Day-Lewis
Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role, "My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown" (1989)
Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role, "There Will be Blood" (2007)
Though he may be a native of London, England, the Irish can most certainly consider Day-Lewis one of their own. The Jewish and Irish actor moved to Co. Wicklow in 1993 and eventually obtained Irish citizenship.
Known for his intense, eccentric behavior in his preparation for roles (he famously demanded to be pushed around in a wheelchair on the set of "My Left Foot"), in "My Left Foot," Day-Lewis portrays Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral palsy.
With the encouragement of his mother (played by another Irish Oscar winner, Brenda Fricker), Christy learns to paint and write with his only functional limb - his left foot.
In this clip, an aggravated Christy, who we see sketching with his left foot, is told by his future teacher that she can help him to say "fuck off" to her more clearly if he agrees to speech therapy.
Day-Lewis earned his second Best Actor award with a drastically different role in "There Will be Blood."
Where Christy Brown was viewed as physically weak and vulnerable, Daniel Plainview shows no hint of vulnerability.
The movie trailer says it all.
Day-Lewis also gave Oscar-worthy performances in "Gangs of New York" (2002) and "In the Name of the Father" (1993); he was nominated for Best Actor for both roles.
Brenda Fricker
Winner: Best Supporting Actress for "My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown" (1989)
Brenda Fricker's face is recognizable to many due to her appearances as the homeless woman who is befriended by "Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" and as Mike Myers' Scottish mother in "So I Married an Axe Murderer."
The Dublin-born actress' most noteworthy performance, however, came with her portrayal of Christy Brown's mother in "My Left Foot."
In this scene, Mrs. Brown famously tells her son (Daniel Day-Lewis), "You have me heartbroken Christy Brown. Sometimes I think you are my heart."
Barry Fitzgerald
Winner: Best Supporting Actor for "Going My Way" (1944)
During the 1944 Academy Awards, Barry Fitzgerald (born William Joseph Shields) became the first and last actor to be nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role - for the same part. (The Academy immediately changed the rules to prevent this from happening again.)
The Dublin-born character actor may be best known for his role as Michaleen Flynn in "The Quiet Man," but it was his portrayal as Fr. Fitzgibbon in "Going My Way" that won him the Oscar.
Fr. Fitzgibbon is an elderly priest whose parish is taken over by the young Father O'Malley, played by Bing Crosby. Fitzgerald and Crosby's roles in this lighthearted musical drama earned both men Oscars (Crosby for Best Actor, Fitzgerald for Best Supporting Actor).
Here's the scene where Bing Crosby sings Fitzgerald to sleep with "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra," the famous Irish lullaby.
Peter O'Toole
Nominated - Best Actor, "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)
Nominated - Best Actor, "Becket" (1964)
Nominated - Best Actor, "The Lion in Winter" (1968)
Nominated - Best Actor, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969)
Nominated - Best Actor, "The Ruling Class" (1972)
Nominated - Best Actor in a Leading Role, "The Stunt Man" (1980)
Nominated - Best Actor in a Leading Role, "My Favorite Year" (1982)
Winner - Honorary Award (2002) - To Peter O'Toole, whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters.
Nominated - Best Actor in Leading Role, "Venus" (2006)
One of the most celebrated actors of his generation, Irish and English actor Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Oscar a whopping seven times before he was presented with the Academy's 2002 Honorary Award for his work throughout cinematic history.
O'Toole received his eighth Best Actor nod for 2006's "Venus," in which he plays Maurice, a successful but aging actor who falls for Jessie - a girl fifty years his junior.
In this scene, Maurice has his first encounter with Jessie, a.k.a. Venus.
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Winners: Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, "Falling Slowly," from "Once" (2007)
Hansard, founder of the Irish rock band The Frames, stars in the Irish musical that earned him a Best Original Song Oscar as (unnamed) Guy, a struggling Dublin singer/songwriter.
He shares his Oscar with Czech singer Marketa Irglova, who along with Hansard, wrote and composed all of the music for the movie. (The two also dated until recently - even though Hansard is 38, and Irglova is 20.)
"Falling Slowly," the award-winning song from Once, hit #2 on the Irish pop charts following its Oscar win.
Check out the music video of "Falling Slowly."
Richard Harris
Nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role, "The Field" (1990)
The film star from Limerick scored rave reviews with his portrayal of farmer Bull McCabe in 1990's screen adaptation "The Field," a story about an Irishman's extreme love of the land.
Harris' role earned him both an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
In this scene, Bull charges into the town pub, furious that the landowner of the field he farms is auctioning off the land.
Stephen Rea
Nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role, "The Crying Game" (1992)
Protestant Republican Rea, from Belfast, gives a moving performance as Fergus, an IRA member.
In the beginning of the film, Fergus befriends a captured British soldier named Jody, and eventually develops a romantic relationship with Jody's girlfriend back in London, Dil, who Fergus swore to protect.
In this scene, Fergus seeks out Dil in the hair salon where she works.
Liam Neeson
Nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role, "Schindler's List" (1993)
Neeson, a native of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, gives an unforgettable performance as Oskar Schindler, the star of Steven Spielberg's biographical film "Schindler's List."
Unlike most of the other actors on our list, Neeson does not play an Irishman, but rather a Czech businessman and a Nazi in Poland during World War II.
Neeson's character, Schindler, surprisingly and remarkably turns his factory into a refuge for thousands of Jews he saves from death in gas chambers.
Here Schindler (Neeson) delivers a speech to the Jewish people hiding out in his factory.
Saoirse Ronan
Nominated: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, "Atonement" (2007)
At the age of 13, Ronan, who lives in Co. Carlow, became the seventh youngest person to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.
Her performance as Briony Tallis in "Atonement" earned her much critical acclaim, including a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination, and Irish Film and Television Awards win.
In this scene, Briony claims she knows who raped her cousin, Lola (Juno Temple), and changes the fate of the cast of characters by falsely accusing her sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy).