Thu, Aug

2018 Performing Arts Award Winner Fionnula Flanigan


Fionnula Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. From an early age she grew up speaking both English and Irish on a daily basis. Her parents weren't native Irish speakers but wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the language. Her mother used to say, "A nation without a language is a nation without a soul". Fionnula has said she will be forever grateful to them for that. She was educated at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin and in Switzerland. She moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and lives with her husband, psychiatrist Dr. Garrett O'Connor, in Beverly Hills. Of her enormous body of work, including stage, television and film, she might be most well-known for James Joyce's Women (1985), in which she plays six different women who had a profound influence on James Joyce's life. Besides giving an award-winning performance, she also wrote, adapted and produced the piece for the stage, and subsequently as a feature film. She believes Joyce is the most important writer in the English language, most notably for "Ulysses", "Finnegan's Wake" and "The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man". When she was growing up she thought the much lauded author was a good friend of her parents, because they were always saying, "Joyce said this, Joyce said that". When she was finally old enough to read Joyce for herself, the characters were like old friends.

Flanagan came to prominence in Ireland in 1965 as a result of her role as Máire in the Telefís Éireann production of the Irish language play An Triail, for which she received the Jacob's Award in Dublin for her "outstanding performance".[3] With her portrayal of Gerty McDowell in the film version of Ulysses (1967), Flanagan established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of James Joyce. She made her Broadway debut in Brian Friel's Lovers (1968), then appeared in The Incomparable Max (1971) and such Joycean theatrical projects as Ulysses in Nighttown (as Molly Bloom) and James Joyce's Women (1977; toured through 1979), a one-woman show written by Flanagan and directed for the stage by Burgess Meredith. It was subsequently filmed in 1983, with Flanagan both producing and playing all six main female roles (Joyce's wife, Nora Barnacle, as well as fictional characters Molly Bloom, Gerty McDowell, etc.).

A familiar presence in American television, Flanagan has appeared in several made-for-TV movies including The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Mary White (1977), The Ewok Adventure (1984) and A Winner Never Quits (1986). She won an Emmy Award for her performance as Clothilde in the 1976 network miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. Her weekly-series stints have included Aunt Molly Culhane in How the West Was Won (1977), which earned her a second Emmy Award nomination. She did multiple appearances on Murder, She Wrote, one of them as Freida, a secretary aiding Jessica Fletcher in finding a murderer on the episode Steal me a Story (1987). She played Lt. Guyla Cook in Hard Copy (1987), and as Kathleen Meacham, wife of a police chief played by John Mahoney in H.E.L.P. (1990).

She made guest appearances in three of the Star Trek spin-offs:

    The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Dax"
    The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Inheritance", in which she played Data's "mother"
    The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Fallen Hero", playing the Vulcan Ambassador V'Lar

Flanagan guest-starred in several episodes of Lost as Eloise Hawking, a recurring character. She appeared in such films as The Others opposite Nicole Kidman, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood as the eldest Teensy, and Waking Ned. She appeared in television series and stage productions including the Emmy-nominated miniseries Revelations, starring Bill Pullman and Natascha McElhone, and in Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman. From 2006 to 2008, she played Rose Caffee, the matriarch of an Irish-American Rhode Island family on the Showtime drama Brotherhood.

Flanagan appeared with Helen Mirren in Some Mother's Son, written and directed by Terry George, as the militantly supportive mother of a Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger striker in 1981. Subsequently, she spoke at a memorial hosted by Sinn Féin at the Citywest Building in Dublin for Irish republicans and their kin who were killed during the latest instalment of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.[citation needed]

Flanagan and her late husband Dr. Garrett O'Connor, an Irish nationalist from Dublin,[4] were known to host parties at their Hollywood Hills home for people in the Irish community. In July 2009, she joined Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams for a series of lectures across the USA supporting Irish unity. In October 2011, she announced her support for Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness in his unsuccessful bid in Ireland's 2011 presidential election.[5]

1967     Ulysses    
1969     Sinful Davey        
1973     The Picture of Dorian Gray    
1976     In the Region of Ice
1977     Mary White    
1980     Mr. Patman        
1983     Through Naked Eyes         
1984     Reflections         
1984     Scorned and Swindled    
1984     Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure        
1985     James Joyce's Women    
1986     Youngblood        
1986     A State of Emergency    
1987     P.K. and the Kid        
1991     Death Dreams        
1991     Final Verdict         
1992     Mad at the Moon         
1993     Money for Nothing         
1994     White Mile         
1996     Some Mother's Son         
1998     Waking Ned Devine
1999     With or Without You        
1999     A Secret Affair         
1999     Deceit        
2000     For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story        
2001     The Others    
2002     Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood         
2003     Tears of the Sun        
2004     Blessed         
2004     Man About Dog     
2005     Transamerica    
2005     Sexual Life        
2005     Four Brothers        
2007     Slipstream        
2008     Yes Man        
2009     The Invention of Lying    
2009     A Christmas Carol         
2010     Kill the Irishman         
2010     The Guard    
2011     Coming & Going        
2013     Angels Sing        
2013     Life's a Breeze        
2014     Song of the Sea    
2016     Trash Fire    
2016     Havenhurst        
2016     Little Secret    

1972     Gunsmoke             Sarah Morgan     Episode: "The Drummer"
1972     Bonanza             Meg Dundee     Episode: "Heritage of Anger"
1972     Mannix                 Gloria Paget     Episode: "The Crimson Hero"
1975     The Legend of Lizzie Borden     Bridget Sullivan    
1976     Rich Man, Poor Man         Clothilde     Episode: "Part II: Chapters 3 and 4"
1976     The Streets of San Francisco     Emma Simms     Episode: "Requiem for Murder"
1976     Kojak                 Molly Braddock     Episode: "A Summer Madness"
1978/9     How the West Was Won         Molly Cullhane     12 episodes
1983     Voyagers!             Molly Brown     Episode 15: "Voyagers of the Titanic" –
1986     A Winner Never Quits         Mrs. Wyshner    
1987     Murder, She Wrote         Freida Schmidt     Episode: "Steal Me a Story"
1989     Columbo             Louise         Episode: "Murder: A Self Portrait"
1990     Beauty and the Beast         Jessica Webb     2 episodes
1993     Star Trek: Deep Space Nine     Enina Tandro     Episode: "Dax"
1993     Star Trek: The Next Generation     Juliana Tainer     Episode: "Inheritance"
1993     Murder, She Wrote         Fiona Griffith     "A Killing in Cork"
1993     Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman     Heart         Episode: "The Circus–The Queen of Hearts"
1995     Murder, She Wrote         Eileen O'Brannon     2 episodes
1998/9     Poltergeist: The Legacy     Older Woman     3 episodes
2002     Star Trek: Enterprise     V'Lar     Episode: "Fallen Hero"
2003     Law & Order: Special Victims Unit     Sheila Baxter     Episode: "Escape"
2003     Murder, She Wrote         Margaret Byrne     "The Celtic Riddle", TV movie
2004     Nip/Tuck             Sr. Rita Claire     Episode: "Agatha Ripp"
2005     Revelations             Mother Francine     5 episodes
2007     Paddywhackery     Peig Sayers     6 episodes
2006/8     Brotherhood     Rose Caffee     25 episodes
2007/10 Lost         Eloise Hawking     7 episodes
2013     Defiance     "Nicky" Riordan 5 episodes
2017     Redwater[6]     Agnes Byrne
2017     American Gods     Essie's Grandmother/Old Essie Macgowan     Episode: "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney"
2018     "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"     Madeline Jane Thomas     Episode: "Mama"

Coming Soon! Info on iBAM! ELEVEN, OCT 18-19, 2019