Fionnghuala Manon "Fionnula" Flanagan (born 10 December 1941) is an Irish stage, television and film actress. For her contributions to the entertainment industry, she was given the IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Flanagan is known for her roles in the films James Joyce's Women (1985) and The Others (2001), for the latter of which she won a Saturn Award. She was honored with the Maureen O'Hara Award at the Kerry Film Festival in 2011, the award is offered to women who have excelled in their chosen field in film. She was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards (winning one) and two Tony Awards during her acting career. In 2020, she was listed at number 23 on The Irish Times's list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Flanagan in 2012
Fionnghuala Manon Flanagan
10 December 1941
|Education||Abbey Theatre School|
(m. 1972; died 2015)
Early life and educationEdit
Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, the daughter of Rosanna (née McGuirk) and Terence Niall Flanagan. Her father was an Irish Army officer and Communist who had fought in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War against Franco. Although her parents were not Irish speakers, they wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the Irish language, thus she grew up speaking English and Irish fluently. She was educated in Switzerland and England. She trained extensively at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and travelled throughout Europe before settling in Los Angeles in early 1968.
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". 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.). In 2018 he returned Broadway in Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman, directed for Sam Mendes.
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: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in episode "Dax", playing Enina Tandro; Star Trek: The Next Generation in episode "Inheritance", in which she played Juliana Soong(Data's "mother"); and Star Trek: Enterprise in 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 Hotel in Dublin for Irish republicans and their kin who were killed during the latest episode of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Flanagan and her late husband Garrett O'Connor, an Irish nationalist from Dublin, 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 US 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.
|1973||The Picture of Dorian Gray||Felicia|
|1976||In the Region of Ice||The Sister|
|1977||Mary White||Sallie White|
|1983||Through Naked Eyes||Dr. Frances Muller|
|1984||Reflections||Mrs. Charlotte Lawless|
|1984||Scorned and Swindled||Margaret|
|1984||Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure||Catarine Towani|
|1985||James Joyce's Women||Harriet Shaw Weaver|
|1986||A State of Emergency||Diane Carmody|
|1987||P.K. and the Kid||Flo|
|1991||Death Dreams||Margaret Neuberger|
|1991||Final Verdict||Pearl Morton|
|1992||Mad at the Moon||Mrs. Hill|
|1993||Money for Nothing||Mrs. Coyle|
|1994||White Mile||Gena Karas|
|1996||Some Mother's Son||Annie Higgins|
|1998||Waking Ned||Annie O'Shea||Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|1999||With or Without You||Irene|
|1999||A Secret Affair||Drucilla Fitzgerald|
|2000||For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story||Sally|
|2001||The Others||Mrs. Bertha Mills||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
|2002||Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood||"Teensy" Whitman|
|2003||Tears of the Sun||Sister Grace|
|2004||Blessed||J. Lloyd Samuel|
|2004||Man About Dog||Olivia|
|2005||Transamerica||Elizabeth Schupak||Irish Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actress – Film|
|2005||Four Brothers||Evelyn Mercer|
|2009||The Invention of Lying||Martha|
|2009||A Christmas Carol||Mrs. Dilber|
|2010||Kill the Irishman||Grace O'Keefe|
|2010||The Guard||Eileen Boyle||Irish Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actress – Film|
|2011||Coming & Going||Irma|
|2013||Life's a Breeze||Nan|
|2014||Song of the Sea||Granny / Macha||Voices; English and Irish-language versions|
|1972||Gunsmoke||Sarah Morgan||Episode: "The Drummer"|
|1972||Bonanza||Meg Dundee||Episode: "Heritage of Anger"|
|1972||Mannix||Gloria Paget||Episode: "The Crimson Halo"|
|1975||The Legend of Lizzie Borden||Bridget Sullivan|
|1976||Rich Man, Poor Man||Clothilde||Episode: "Part II: Chapters 3 and 4"|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
|1976||The Streets of San Francisco||Emma Simms||Episode: "Requiem for Murder"|
|1976||Kojak||Molly Braddock||Episode: "A Summer Madness"|
|1978–1979||How the West Was Won||Molly Cullhane||12 episodes|
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
|1983||Voyagers!||Molly Brown||Episode: "Voyagers of the Titanic" – Episode 15|
|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|
|1998–1999||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|
Nominated–Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Television
|2006–2008||Brotherhood||Rose Caffee||25 episodes|
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated–Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role – Television
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2007–2010||Lost||Eloise Hawking||7 episodes|
|2013||Defiance||Nicolette "Nicky" Riordan||5 episodes|
|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"|
|2018||Origin||Mia Anderson||Episode: "Funeral Blues"|
Awards and recognitionEdit
- The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order, Irish Times, June 13, 2020
- "Fionnula Flanagan Biography (1941–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- RTE One, My Story: Fionnula Flanagan. Retrieved 14 June 2016
- The Irish Times, "Television awards presented", 9 December 1965
- "Tickets Released for Broadway Transfer of Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman - Royal Court". Royal Court. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Clement, Olivia. "Tony-Winning 'The Ferryman' Ends on Broadway July 7" Playbill, July 7, 2019
- "Sinn Fein honours IRA dead at Dublin event". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
- How Flanagan and O'Connor met, People. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- on YouTube
- Kilkelly, Daniel (11 April 2016). "EastEnders spinoff Redwater casts Lost and The Others star Fionnula Flanagan in main part". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Flanagan to receive IFTA honour". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
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