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Irish Awards for Michelle Williams & Melissa McCarthy

Michelle Williams. From Wikimedia Commons.

By Molly Ferns, Editorial Assistant
February / March 2012

Michelle Williams, who has already received SAG, Golden Globe and Academy Award best actress nominations for her role as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn will be recognized as the US-Ireland Alliance’s first honorary Irishwoman at this year’s annual “Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film” event.

The event, to be held at J.J. Abrams’ production studio Bad Robot three days before the Oscars, will also honor comedienne Melissa McCarthy, who has been nominated for her hilarious supporting role in Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids.

The US-Ireland Alliance is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. It was founded with the purpose of highlighting the dynamic relationship between the Irish and Americans. Hollywood stars such as J.J. Abrams and Paul Rudd have also received “honorary Irishman” titles.

“Honorary” is the key word in Williams’ title. The actress does not claim any direct Irish ancestry. She was born in Montana and was raised in San Diego, California. However, the Alliance explains that Marilyn Monroe, who Williams portrays, may have been of Irish decent.

“Her mother’s last name was Hogan,” notes Trina Vargo, President of the US-Ireland Alliance, in the organization’s press release. The Irish American McCarthy was born in Illinois.

The release also notes that Michelle Williams’ agent, Hylda Queally, is a native of Ireland and a member of the US-Ireland Alliance advisory board.

She represents notable actresses including, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Cate Blanchett. Queally was honored at the Oscar Wilde event in 2009.

Other former recipients include Saoirse Ronan, Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Van Morrison. In recent years, the event has garnered more Hollywood buzz. Tom Cruise attended two years ago to present the award to Abrams, and Julia Roberts was in attendance last year to present Rudd’s award.

This years 2012 Oscar Wilde event will be held in Santa Monica, California just three days before the Academy Awards. More honorees are still to be announced.

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