A star of both the screen and the stage, Fionnula Flanagan was born in Dublin in 1941. She was raised speaking English and Irish, and studied acting at the renowned Abbey Theatre. In 1968 she made her Broadway debut playing Maggie in Brian Friel’s Lovers. During the U.S. tour of Lovers she met her husband, Dublin-born psychiatrist Dr. Garrett O’Connor, and the couple has made their home in Los Angeles.
In film, Flanagan has triumphed in an abundance of scene-stealing roles, in such gems as Some Mother’s Son, The Others, Waking Ned Devine, and The Guard. A familiar face in many American television shows and series, including Star Trek, Lost, Brotherhood, and Rich Man, Poor Man (for which she won an Emmy), Flanagan has also established herself as one of the eminent portrayers of James Joyce’s female characters. She first played Gerty MacDowell in the 1967 film of Ulysses, and went on to play Molly Bloom in the 1973 Broadway production of Ulysses in Nighttown and in James Joyce’s Women, Flanagan’s one woman show which she also adapted for the screen. In February 2012, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins presented Flanagan with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs).
Flanagan has called her selection to join the Irish America Hall of Fame “a great honor.”